The Notorious Biggs, the ‘Great Train Robber’ of Britain, Escapes Again

Achieved fame by escaping prison, eluding justice for decades

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Ronnie Biggs, who achieved worldwide fame for taking part in the Great Train Robbery of 1963 and then playing cat-and-mouse with U.K. police for 35 years, has died aged 84.

The train heist was the most spectacular British crime of its time, and rendered a booty equivalent of $70 million in today’s money. All perpetrators were caught within a month, but Biggs managed to break out of prison little over a year later.

Over the coming decades, Biggs nurtured a celebrity image by openly entertaining tourists at his Rio de Janeiro home, and defying repeated attempts by Scotland Yard to have him deported, even escaping a brazen kidnapping carried out by a private security firm.

As his health wavered, he returned to England to serve out his prison term, but was given a compassionate release in 2009. He is survived by his wife and three sons.