June 29, 2021

The Takedown, pt.2

by Crime Show

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A helter skelter ride through London’s criminal underworld, blood-stained MMA gyms, an audacious bank robbery, and a manhunt that spanned continents. Part 2 of 2.

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Transcript

Emma Courtland: Previously on Crime Show ...


Paul Hines: There's certain people that come in that kind of tick all the boxes.


Jason Reinhardt: He walked into Miletich camp, and I said that guy is built like a greyhound dog. That guy has no ounce of fat on him.


Paul Hines: Well, they called him "Lightning" Lee Murray. And if you've ever sort of been buzzed with a good punch, it's almost like an electric shock.


Pat Miletich: My wife says, "What's this guy do for a living?" And I said, "I'm not quite sure, besides fighting."


Monte Cox: When we first were told that he was a gangster, we kind of laughed, and just couldn't believe it. We were all shocked. No one from the gym thought anything like that.


Alex Reid: And I said to him, "You got kids to feed, you got bills to pay. What are you gonna do?" "I'd rob a bank." I went, "Lee, you cannot rob a bank in this day and age." "You can if you know what you're doing, Reidy."


Matt Nelson: Britain's got a tradition of big, audacious robberies. I'm not gonna say it's a proud tradition, but it's a tradition all the same. Goes all the way back to Robin Hood and Dick Turpin. Because where I'm from, if you pull off a big score, you go down in history. I was talking to a journalist named Robert Hall about this. And right away, he started reeling off the most notorious stick ups.


Robert Hall: The great train robbery, obviously, in the 1960s.


Matt: That's when a gang of villains held up a Royal Mail train and stole more than £2-million, which was an awful lot back then.


Robert Hall: The Brink's-Mat robbery at Heathrow Airport, which was over £20-million.


Matt: That time, the crooks didn't steal cash—they got away with gold bullions. So much gold, that some speculate that if you bought gold jewelry in the UK after that robbery, chances are it came from this heist.


Robert Hall: The Hatton Garden robbery. So that was a bit later.


Matt: That's the one where six elderly thieves drilled into a safety deposit facility and made off with a huge haul of gems, jewels and cash. They made a movie about that one, starring Michael Caine, of course.


Matt: When he was a kid, Lee Murray would've heard stories about the gangs behind these big robberies. And some of these guys were from neighborhoods just a few miles away from where he grew up. For many, they were heroes. And their big jobs captured the public's imagination with their daring and their cunning.


Robert Hall: And for a short time, every one of those gangs got away with it.


Matt: Right. For a short time. Because that's the thing about big robberies: they're hard to pull off, but the getaway? That part is even harder. And that's a lesson that Lee Murray was about to learn. My name is Matthew Nelson, and this is Crime Show.


[00:03:20.22]***


Matt: News that Lee narrowly escaped death after being stabbed in the heart soon spread around the MMA community, and his old friends from the Miletich gym in Iowa called to check in on him. Here's Jason Reinhardt.


Jason Reinhardt: I'll never forget. I was in my house, and we did a Skype. I could not believe the holes all in his body, holes all over his body, brother. And I just couldn't believe it. And seeing my buddy like that, knowing what his dream is, and seeing him like that is just that's what really was—that's what got me, man. I mean, I cried, bro. I mean, I'm not too man enough to admit that. I mean, I'm sitting there crying, watching him. I just couldn't believe it, man.


Matt: There was talk of a return to cage fighting, and Lee Murray didn't seem ready to give up on his dream of being a champion just yet. There's a picture of him from around this time. He's in a fighting stance, fists raised—but his torso is criss-crossed with scars like zippers. And he looks smaller, weaker too. Other fighters said that when Murray went back to the gym, something had changed. He wasn't as fierce. His punches didn't have as much force. And his dream of being a UFC champion seemed to be over.


Jason Reinhardt: I think after that stabbing, he probably had a lot of his wind taken out of him, you know? Like, as far as, am I gonna ever be able to fight in the UFC again? And that's what I believe was the turning point. It just went bad after that, man. It just—it went dark.


