WHERE THE MONEY WAS by Willie & Edward Linn Sutton


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Willie ""the Actor"" Sutton is the world's virtuoso bank robber, a Nureyev who has knocked over nearly a hundred banks with unfailing style. He changes his features as effectively as Brando, he pioneers new safe-cracking techniques, he plans his capers with the thoroughness of a Restoration comedy; and he is the world's greatest escape artist, having acted his way out of three escape-proof prisons. Asked once why he robbed banks, Willie replied, ""That's where the money is."" But the loot was not really the point. ""Twenty thousand or forty thousand, what was the difference? . . . During the planning of a robbery, you are in a constant state of excitement. From the time you disarm the guard to the time you enter the vault, all of your juices are flowing. And then comes the exhilaration of getting into the vault, the satisfaction of escape, and a temporary sense of happiness that it has come off exactly as you had planned."" He was captured only when his accomplices ratted (""You involve yourself with a very low grade of character when you become a thief""). His memoir necessarily tells much about prison life--Sing Sing, Attica, and others--and his legal maneuvers to win parole (it became a kind of Christmas pardon). At 75, retired to Florida, he's also a gifted gabber sorting a life's swag of anecdotes.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1976
Publisher: Viking