The Hidden Life of Thomas Randele

by | Feb 15, 2022 | Anonymous Living, Fugitive, New Identity | 1 comment


Man’s 50-year secret: A fugitive with a New Identity

For more than 50 years, a Boston man named Thomas Randele kept secret that no one, not even his family, knew until his death last May. Before passing, Randele’s wife of nearly 40 years invited his golfing buddies and co-workers to their home to say goodbye. They all came to bid farewell to a man they knew as one of the nicest people, a devoted family man who never bent the rules.

The Secret of a New Identity

By the time Randele’s friends visited him for the last time, cancer had taken his voice. They left without knowing their friend had never told them his biggest secret: he was living under a new identity. For the past 50 years, he was a fugitive wanted in one of the largest bank robberies in Cleveland’s history. Randele had created this new identity just six months after the heist in the summer of 1969. Not even his wife or daughter knew until his deathbed confession.

The Bank Robbery That Sparked an Identity Change

Ted Conrad, who later became Thomas Randele, quickly noticed the loose security at the Society National Bank in Cleveland when he started as a teller in January 1969. He told his high school buddy, Russell Metcalf, that it would be easy to walk out with money. Conrad’s friends thought he was joking, but he proved them wrong. Just a day after his 20th birthday that July, he walked out at closing time with a paper bag stuffed with $215,000 from the vault, equivalent to $1.6 million today.

The Escape and Creation of a New Legal Identity

By the following Monday, Conrad was flying across the country when the missing money was noticed. He wrote letters to his girlfriend, indicating stops in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles within the first week. He mistakenly believed he could return in seven years when the statute of limitations expired, but once indicted, that was no longer true. Conrad cut off contact with his entire family, including his siblings and parents.

The Life of Thomas Randele

Investigators recently discovered that Thomas Randele came into existence in January 1970. Conrad walked into a Social Security Administration office in Boston, requested a social security number under his new name, made himself two years older, and began building his new identity, including a valid US passport. Waiting until adulthood for an SSN wasn’t unusual then, so his application raised no red flags. Conrad opened bank accounts, built credit, and created a new life as Randele. He even applied for and received a second passport.

During the 1970s, Randele worked as an assistant golf pro, giving lessons at a country club outside Boston and later becoming its manager. According to his obituary, he spent winters golfing in Florida. He met his future wife soon after arriving in Boston, and they married in 1982. Around then, he began working in the car business, selling Land Rovers and Volvos at several dealerships until his retirement nearly 40 years later.

The Consequences of a New Identity

Randele and his wife filed for bankruptcy protection in 2014, owing $160,000 in credit card debt with few assets. Matt Kaplan, who managed two dealerships where Randele worked, called him the definition of a gentleman. Randele’s friends couldn’t believe his true identity when it was revealed. But looking back, certain things made sense: his constant beard, photos wearing dark sunglasses on the golf course, and his reluctance to discuss his past or extended family.

The Legacy of Thomas Randele

“You could never pry anything from him,” said Brad Anthony, another close friend. “Maybe he had a bad childhood and didn’t want to discuss it.” Despite his past, Randele’s friends still held him in high regard. “The man I knew didn’t change suddenly because of something he did a lifetime ago,” said Healy. “He was a good man; he was my friend, and I think no less of him today than I did before this all came out.”

How Fugitives Use New Identities

Thomas Randele’s story is a prime example of how fugitives use new identities to disappear legally. Creating a new legal identity involves more than just changing your name; it requires building a new life. This often includes obtaining a new social security number, creating a valid passport, and establishing credit. Fugitives must be disciplined and avoid missteps that could reveal their true identity.

The Process of New Identity Creation

The process of creating a new identity is complex and requires careful planning. It starts with choosing a new name and backstory. Next, obtaining a new social security number and other identification documents is crucial. Building a new credit history and establishing a new life with employment and social connections are essential. Each detail must be meticulously crafted to ensure the new identity can withstand scrutiny.

Case Studies in Identity Change

Thomas Randele’s story is not unique. Numerous other fugitives have successfully created new identities to evade capture. For instance, the infamous case of Frank Abagnale, who inspired the movie “Catch Me If You Can,” shows how skillful manipulation of identities can allow one to live undetected for years. Another example is the case of John List, who evaded capture for 18 years by creating a new identity after committing multiple murders.

The Unsolved Cases of Long-Term Fugitives

Several fugitives have remained undetected for decades, creating new identities and disappearing from the public eye. These cases provide fascinating insights into the art of evasion.

William Bradford Bishop

In 1976, William Bradford Bishop, a former State Department employee, allegedly murdered his wife, mother, and three sons in Maryland. After the brutal killings, he disappeared and has remained at large for over 40 years. Bishop is believed to have used his knowledge of languages and international travel to create a new identity and evade capture. He remains undiscovered despite extensive efforts, including a spot on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list.

Robert Fisher

In 2001, Robert Fisher allegedly killed his wife and two children before setting their house on fire in Scottsdale, Arizona. Fisher has been on the run for over 20 years, and authorities believe he may be living under a new identity. His survival skills and ability to live off the grid have made him a challenging target for law enforcement.

Raymond “RJ” McLeod

Raymond McLeod, a former Marine, is wanted for the 2016 murder of his girlfriend, Krystal Mitchell, in San Diego. McLeod has evaded capture for over seven years and is believed to be living under a new identity in Central America or Mexico. Despite being one of the most wanted fugitives, he eludes authorities.

Conclusion: Safe Disappearance and Identity Protection

In conclusion, the story of Thomas Randele, formerly Ted Conrad, highlights the lengths someone can go to protect their identity and disappear safely. Understanding the process and learning from real-life case studies can provide valuable insights for those seeking a new identity. Creating a new identity requires careful planning, discipline, and a thorough understanding of the legal and social systems. By following these steps, one can achieve a safe and successful disappearance.

Final Thoughts on New Identity Creation

The process of new identity creation is not for the faint-hearted. It requires meticulous planning, unwavering discipline, and a deep understanding of the systems in place. By studying the cases of successful identity changes, one can gain valuable insights into the strategies and techniques used to create a new life. Creating a new identity can be a path to a fresh start, whether for protection, starting anew, or evading past mistakes.

If you would like to work with a professional team that can help make your transition to a life of freedom, contact Amicus Int. for New Identity services today.