Matt: Lee Murray had never had a real job in his life. He'd worked as a bouncer for a bit, but other than fighting, he'd never made money legally. I suppose he could've gone back to just being a gangster. More pick-ups and more drops-offs. But maybe after the adrenaline rush of fighting in front of huge crowds, that life seemed less appealing now. But if he couldn't be a star in the UFC, Lee Murray would have to find another way to write his name into the history books. And it turns out that the best way for him to do that was to pull off a heist.


Matt: The idea to switch from cage fighter to bank robber came from Lee's relationship with an amateur fighter named Lea Rusha.


Shaun Assael: Lea Rusha is another MMA figure with a rap sheet.


Matt: ESPN reporter Shaun Assael there. Shaun told me that Rusha's MMA career was small time. He'd fight for 50 quid here and there. That was it. But Rusha had another way to make money: selling weed—weed that he bought from Lee Murray. And that's how the two got to know each other. Rusha lived in a town called Tonbridge.


Shaun Assael: Which is an exurb of London. It's, you know, utterly unremarkable.


Matt: And a couple of miles away from Rusha's house, there was this nondescript concrete building. Drive past, and you wouldn't give it a second look. But what Rusha knew was that this building was a bank depot. And inside its thick concrete walls? Hundreds of millions of pounds, stacked floor to ceiling.


Shaun Assael: And so Lea Rusha learns about this cash depot, and because he, as part of his job, sells weed and buys that weed from Lee, strikes up a conversation and says, "Hey you might be interested in this." And Lee's eyes, as I understand it, at that point get quite wide.


Matt: And now, the job was on.


Matt: Back before the robbery happened, did you ever imagine, like, oh, somebody could rob this place?


Alun Thomas: No, not in a million years.


Matt: Why?


Alun Thomas: Because of all the security measures, how thick the doors were.


Matt: This is Alun Thomas. Back in 2006, he was the night shift manager at the Securitas bank depot in Tonbridge.


Alun Thomas: There are panic buttons all over the building that you could hit straight away and it would go straight to the police station. So I just never imagined that somebody would be able to gain access to the building without somebody sounding an alarm.


Matt: But on the other side of these thick concrete walls, Lee Murray was trying to figure out how to beat all of these security measures and break in.


Shaun Assael: Lee starts scouting it, and they sit outside, and they see these armored trucks coming and going, and forklifts carrying bales and bales of currency. They also look at the cameras outside. And this begins to set up for them the outlines of how they're gonna execute this daring robbery.


Matt: Around this time, Murray and Lea Rusha met a guy who worked inside the depot. Now the gang had an inside man. This guy attached a camera to his belt buckle and filmed the depot for weeks. From these recordings, the gang were able to draw out detailed plans. Things were starting to come together. Next, Murray and the gang needed disguises—Lee, in particular. It would be foolish to think that Britain's top cage fighter could pull off a robbery without being recognized, so the gang recruited a makeup artist to create disguises for them.


Robert Hall: These weren't just Halloween masks, these were far more elaborate than that. This is a slick operation. Ocean's Eleven? Perhaps not that. I think there's a rough edge to this, which Ocean's Eleven didn't, I don't think, have. Is it just low-level criminality? No, of course it's not. It's somewhere in the middle, but there's a lot of effort that's gone into it.


Matt: That's the BBC journalist Robert Hall again there. The gang still had one big problem, though: how to get inside in the first place. Turns out, the answer was obvious.


Robert Hall: When you look at the plan, it was so simple. You don't break in, you get somebody to take you in. That's the way in. A person is your key to the door, and then you're in.


Matt: The technique that Robert is describing is called Tiger Kidnapping. It was perfected by the IRA in the 1970s. It goes down like this: a person is kidnapped, and then forced to do something for the criminals or else their family will be murdered. In the case of the robbery Lee Murray and his gang were planning, the victim would provide access to the bank depot. Finally, on February 21, 2006, after months of planning and reconnaissance, Lee Murray and the gang were ready. It was time to rob the bank depot.


Matt: At 5:30 p.m., the bank depot's branch manager, Collin Dixon, clocks out. Collin's a mild mannered guy in his early '50s. He's been at the company for years, and he was known for being solid. People really trusted him. Collin got into his car and headed for home. He lived 50 miles away in a small seaside town called Herne Bay. But on this night, Collin wouldn't make it home—because Collin Dixon was the tiger kidnapping target.


