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Roy James the 'Great Train Robber'... and other criminals


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#51 Cynic2

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Posted 21 September 2018 - 17:24

Perhaps mentioned in earlier threads, but a decent chunk of the IMSA grid of the middle 1980s went away for a while courtesy of the U.S. Government, including two of the three Whittington brothers -- how many other LeMans winners have been in prison for several years?   Randy Lanier, an IMSA champion in a March 83G ("Blue Thunder Racing, " referred to by some as "White Powder Racing"), got a life sentence (recently commuted). 

 

John Paul Sr. was imprisoned for drugs and escape among other activities (he had a huge underground marijuana grow room) and John Paul Jr. was convicted for drug offenses.  This one was rather sad.; he was a teenager doing what his father told him to do.

 

It has long been said down here that John Paul Sr. was convicted of poor marksmanship.  He fired five bullets into an informant stuffed in the trunk of a Mercedes ... and the man lived to sit on the witness stand in court and point at John Paul Sr as the man who attempted to kill him.  Ooops.

 

There were others, well known for their "business" activities then.  As they were never publicly named I won't name them now ... but I'll bet at least one photographer active on here knows about a few of them.  Right, E1Pix? :cool:



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#52 Jim Thurman

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Posted 25 September 2018 - 19:29

Racing drivers on the whole don't seem to be much better than the general population in their law-abidiness (to coin a Palinism).
The 1935 Indy 500 winner Kelly Petillo supposedly died in prison after a conviction for murdering his girlfriend. Motorsport writer Joe Scalzo dubbed him "The Knife" for his expertise with the blade.

 

Oh my! Apparently I was ill when this was posted, as otherwise I never would have let it pass.

 

Kelly Petillo did not die in prison and he did not murder his girlfriend. There are so many myths that surround Petillo, some of which seem to be thanks to "zaggeratin Joe."  His criminal record was vast and needs no embellishment, but I've read some amazing conflations and mergings. At another forum, it somehow became that he was arrested in victory lane at the '500' for "killing a guy."

 

Petillo had many run-ins with the law and did serve some years in an Indiana prison for slashing his ex-secretary with a knife. The nickname 'ol "Nicknamin' Joe" gave him was  "The Shiv." There's no evidence anyone used that term prior to its invention by the author.

 

Kelly Petillo died of emphysema about 11 years after his release from a second stint in prison (for violating parole).



#53 DogEarred

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 09:17

38092_281546394962_211409604962_936943_5

Michael C. Brown took this image of Roy James in his Royale RP21 that he raced in 1976/77 not sure where it is, looks every part a seventies race driver. :smoking:

 

I have the distinction of having raced against Roy James and that RP21.

 

I also raced against Bertrand Gachot quite a few times.

 

Is it true what Aesop said - " A man is known by the company he keeps"?....



#54 Geoff E

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 12:42

The April 2010 cover of "truecrime" magazine has

 

"BONNOT  He was the best racing driver in France - so why turn to crime?"

 

It appears that Jules Bonnot was the leader of an anarchist gang in Paris.  https://en.wikipedia...ki/Jules_Bonnot

 

Best racing driver in France?



#55 Gav Astill

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 15:07

Another piece of work if ever there was one. Climbing the fence into the Cowley compound of unsold cars at night and swapping 6R4 transmissions was the first claim to notoriety, wasn't it? (at about the same time Austin Rover team manager John Davenport went down for fraud?). Pushing a dawdling driver out of the way at speed (and into the opposite carriageway, somewhere near Twickenham, where one or two were killed) was 10 years for manslaughter IIRC - so he'd be long out by now, unless he's been digging himself in deeper, of course.

Sounds like a charming man;  https://www.bbc.co.u...-wales-37341405



#56 Dick Dastardly

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 21:51

What about Nick Whiting? I don't know the details but I believe he was part of the gang involved with the Brinks Mat robbery but was executed by fellow gang members on suspicion of being an informant. Please correct me if I'm wrong..... 



#57 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 04:02

Drag Racer Brett Stevens was charged with drug sales in 2008. He had a big operation, Wild Bunch, Funny car and nitro Harleys. With Jack Daniels sponsorship.  While I feel sure he was quilty, I feel he was stitched up on the extent.

 

A year or two before a top fuel racer Romeo Capitano was also caught, also with drugs.

