Seven Million
On a freezing night in January 1993, masked gunmen walked through the laughably lax security at the Rochester Brink's depot, tied up the guards, and unhurriedly made off with $7.4 million in one of the FBI's top-five armored car heists in history. Suspicion quickly fell on a retired Rochester cop working security for Brinks at the time--as well it might. Officer Tom O'Connor had been previously suspected of everything from robbery to murder to complicity with the IRA. One ex-IRA soldier in particular was indebted to O'Connor for smuggling him and his girlfriend into the United States, and when he was caught in New York City with $2 million in cash from the Brink's heist, prosecutors were certain they finally had enough to nail O'Connor. But they were wrong. In Seven Million, the reporter Gary Craig meticulously unwinds the long skein of leads, half-truths, false starts, and dead ends, taking us from the grim solitary pens of Northern Ireland's Long Kesh prison to the illegal poker rooms of Manhattan to the cold lakeshore on the Canadian border where the body parts began washing up. The story is populated by a colorful cast of characters, including cops and FBI agents, prison snitches, a radical priest of the Melkite order who ran a home for troubled teenagers on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and the IRA rebel who'd spent long years jailed in one of Northern Ireland's most brutal prisons and who was living underground in New York posing as a comics dealer. Finally, Craig investigates the strange, sad fate of Ronnie Gibbons, a down-and-out boxer and muscle-for-hire in illegal New York City card rooms, who was in on the early planning of the heist, and who disappeared one day in 1995 after an ill-advised trip to Rochester to see some men about getting what he felt he was owed. Instead, he got was what was coming to him. Seven Million is a meticulous re-creation of a complicated heist executed by a variegated and unsavory crew, and of its many repercussions. Some of the suspects are now dead, some went to jail; none of them are talking about the robbery or what really happened to Ronnie Gibbons. And the money? Only a fraction was recovered, meaning that most of the $7 million is still out there somewhere.

Seven Million Details

TitleSeven Million
Author
ReleaseMay 2nd, 2017
PublisherForeEdge
ISBN-139781611688917
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Crime, True Crime

Seven Million Review

  • Julia
    January 1, 1970
    Couldn't put it down! Fascinating story about the Brink's robbery. Just when you think it couldn't get odder, it does. I may be semi-biased as a former Rochesterian, but this is a great read if you like true life crime novels or a good mystery.
  • Raiko
    January 1, 1970
    An excellent True Crime book! With the genre being so popular among masses now, listen to this, you have some carpetbaggers coming in copy-pasting Wikipedia articles about notable cannibals for example. A disgrace to the tastebuds. I assure you this is not the case with Seven Million. The *flow* is meticulous, the author casually conveying how many floors a building has - even when the building in question is of highly doubtful importance to the main narrative. He's done his research to a T, and An excellent True Crime book! With the genre being so popular among masses now, listen to this, you have some carpetbaggers coming in copy-pasting Wikipedia articles about notable cannibals for example. A disgrace to the tastebuds. I assure you this is not the case with Seven Million. The *flow* is meticulous, the author casually conveying how many floors a building has - even when the building in question is of highly doubtful importance to the main narrative. He's done his research to a T, and can therefore talk with *supreme assurance*. At times the more discerning reader such as yours truly gets a Tarantino or Elmore Leonard vibe. Et cetera. I was initially drawn to the book due to my academic interest in armored car robberies. Yet as always, I'm mainly reading true crime books as an excuse to glimpse into the lurid aspects of the much-vaunted American Dream. You forget the violent act(s) soon and start to observe how the participants act. This book, the author goes a tad more rhizomatic as it were than most other books. In this case it does not annoy, for the author, he writes so *smoothly* I'd've been content if he described in detail what the protagonists bought in supermarkets. And it's exactly *here* that the dog is buried! Just *one* off-kilter aspect and we would've been in High Brow territory. I.e the *base* is so good for the writer to transcend the squarejohn vibe. One glitch in the matrix would of opened the floodgates! The first DJ who used scratching in turntablism, I'm sure they had their doubts, yet they turned out to be pioneers. On that day they became legendary. I fully understand the author though for wanting to tell an ace story. To me personally, it spurs me on in my own artistic racket. (Gordon Burn for example went a tad artistic in his book about Fred and Rose West. Which I highly recommend as a discerning description of UK society, with the couple's dastardly deeds being but a sour huckleberry on top of a hellish cake). To paraphrase KRS-One, I'm looking for where True Crime's next planet's at. A ten-part Netflix documentary about any *one* of the 100,000 yearly US murders, shot by Tarantino? That type of drift. We pick a murder or robbery in a lottery. The winner gets the true crime treatment. Great book.