Robert Hall: What you're talking about is a big, dual carriageway road, so four lanes of traffic with a traffic island in the middle. It's very dark. There's no street lighting. And what happens is he's driving along, behind him comes a strobing blue light.


Matt: Dixon pulls over to the side of the road, thinking it's the police.


Robert Hall: All he can see is the headlights of the car behind, and two figures in yellow jackets and caps that come to his car.


Matt: Not even the biggest MMA fan would have recognized that Lee Murray was one of these shadowy figures. The makeup artist had reshaped his hair into a widow's peak, and his face was now framed by bushy sideburns. It was said that the disguise made Murray look a little bit like Count Dracula. So Murray and his accomplice handcuff Dixon, and lead him into their phony police car. And it's at this moment that one of the cops produces a gun and says, "You will have guessed we're not policemen. Don't do anything silly and you won't get hurt."


Robert Hall: About two hours after he's been pulled over by these fake policemen, there's a knock on the door of his home. Two men at the door, they tell his wife that he's been involved in an accident, and that she should come with them straight away.


Matt: Collin's wife and eight-year-old son are bundled into the back of the car and driven to a safehouse. And at 10:00 p.m. the Dixon family is reunited. But the gang makes one thing clear to Collin: get us into the depot, or we'll kill you and your family.


Matt: Screenwipe back to the depot. It's just after one o'clock in the morning, and it's business as usual for Alun Thomas and the night crew. They're carefully sorting the incoming bank notes: fivers in one bag, tenners in another, twenties in another. So on and so forth. Alun's having a cup of tea and a natter with a colleague, when he looks up and is surprised to see that Collin Dixon has returned and is walking towards him.


Alun Thomas: And then I noticed that he was with what I thought were policemen, and I thought perhaps they were doing some sort of security exercise. And it was only when one of these guys stuck a gun in my face and said, "Get down," that I realized it perhaps wasn't an exercise.


Matt: The gang made it inside the depot by marching Collin Dixon to the front gate at gunpoint. The security guard on duty buzzed Dixon in, and now, at 1:28 in the morning, the gang were inside. Most of them were now dressed in dark blue boiler suits and tactical gear. They had goggles, balaclavas, body armor, and they were all armed. The police would later use CCTV footage to assign the disguised gang members a nickname. There was: Policeman, Hoodie, Mr. Average, Driver, High Viz, Shorty, and the man in charge—Stopwatch.


Matt: Stopwatch stalked through the depot, barking instructions and making sure things didn't take too long.


Alun Thomas: The guy who was in charge, you knew that he was a fit guy. He looked fit. He had, like, a jumpsuit on, but you could see underneath he was a fit guy.


Matt: It's believed that this guy—the one with the big muscles and the stopwatch—was Lee Murray. And it makes sense that the man who'd spent the last few years of his life going through training drills would be the one to hold the stopwatch.


Matt: Lee's first order was for the gang members to round up the depot's staff. There were alarms everywhere, and if anyone was able to trigger one, the police would be there in minutes. So the gang stalked through the depot, grabbing the staff and tying them up with plastic zip cuffs.


Alun Thomas: And then they just told us to lie on the floor and not look up. Just lie on the floor, look at the ground, don't look up, don't say anything.


Matt: In your mind, what was sort of the worst case scenario of what might happen?


Alun Thomas: I thought they might shoot us. When they took the money, then they might think, "Well, we don't want any witnesses," and shoot you all.


Matt: The gang worked quickly to load up the cash, but it takes time to move millions. Back and forth the thieves went, loading more and more cash into a truck they'd parked in the depot's loading dock. It was a big truck—seven tons worth of truck—but even then they only had enough space for a fraction of the money inside the depot. There was just too much. At around 2:30 in the morning, the gang were finished. All told, they'd needed just over an hour to complete the job. Finally, they loaded Alun and his staff into empty metal cages and said their goodbyes.


Alun Thomas: Then they went off and sarcastically said, "Thank you for your cooperation."


Matt: How did that feel when they were kind of sarcastic like that as they left?


