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The 1974 Kidnapping Of Jack Teich

Teich lay handcuffed and chained to the walls of a closet in the Bronx with a medical bandage wrapped around his head to cover his eyes. His captors demanded that his wife, Janet, drop a bag with $750,000 (the equivalent of four million dollars in today’s currency) in a locker at Penn Station, making the Jack Teich ransom one of the highest in U.S. history at the time. FBI and Nassau County police detectives spent over a year before finally uncovering the meticulously planned kidnapping ploy hatched by radical mastermind Richard Warren Williams. The FBI internally dubbed the Jack Teich kidnapping operation “Jacknap.”

The real-life crime drama that followed proved stranger than fiction, involving a tense across-the-country manhunt, a trailer in California stuffed with tens of thousands of ransom dollars hidden inside, a contentious jury trial that dominated NYC headlines for months; a guilty verdict that was overturned twenty-one years later on a controversial technicality; a retrial stymied by a mysterious fire that incinerated court records; and a civil verdict ruling that the kidnapper pay Jack Teich back the ransom money, plus interest. Operation Jacknap tells the incredible true crime story that continues even now. Indeed, as of this writing, no one knows where the majority of the ransom money is located.

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