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  • Michael
    January 1, 1970
    This is the story of the 1993 Brinks robbery that occurred right here in Rochester. 7.4 million dollars was stolen from the Brinks depot on South Avenue. Security was very lax but it was clear that it was an inside job. Author Gary Craig does a great job in laying out the robbery and the following investigation into the connections between the robbery and members and sympathizers of the IRA in Ireland.The book goes beyond the robbery itself and follows a connection that made little news. I had n This is the story of the 1993 Brinks robbery that occurred right here in Rochester. 7.4 million dollars was stolen from the Brinks depot on South Avenue. Security was very lax but it was clear that it was an inside job. Author Gary Craig does a great job in laying out the robbery and the following investigation into the connections between the robbery and members and sympathizers of the IRA in Ireland.The book goes beyond the robbery itself and follows a connection that made little news. I had never heard the story of boxer Ronnie Gibbons, who came to Rochester from New York City to try to get his share of the money. He disappeared from a parking lot very near my home and his remains were found on the far eastern shore of Lake Ontario. As in all crimes, there is a sad aspect to this. Desperate people taking desperate steps than only make life worse for them. Still, the story keeps your interest. Well researched and well written.
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  • Matt Daneman
    January 1, 1970
    Generally am not much of a true-crime reader. This, however, could make one a convert. A really interesting telling of a really interesting crime. Disclaimer: worked for years alongside the author and am friendly with him. But even divorcing myself of that, it's a fascinating read and a bizarre cast of characters. It's so frustrating that certain voices, like Tom O'Connor, the former cop who was a Brinks security person the night of the heist and may or may not have been as dirty as they come, w Generally am not much of a true-crime reader. This, however, could make one a convert. A really interesting telling of a really interesting crime. Disclaimer: worked for years alongside the author and am friendly with him. But even divorcing myself of that, it's a fascinating read and a bizarre cast of characters. It's so frustrating that certain voices, like Tom O'Connor, the former cop who was a Brinks security person the night of the heist and may or may not have been as dirty as they come, won't ever get a chance to tell their side of the story (spoiler: he's since died). You feel like the ultimate truth is so tantalizingly close. But reading this, you also come to understand that even if someone finally coughed up the beans, there's a good chance you'd never believe it given what a motley crew of folks show up in this story of an armed robbery and -- perhaps -- an associated murder. Well worth reading.
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  • Thomas Czarniak
    January 1, 1970
    This is a good read for true crime lovers but even more so for people who live in Rochester, NY and can remember when the heist went down. Money, murder, and mayhem abound. Kudos to Gary Craig who has been near monomaniacal about the case and the various side stories over the last 20+ years.
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  • Theresa
    January 1, 1970
    It was interesting. It read like a newspaper article: a very long article. The additional story that was related at the end was oddly added. It was not a page turner.
  • Rick
    January 1, 1970
    “Seven Million” by Gary Craig was a neat true crime novel about the >$7 million heist of a Brinks facility in Rochester, New York in 1993. Craig was a reporter for the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle and as such he was plugged in to the mania surrounding the heist, and the long follow up to find the guilty. Pretty neat story, and I very much liked Craig’s way of writing and reporting. He covered the heist in the newspapers and now, over twenty years later, has turned his research into an ent “Seven Million” by Gary Craig was a neat true crime novel about the >$7 million heist of a Brinks facility in Rochester, New York in 1993. Craig was a reporter for the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle and as such he was plugged in to the mania surrounding the heist, and the long follow up to find the guilty. Pretty neat story, and I very much liked Craig’s way of writing and reporting. He covered the heist in the newspapers and now, over twenty years later, has turned his research into an entertaining book. Structure wise the book is split into two main parts…Part I dealing with the heist, the planning, the actual events leading up to that day, and the cast of characters involved…such as a priest, an IRA member, and an ex-cop, etc.; he weaves an interesting tale in this part, and we are left with some closure at the end…we find out what happened to the characters. Part II was more problematic for me; in it the author dragged in another character and tries to perform the same magic as he did in Part I, but it just doesn’t come off. Part II seemed like another 77 pages thrown in just to make the narrative book length. Part I is roughly 176 pages long, Part II adds 77 more. I was happy with the first 176 and could have stopped there. But with all that said, I did enjoy this book. It was sent to me as a Goodreads Giveaway, and I appreciate the research and writing that went into it.