Alun Thomas: I felt like the bloke was an arsehole, really. Do you know what I mean? They were having a bit of a laugh at your expense.


Matt: As the truck drove off into the night, there's no way Lee and the gang could've known how much they'd taken. It would have just looked like a wall of cash, impossible to eyeball. Millions? Sure. But how many? The answer? Over £50 million. The biggest cash robbery in history. And you'd be forgiven for thinking that's a good thing. But in reality, it's an absolute nightmare.


Robert Hall: And that I think was the problem, it was too big. In the end, this crime was too big! And because of that, they lost control of what happened afterwards.


Matt: After the break: what happened afterwards.


[00:17:42.29]***


Matt: Back at the depot, Alun Thomas waited a while before calling the police. He wanted to make sure that the coast was clear before dialing 999.


Matt: What a crazy phone call to make. Tell me what you said and what their reaction was like.


Alun Thomas: Well you dialed 999. She says, "What service do you want?" I said, "The police." She said, "Tell me what's happened." I said, "We've been robbed at work." And she said to me, she said, "Oh, do you know how much has been taken?” I went, "Yeah, millions." I said, "Millions." And I bet she thought "Nutter." One panda car turned up.


Matt: A "panda car" is a British police car. They call them pandas 'cause they're black and white. And they look like pandas.


Alun Thomas: Honest to God, one panda car turned up with a policeman and a policewoman in it. And the policewoman, copper says to the woman, "You stay here with them," and off he went to look around the building. He just came back and he looked at her, the policewoman, and he said, "They're gonna have to get everybody out of bed for this."


Matt: And they did. Within hours, the depot was swarming with Kent police. And shortly after that, one of the biggest manhunts in British history was underway. Adrian Leppard was among those leading the investigation for Kent police. Here he is addressing the media after news of the heist got out.


[ARCHIVE CLIP, Adrian Leppard: We know for a fact that this is organized crime at its top level. This is planned and executed with military precision. These are callous criminals, they're professional criminals, they're an organized gang.]


Matt: A few days later, the police set up a hotline looking for tips. And then Adrian Leppard was back in front of the media, this time with the offer of a reward.


[ARCHIVE CLIP, Adrian Leppard: Someone around the edge of this will know directly who's committed this, but may not have done the actual crime themselves. Those people are the people who may be able to earn a reward of up to £2 million.]


Matt: The plan worked. The makeup artist who created the gang's disguises was caught, and after that, the dominoes started to fall. Robert Hall.


Robert Hall: Bits of pieces of money, and I mean big bits and pieces, millions at a time in some cases, a few hundred thousand in other cases, begin to turn up.


[NEWS CLIP: They're screening sackfuls of notes and other property found in the van for DNA, fingerprints, any possible evidence.]


[NEWS CLIP: Also in that vehicle was firearms, balaclavas and flap jackets. Really good opportunities for us in terms of forensic examination. This is an important lead for us.]


[NEWS CLIP: Detectives here at Kent Police say that the abandoned cash, cars and vans are helping them to build up a picture of how the heist was carried out.]


Robert Hall: You've gotta be as professional in clearing up behind you as you were in planning the crime in the first place. And it's very clear that this gang didn't do that.


[NEWS CLIP: There's still a lot to do. Next they've got to trawl through CCTV of ports, Eurostar and the channel tunnel, because the suspicion is that some members of the gang have fled abroad.]


Matt: It took a while before Lee Murray's name became known to investigators. Initially, they were being fed details on Lea Rusha and his associates in Kent. But time and time again, the police hotline would ring and Lee Murray's name would come up. But the problem was, by the time the police started looking seriously into Lee Murray, he was long gone.


Adnan Ghanan: It was a Tuesday morning, okay? When I met those guys. And then I met fighters. I met monsters.


Matt: This is Adnan Ghanan. Adnan's an English teacher and a translator based in Rabat, the capital of Morocco. He says that one day in the spring of 2006, a friend told him that two rich, young Englishmen needed a translator and a driver. At the time, Adnan had no idea where their money came from—and he knew not to ask questions. I spoke to Adnan over the phone, and he told me that at first he liked Lee, but he was a little wary of him.


