Unsolved Mysteries of the World
Where is Ted Conrad?
Its been 50 years and Ted Conrad has yet to be found. In 1969, Ted Conrad was a young, twenty year old man with a fascination with Steve McQueen and the movie The Thomas Crown Affair, one that McQueen starred in and was released that same year.
Nothing was extraordinary about Ted Conrad and we wouldn't even be talking about him if not for the fact that he is one of the unsolved mysteries from the FBI vault.
This is Unsolved Mysteries of the World Season 5 Episode 13 Where is Ted Conrad?
It was Friday, June 11, 1969. Richard Nixon was the US President and the war Vietnam was spiraling out of control. David Bowie just released Space Oddity to radio stations and The Sprague Electric Company delivered a 1.5 inche diameter silicon disc to NASA, containing 73 "messages of good will from the leaders of the world's nations to be flown and left on the Moon"
It was a time of great tension and of great optimism.
At the time it was neither for Ted Conrad. Ted graduated from high school a year previous, in August and was well admired by friends, got excellent grades and scored 135 on an IQ test. He landed a job at the Society National Bank's Public Square Headquarters as a bank vault packager and for seven months worked steadily, proficiently and without much notice. Each day he would package money that would be sent to various banks across Cleveland.
In the evenings he would watch and re-watch the Steve McQueen movie The Thomas Crown Affair that was playing in the local cinema. McQueen played a bored high-society millionaire who orchestrated a $2.6 million bank robbery for sport -- to pit his wits against investigators'.
And according to his friends he started to act the part. He'd show off his fluent French and his billiards prowess, which one friend described as "tournament-quality." He drove a two-seat MG sports car and proclaimed his love for Porsches and Calvert gin.
Ted told one bank employee that the bank would be an easy heist and even said, “'I could do this and nobody would know it until it was over.”
Ted's chance came that second week of July: His supervisor was hospitalized for surgery, and he was left largely unsupervised. At lunch he returned to work with a plain paper bag containing a fifth of Canadian Club whiskey and a carton of smokes -- into the vault with him. No one thought twice when he signed out for the weekend carrying the same bag -- filled, authorities believe, with $50 and $100 bills totally $215,000 or $1.8 Million in today's money.
At 7:26 p.m., outside Teds Clifton Boulevard apartment, he waved goodbye to his landlady and climbed into a cab. He got out 26 minutes later at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. There, he called his girlfriend and told her he was going to Erie, Pa., for a rock concert and would return the following day.
On Monday bank employees noticed Ted had not made it into work. They called him at his home to make sure he was OK. They waited several hours and had not heard from Ted who was always at work on time and had not missed a day. When the vault money was counted before deliveries could be made employees alerted their manager that money was missing – a lot of money.
The bank did a quick recount and noted the missing bills. They quickly called police and an investigation was mounted. It took a week before the newspaper reported on the crime but people were fascinated by the Apollo Moon Mission and Landing that week and disregarded the news.
Ted Conrad, just like most Americans, knew of the scheduled launch and build up to the major event and probably timed his crime to hide within the shadows of the moon.
That week, the FBI got involved in the search for Ted Conrad. They tracked Ted to the Cleveland National Airport where they believed he sat on a flight to Washington DC. Later, this was confirmed when Ted's girlfriend reported receiving a letter from him about a week after the robbery that was postmarked from that location. The FBI then intercepted another letter to his girlfriend from Ted that was postmarked Inglewood, California where LAX is located.
“I do want to write thought I only ask that you burn the envelopes so that the authorities don't get the postmarks,” he wrote in the letter.
The FBI had leads that he was or was in California, Colorado, Virginia, New York, Hawaii and even Australia.