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  • Tracy
    January 1, 1970
    Gary Craig, a colleague of mine, tells a good story. After decades of reporting about crime, he has a lot of them. He recounts them with great enthusiasm and adds lots of asides that add his own unique flavor to his tales. He's put that skill to good use in Seven Million, a page turner about a heist of $7 million from the Brink's depot in Rochester, NY, where Gary is a reporter. The main characters are colorful - a priest, a retired cop, an IRA member and a boxer - but then there are passing con Gary Craig, a colleague of mine, tells a good story. After decades of reporting about crime, he has a lot of them. He recounts them with great enthusiasm and adds lots of asides that add his own unique flavor to his tales. He's put that skill to good use in Seven Million, a page turner about a heist of $7 million from the Brink's depot in Rochester, NY, where Gary is a reporter. The main characters are colorful - a priest, a retired cop, an IRA member and a boxer - but then there are passing connections to people like David Bowie, Hilary Swank and Colin Quinn. Those are the kinds of asides and details that are pure Gary Craig. Crime nonfiction is not my usual genre, but I found myself utterly engrossed in this book and all its twists and turns. I recommend this book, and would do so even if I didn't know the author.
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  • Erik
    January 1, 1970
    I live in Rochester and am old enough to remember the 1993 Brinks Depot robbery and aftermath. Maybe that is why I enjoyed this book so much. Because it is a subject and area I am experienced in, it does make reviewing the book difficult, but hopefully I am not being biased. Gary Craig wove a very compelling narrative, and the book moved quickly and I was continuously interested. The nature of the actual events does leave one feeling slightly unhappy at the end, but his epilogue I feel was well I live in Rochester and am old enough to remember the 1993 Brinks Depot robbery and aftermath. Maybe that is why I enjoyed this book so much. Because it is a subject and area I am experienced in, it does make reviewing the book difficult, but hopefully I am not being biased. Gary Craig wove a very compelling narrative, and the book moved quickly and I was continuously interested. The nature of the actual events does leave one feeling slightly unhappy at the end, but his epilogue I feel was well reasoned and he spelled out very clearly why he came to the conclusions he did. Because of my proximity to the scene I did find myself driving past locations, which is a good example of how compelling the story was. I highly recommend this true crime book.
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  • victor harris
    January 1, 1970
    Score it a high 4. The cast of characters and their links to the IRA is well developed, good narrative style, and the section dealing with boxer Robbie Gibbons who was only tangential to the actual Brink's robbery is a nice finishing touch. Nice mix of robbery details (inside job?), investigative work, and forensic follow up. Enjoyable read with good pace.
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  • Kathy Collins
    January 1, 1970
    This was a very interesting book and I enjoyed reading about all the details of what was known about the robbery and the theories regarding those responsible. Still a lot of money missing! I have my ideas on where it went but you have to draw your own conclusions after reading the info that is known
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  • Betsy Haner
    January 1, 1970
    Excellent readGary Craig has written a very concise account of the Brinks depot robbery. He has introduced us to the characters through history and ancestry that as a reader you feel connected to them all. I highly recommend this book it is a gripping story.
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  • Donna Schwartz
    January 1, 1970
    Loved this nonfiction account of the Brink's heist which I remember from when my children were young. I enjoyed the detail about the robbery and the story of how the police and FBI tracked down where and who the culprits were.
  • Dennis O'Brien
    January 1, 1970
    Fascinating! Also, can Keith Morrison narrate this ir feature it on Dateline?
  • carol
    January 1, 1970
    Crazy stuff!
  • Maureen
    January 1, 1970
    Great read. I knew nothing about this case before I picked up the book. This was a riveting story.
  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    Fascinating true story of the Brink's heist in Rochester NY back in 1993. Much intrigue, mystery, and unsolved components in this multi-faceted tale.
  • Leo Mccarthy
    January 1, 1970
    great read.
  • Phylis Hopkins
    January 1, 1970
    Interesting reading a book and knowing the names of so many people in it. I remember the robbery.
  • Ray Martino
    January 1, 1970
    Gary Craig applies his excellent reportorial skills with a great ability to tell a compelling story. This book is hard to put down.
  • Eileen
    January 1, 1970
    What I liked most about Seven Million was how Craig stuck to the facts and gave us a clean narrative of the heist, its fallout, and the remaining mysteries, such as where the money went and who killed Gibbons. Some true crime writers try too hard for a noir tone and like to wax poetic about a given city's dark secrets and the play of the streetlights on the puddles as the sun sets and the hidden vices and lost people come out. I've only ever seen John Berendt pull that off.
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