Adnan Ghanan: You know what? He was the kind of guy to force your respect, whoever you are. You have a look at him, you cannot look at him in the eye for more than three seconds.


Matt: Tell me why? Why can't you look at him for more than three seconds?


Adnan Ghanan: He was a big guy with a big personality, full of muscles, okay? You're trained to always avoid. Am I clear now?


Matt: Despite his reservations, Adnan agreed to be Lee's driver. He'd also be working for Lee's best friend, Paul Allen. He'd gone to Morocco too, and police would later understand that he actually helped plan the robbery. It's thought that the pair made it to Morocco by taking a ferry to France, and then driving through Holland and Spain. Finally, they took one more ferry ride across the Strait of Gibraltar. According to one source, Lee listened to Shirley Bassey's "Diamonds are Forever" as the ferry paddled them towards freedom.


Matt: I've heard that during the getaway, Paul Allen was constantly chain smoking, which is an understandable reaction. But apparently, Lee Murray was ice cool. Maybe that's because, when you've been locked inside a cage with another man, your sense of danger runs on a different kind of scale. Or maybe it's because when you've just masterminded the biggest cash robbery in British history, you feel content in the knowledge that you've done something that will never be forgotten. So what's next after you make yourself a legend? If you follow Lee Murray's playbook, you go out and you have some fun.


Adnan Ghanan: Princes of the city. That's it. He could buy everything he was dreaming of or he dreamt of.


Matt: Adnan told me that Lee and Paul would go on these lavish shopping trips, dropping the equivalent of thousands of dollars.


Adnan Ghanan: He has never worn the same t-shirt the day after.


Matt: Yeah, so according to Adnan, Lee was particularly fond of wearing Prada t-shirts, but he'd never wear them more than once.


Adnan Ghanan: Yeah.


Matt: He's living like a celebrity, like a rock star?


Adnan Ghanan: Like a rock star. Maybe like an angel. That's a good bit better. Like an angel.


Matt: So that's how Lee and Paul spent their days. They'd go to the gym, hang out at cafes and go shopping. But at night ...


Adnan Ghanan: At night! Okay, at night ...


Matt: That's when they really had their fun. Lee and Paul would change into another new shirt, and hit the local clubs. And this might be bullshit, but I've heard that Lee would sometimes ask the bartenders to put on a DVD of his UFC win over Jorge Rivera, so that everyone knew exactly who he was.


[ARCHIVE CLIP, commentator: It's over! It is over! Lee Murray by submission! Whoa!]


Matt: According to Adnan, Lee was also keen to impress the local women.


Adnan Ghanan: As I told you before, he was really one of the best skirt chasers I've ever met in my life. He has just a look of him, okay? Brief and short look from his eyes—I'm talking about girls—people could really melt like ice. Yes, he was a sorcerer.


Matt: Lee had two big reasons for escaping to Rabat. First of all, his father is Moroccan, so he automatically had a claim for Moroccan citizenship. Secondly, Lee knew that there was no extradition treaty between the UK and Morocco. As far as he was concerned, he was a free man as long as he was on Moroccan soil. So Lee made himself at home. He bought a mansion, kitted it out with lavish furniture, installed a gym, and paid a local artist to paint a mural of himself beating Jorge Rivera. As I said to Adnan, he was living like Tony Montana in Scarface.


Adnan Ghanan: And I can say that he was the kind of guy with a red pen trying to rewrite the script of the movie, okay? He was his own Al Pacino, changing details, adding in a lot of fun, a lot of action, and a lot of suspense in the movie. He was kind of playing the role of Al Pacino. He was rewriting and re-inventing the story, okay? That's what I can say.


Matt: But you know what happens at the end of Scarface, don't you? Tony fucks with the wrong people, and in the end they come for him. And I guess in Lee's case, the British police were the wrong people to fuck with. Because after Lee reached Morocco, they hadn't given up the chase. Far from it.


Roy Ramm: Because it's kind of an affront. If it's happened on your manor, on your patch, you do feel personally challenged.


Matt: This is former Scotland Yard detective Roy Ramm.


