Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

AMBUSH: THE BRINKS ROBBERY OF 1981

The Links Are Uncovered

David Gilbert mugshot
David Gilbert mugshot

The F.B.I. entered the case immediately since deposits in the Nanuet National Bank are insured by F.D.I.C. Any theft that involves such funds constitutes a federal crime. Through their intelligence files, agents were able to ascertain that Boudin, Gilbert and Clark had previous connections with the Weathermen organization. Boudin, of course, had been on the run since 1970 from the Manhattan townhouse explosion and Gilbert was being sought for assault and possession of explosives in Colorado. Clark had served a prison sentence for her role in the "Days of Rage" demonstration. After police conducted their initial investigation, they quickly arrived at several conclusions. Somehow, over the previous ten years, the Black Liberation Army and the Weather Underground, a militant faction of the Students for a Democratic Society, had teamed forces. This unlikely coalition was apparently committing robberies to obtain funds for the advancement of their respective "causes."

In Rockland County, one of the lead investigators on the case was Detective Jim Stewart, who had helped capture the three suspects at the Honda crash. "The case was massive, just massive. To give you an idea, we logged in over 10,000 pieces of evidence those first few days. The crime scenes included the Nanuet Mall, the rear of the Korvette's, the Mountainview shootout scene, which in itself was huge, the Honda crash site and various safe houses," he said recently.

Police quickly traced the license plate on the white Buick to an apartment in East Orange, New Jersey that was rented by a Carol Durant. A Joint Terrorist Task Force entered the apartment on the afternoon of October 21. They found a supply of automatic weapons, shotguns, ammunition, bomb-making material and something else that made their blood run cold: detailed blueprints of six Manhattan police precincts. Investigators also were able to identify the "Carol Durant" as an alias used by a girl named Marilyn Jean Buck.

Buck grew up in Austin, Texas, the daughter of a minister. She attended the University of California at Berkeley and, later, the University of Texas. Always socially conscious, Buck became interested in the S.D.S. and was soon working for the organization. She then gravitated toward California where she was arrested in 1973 for buying a large quantity of ammunition and two guns for B.L.A. members. Buck was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in federal prison. When she was granted a furlough in 1977, she never returned and her long run from the police began. It was Marilyn Buck who rented the apartment in East Orange and she was also the owner of the white Buick used in the Brink's robbery.

While at the apartment, cops also found papers that listed an address on E. Third Street in Mt. Vernon, N.Y., a small city in Westchester County about 20 miles from Nanuet. When cops raided that apartment on Third Street, they found bloody clothing, ammunition, more guns and ski masks. Investigation later revealed that the bloody clothing belonged to Marilyn Buck who had accidentally shot herself in the leg when she tried to draw her weapon during the shootout at Mountainview.

White Buick
White Buick

The next day, late in the afternoon, police located the Buick that was seen fleeing with the yellow Honda after the Brink's robbery. It was parked on a lonely side street in Pelham, N.Y., a small village about 20 miles from Nanuet. There were parking tickets on the windshield and the doors were unlocked. It was found less than a half-mile from the Mt. Vernon address. All the plates on the vehicles seen near the Mt. Vernon address were entered into the nationwide N.C.I.C. system. Cops didn't have to wait long for a "hit."

Categories
Advertisement