(GoRealNewsNow.com) – In a story that seems ripped from the pages of a thriller novel, 35-year-old Boston resident Ashley Randele discovered her father’s astonishing secret: a hidden identity that had eluded authorities for decades.
In 2021, while spending time with her parents, Ashley’s world was turned upside down when her 71-year-old father, Tom Randele, revealed his true identity. Diagnosed with lung cancer, he confessed that his real name was Ted Conrad and hinted at a mysterious past that might still have law enforcement on his trail.
Ashley’s subsequent online investigation led her to a startling discovery: Ted Conrad was the name of a 20-year-old vault teller at Society National Bank in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1969.
Conrad absconded with $219,000 in cash in an audacious heist, triggering a manhunt that would last for years. After the theft, Conrad fled to Washington, D.C., and despite the FBI’s involvement, his trail went cold.
The revelation stunned Ashley, who expressed her disbelief, likening her life to a dramatic movie plot. Photos of her with her father, alongside images of him as a younger man, surfaced, painting a picture of a man who had successfully crafted a new life under an assumed identity.
Commenting on the case, Deputy U.S. Marshall Pete Elliott marveled at Conrad’s ability to evade detection for so long, stating, “He covered his trail really well.”
Inspired by the 1968 film “The Thomas Crown Affair,” Conrad reinvented himself in Boston as Tom Randele, forging a new life as a car salesman and avid golfer. He claimed his wealth came from a family insurance settlement, a fabrication concealing his true past.
Ashley surmised that her father’s dramatic life change stemmed from a troubled youth, possibly influenced by his parents’ divorce. In May 2021, following Conrad’s death, a true crime writer recognized him from his obituary and alerted Elliott, whose father had initially worked on the case. Elliott subsequently met with Ashley to discuss her father’s enigmatic life.
Reflecting on her research, Ashley described the surreal experience of seeing her father’s past laid bare in headlines about bank robberies and fugitive pursuits, recognizing the complex person he was beyond his criminal act.