Roy Ramm: You know, you think it's almost like an insult that they think that they can get away with it on your patch. I think there is this thing of personal satisfaction, your professionalism. You want to be better than them.


Matt: Over the years, Roy worked a lot of armed robbery cases. And he told me that there was no way the British police were gonna forget about Murray. Pride was at stake, and there was also the risk that comes with criminals having access to so much money.


Roy Ramm: It's used to fund more crime. It's used to fund drugs trafficking, arms trafficking, people trafficking. So it kind of multiplies. So there was an enormous amount of pressure, I think, on the Kent police to get this done and get it done quickly.


Matt: Lee had no idea, but the moment he stepped foot in Morocco, he was under 24-hour surveillance—the net was tightening. Someone who did start to notice was Adnan. He realized that when he drove Lee and Paul, their car was being followed.


Adnan Ghanan: When I used to be a driver and translator, there was always a car behind us. Not the same car. The car with one person, sometimes with two people, sometimes with three people.


Matt: So Adnan started to wonder, what's with the tail? So one night after work, he went to Google, punched in Lee Murray's name, and by then, the police and the press knew that he was part of the gang. In fact, people were now starting to say that he was the mastermind behind the whole thing.


Adnan Ghanan: And I started suspecting. I started doing some connections with the events I've been through all days and all weeks, okay? And it's very easy. You do not need to be Einstein to find out that really something wrong was going on.


Matt: And sure enough, everything started to snap into place. Not long after he arrived in Morocco, Adnan says that Lee instructed him to go out and buy three brown leather bags. Each day, the bags would be stuffed full with Euros.


Adnan Ghanan: As if he were the winner of a Tombola, you know what I mean?


Matt: And then Adnan had to deliver the bags to one of Murray's associates. The next day, he'd collect the bags, and now they'd be filled with Dirhams, the local currency.


Matt: This money that was exchanged, if I'm understanding this. it came from the robbery?


Adnan Ghanan: I don't know. What do you think, it came from heaven? Of course, they come from—related straight to the robbery.


Matt: On June 25, 2006, it was a warm and sunny day in Rabat. As usual, Lee and Paul went to the mall to do some shopping. Maybe pick out some more Prada t-shirts, a new watch, or maybe some jewelry for one of their many mistresses. The pair cut through the mall, Lee dressed in a black open-collar shirt, Paul in a red Dolce & Gabbana t-shirt stamped with the words, "Delicious and Gorgeous." It seemed like any other day in paradise for them. But outside the mall, a team of heavily-armed Moroccan police burst the tires of Lee's Mercedes, and set up a roadblock. It was time. The police then entered the mall and marched towards Lee and Paul, guns raised. Apparently, shoppers who saw them that day thought a terrorist attack was underway and ran for cover.


Matt: The police had been warned that Lee Murray might be armed—and even if he wasn't, he'd be hard to take down. So they took no chances. They rushed at Lee and Paul, and forced them to the ground. The pair were handcuffed, their feet bound together, and hoods placed over their heads. After four months of living it large, Lee Murray was now behind bars.


Matt: The plan to escape conviction for the robbery by going to Morocco didn't work out for Lee in the end. He was initially arrested on possession charges, but the Moroccan government decided to charge Lee for the bank robbery and hold its own trial in Rabat. Lee was found guilty, and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Here's Roy Ramm:


Roy Ramm: The thing that's gotten in Lee Murray's way was his ego. And I think that if you were ever in any doubt of that, the mural on the wall should dispel that doubt. His ego completely got in the way, and instead of planning carefully the exit, talking to people about what was gonna happen after they got this money, that's where it failed. The plan was as good as far as it went, but part two was missing.


Matt: When Lee first got to prison, he struggled. I know this because my fixer in Rabat spoke to Lee's old cellmate. He said that Lee was a broken man in the beginning: no money, no friends—and this detail really stuck with me: no cat. Initially I thought that something must've gotten lost in translation, but apparently it's common in Morocco for prisoners to keep pets—mostly cats and sometimes birds. Over time, Lee did start to learn the language. He made friends, and his family figured out how to get money to him. And cans of Pringles. That is Lee Murray's contraband item of choice apparently: cans of Pringles.


