They were in and out in less than two minutes - that's how they got away with millions. And for the duration of their reign, no bank robbers were more feared (though they never fired their guns) nor more pursued or more mythologized than the Stopwatch Gang. The members themselves were straight out of central casting: Lionel Wright, a meticulous introvert who could disappear in a room full of people; Paddy Mitchell, a charming and well-connected crook who saw an angle in everything and would go to any lengths to avoid the hell of being locked away; and Stephen Reid, a fearless point man who could find the weakness in any system and whose story - of addiction and descent into crime, of redemption and literary fame - was all prelude to a tragic but life-saving fall from grace.
In The Life and Times of the Stopwatch Gang, Josh Dean reconstructs the gang's glory days and reveals how the real story, pieced together through months of research and reporting - most prominently with Reid himself, as he comes to the end, at age 64, of his final days in the custody of the state - is more remarkable than the myth that has long been told.
©2015 Josh Dean, The Atavist (P)2015 Josh Dean, The Atavist
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