 

And early 90s some Drag Racers were eventually caught after stealing several racecars, a couple of speedway sedans belonging to Joan Miller and Ivar Benneche, a Sprintcar  belonging to Tony Bartlett and Mark Larkhams Formula Holden complete with truck. Plus the same group also broke into Clem Smiths workshop and stole the complete engine less block from Clems Charger Sports Sedan. Plus GpN Mustang parts as well.

And Peter Finchs workshop and more Sprintcar parts belonging to Tom Tomlinson.

Some of this was recovered, some damaged but a lot never.

All this in  here Adelaide.

 

Many say Drag Racing is drug money and the above indicates it. Though by far from exclusive to Drag racing.

There has been a few others with suspicion in other facets of motorsport as well. One sedan I know of was run on partially council funds!



#58 charles r

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 06:06

What about Nick Whiting? I don't know the details but I believe he was part of the gang involved with the Brinks Mat robbery but was executed by fellow gang members on suspicion of being an informant. Please correct me if I'm wrong..... 

A mention in this article.

 

https://www.independ...t-10365383.html



#59 Michael Ferner

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 09:08

The April 2010 cover of "truecrime" magazine has
 
"BONNOT  He was the best racing driver in France - so why turn to crime?"


That's a stupid question if ever there was one! Don't they know that speed costs money??

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#60 Michael Ferner

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 09:37

Hmm... the 'Driven to Crime" thread is locked, I wonder why? So this one will have to make do.

George Dolan of Newark/NJ, who the local press liked to call "One-lap Dolan" (never saw it explained, so I can only guess the same as you) was convicted to 20 years in prison after murdering his wife on October 31, 1933. To those who have been following my ramblings in the 1946 AAA thread the name may sound familiar - yes, that's the man, back in the sport after an "unexplained" absence of a dozen years...

#61 Jim Thurman

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 17:58

Hmm... the 'Driven to Crime" thread is locked, I wonder why? So this one will have to make do.

George Dolan of Newark/NJ, who the local press liked to call "One-lap Dolan" (never saw it explained, so I can only guess the same as you) was convicted to 20 years in prison after murdering his wife on October 31, 1933. To those who have been following my ramblings in the 1946 AAA thread the name may sound familiar - yes, that's the man, back in the sport after an "unexplained" absence of a dozen years...

 

Great find Michael. Perhaps the local press were derisively referring to an ability to put together a fast lap, but not a full race pace?  :confused:  A "one-lap wonder" so to speak?



#62 Michael Ferner

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 07:17

I figure it had to do with him showing up, doing his time trial lap and then being "trailered", i.e. too slow to start. However, it wasn't quite that bad, he even qualified in the top ten several times. There's a picture of him with his "crate", the Joe Herbert/Dodge in the Radbruch book "Dirt Track Auto Racing" (p207), which shows a somewhat less than pristine car, and there was one comment about him being "an auto racing clown". Perhaps it was just the publicity he craved for.

#63 Jim Thurman

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 17:06

I figure it had to do with him showing up, doing his time trial lap and then being "trailered", i.e. too slow to start. However, it wasn't quite that bad, he even qualified in the top ten several times. There's a picture of him with his "crate", the Joe Herbert/Dodge in the Radbruch book "Dirt Track Auto Racing" (p207), which shows a somewhat less than pristine car, and there was one comment about him being "an auto racing clown". Perhaps it was just the publicity he craved for.

 

Perhaps the nickname was for him doing a single lap in races and then pulling off? Any evidence of that?

 

Not that murder should be excused, by any means, but he still comes off "better" than Ben Musick.



#64 king_crud

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Posted 23 July 2019 - 22:01

I just watched episode 2 of the Netflix series Dirty Money. It follows the downfall of the business and subsequent imprisonment of Scott Tucker. Now I'd never heard of the guy but his interest in Motorsport features strongly in the show, looking at his record he seemed fairly solid as an amateur sportscar driver in America, also did Le Mans

https://en.m.wikiped...r_(businessman)

Worth watching if you have Netflix

#65 Glengavel

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 06:20

Drag Racer Brett Stevens was charged with drug sales in 2008. He had a big operation, Wild Bunch, Funny car and nitro Harleys. With Jack Daniels sponsorship.  While I feel sure he was quilty, I feel he was stitched up on the extent.


If he was quilty he would definitely be stitched up. :)
 

I'll get my coat...

 



#66 Pat Clarke

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 06:50

 that's the man, back in the sport after an "unexplained" absence of a dozen years...

 

Perhaps he had been tiger shooting in India... with a machine gun?

Pat