Matt: Jason Reinhardt stayed in touch with Lee, and he told me that, despite all the Pringles, he's still in great shape.


Jason Reinhardt: This man can do almost 700 updowns in prison—burpees—without stopping. So he's training like a madman.


Matt: Even though he's been locked away for almost 15 years now, Jason says that Lee's dreams haven't changed. He still wants to be a UFC champion.


Jason Reinhardt: I know people will say, "Oh, that's crazy," but he believes he can still do it.


Matt: And according to Jason, Lee's still got one big score to settle. He told me that Lee's still dreaming about the fight that he never got a chance to take: a matchup with Tito Ortiz, the champion he took down in that back alley street fight.


Jason Reinhardt: Lee's last words to me were, "Jason." Or Lee's—not his last words, but Lee said to me, "Jason. Of course, I will crush him. I will smash that guy, no problem." I have no doubt that he will knock Tito out.


Matt: Oh, yeah? You have no doubt that he'd knock him out in the ring?


Jason Reinhardt: Absolutely no doubt. And not only that, I have absolutely no doubt that that would be one of the largest pay-per-view buys in the history of our sport.


Matt: Those aren't the only tickets Lee's hoping to sell. There's long been talk of a Hollywood movie about Lee Murray's story. At one point, big-time director Darren Aronofsky was attached to direct, and fans speculated that Tom Hardy would be the best choice to play Lee. It got me wondering, how would that movie end? Police only managed to recover about £20-million of the Securitas robbery's haul. That means that there's still about £30-million out there somewhere. So maybe the movie ends like this: Lee Murray gets out of prison, and there's a bag of money waiting for him. And in the last shot, you know, he's on the beach in a hammock, kicking back, sipping Mai Tais. Here's Roy Ramm:


Roy Ramm: Yeah, I think that's what keeps many of them going, the thought that, one day, the champagne, the yacht and the girls will be there for me when I come out.


Matt: But from what you're saying, the chances are that's just not gonna happen.


Roy Ramm: More often than not, it doesn't.


Matt: According to Roy, there's likely no Hollywood ending for Lee Murray. And the money's long gone: laundered, lost, gambled away. And that's the thing about bank robbers: they very rarely get away with it. The Great Train Robbery, the Brink's-Mat Heist, the Hatton Garden job, it's easy to get seduced by the cunning and the size of the haul. And you forget that most of these guys went to prison for a very, very long time.


Matt: So Lee Murray's got about another 10 years left on his sentence. When he gets out of prison, he'll be in his 50s. And sure, maybe he will fight again—it does happen. But it's unclear if Tito Ortiz, his old nemesis, would even be interested in a rematch. These days, Tito's into politics. He just won a seat on the Huntington Beach City Council, and no one knows if he actually ever plans to fight again. So no pot of gold. Probably no super fight either. As far as endings go, it's maybe not the most satisfying one—but it's probably the right one.


Matt: All right, let's do the credits. Crime Show is a Spotify original podcast and Gimlet production. This episode was written and produced by me. I am Matthew Nelson. If you want, you can find me on Twitter @Mattyfatpants. Come say hello.


Matt: I was helped by the Crime Show team. Their producers are Jerome Campbell, Cat Schuknecht and Jade Abdul-Malik. The senior producer is Mitch Hansen, and their host is Emma Courtland.


Matt: This episode was edited by Devon Taylor and Brendan Klinkenberg. Production oversight by Collin Campbell. Research by Julie Carli.


Matt: Theme song by So Wylie, original music by So Wylie and Bobby Lord. And mixing and sound design by my man Daniel Ramirez. And I got to tell you, Daniel has the patience of a fucking saint. He spent hours watching old Guy Ritchie movies so that we could get the punch sound effects you heard in the first episode just right. Daniel, you're a legend. Thank you.


Matt: Fact-checking by Stephanie Abramson. Special thanks to Reda Fakhar, Connor Nevins, Rachel Strom and Chris Morrow. I also want to thank again my friend Garret Crowe for telling me about this story in the pub. Garret also helped edit this story. I owe him a pint. And, if you've listened this far, I got to be honest, I think I owe you a pint, too. Thank you very much.