Craig will be giving a reading at Writers & Books on Thursday, May 18, at 7:00 PM. More information on that here.
For Immediate Release
Reporter Gary Craig has been following the Rochester Brinks heist since he covered the story in 1993. It is one of the nation’s biggest armored car company heists in history, with a priest, a cop, and an IRA rebel suspected of the robbery. When the investigation was reopened in 2007, the police called on Craig for his assistance and knowledge of the case that has yet to uncover the missing 5.2 million dollars.
Seven Million looks at the intense FBI investigation of the heist in a story that 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 teenag- ers on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and the IRA rebel who spent long years jailed in one of Northern Ireland’s most brutal prisons, and later was living under- ground in New York posing as a comics dealer.
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.
And there’s Officer Tom O’Connor, a retired Rochester cop working security for Brinks at the time, and an easy suspect. 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 he 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.
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.
“Fascinating. . . . Craig has the talent to guide us through the various intricacies and helps tie up the possibilities. Along the way, veteran area crime watchers will find references to the double initial murders of the past, and even a bit of Rochester mob history.”
—Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
“A priest, an Irish revolutionary, and an ex- cop walk into a bar—no, it’s not the setup for a joke, it’s the premise of Gary Craig’s thrilling nonfiction heist narrative. Finally, this story has been told in all its glory. Using superlative research, and written in the style of a hard-boiled thriller, Seven Million will keep you up at night. Sheer entertainment. . . . Read this book!”
—T. J. English, New York Times–bestselling author of Where the Bodies Were Buried and The Westies
“One of the most mysterious heists of our age finally has an account to match its scale and ambition. Seven Million investigates every aspect of this amazing story with a reporter’s obsession and with uncommon grace.”
—Robert Kolker, author of Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery
GARY CRAIG is a reporter for the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle’s Watchdog team, focusing on public safety and criminal justice. He has more than two decades of investigative reporting experience and has won state, regional, and national awards. is is his first book.