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The Unusual Suspect: The Rise and Fall of a Modern-Day Outlaw

| Ballantine Books | 1/19/2021

ISBN-10 : F502738224   ISBN-13 : 9780593129227   List Price : $28.00

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Overview

The remarkable true story of a modern-day Robin Hood: a British college student who started robbing banks as the financial crisis unfolded.

Stephen Jackley was a young British college student when the global financial crisis began in 2007. Overwhelmed by the growing indifference towards economic equality, he became obsessed with the idea of taking on the role of Robin Hood. With no prior experience, he resolved to become a bank robber. He would steal from the rich and give to the poor. Against all likelihood, his plan actually worked.

Jackley used disguises, elaborate escape routes, and fake guns to successfully hold up a string of banks, making away with thousands of pounds. He attempted ten robberies in southwest England over a six-month period. Banknotes marked with "RH"--"Robin Hood"--began finding their way into the hands of the homeless. Motivated by a belief that global capitalism was ruining lives and driving the planet toward ecological disaster, he dreamed of changing the world for the better through his crimes. The police, despite their concerted efforts, had no idea what was going on or who was responsible. That is, until Jackley's ambition got the better of him.

This is his story.

Acclaimed journalist Ben Machell had full and direct access to Stephen Jackley, who in turn shared his complete set of diaries, selections of which are included throughout the narrative. The result lends an intense intimacy and urgency to Jackley's daring and disturbing tale, shedding light on his mental state and the challenges he faced in his own mind and beyond. It wasn't until Jackley was held in custody that he underwent a psychiatric evaluation, resulting in a diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome.

Behind the simple act of bank robbery lies a complex and emotionally wrought story of an individual whose struggles led him to create a world in which he would succeed against all odds. Until he didn't.

"The remarkable true story of a modern-day Robin Hood: a British college student who started robbing banks in the aftermath of the financial crisis. When the global financial crisis of 2007 hit, British college student Stephen Jackley decided to become abank robber, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. Against all likelihood, his plan actually worked. Jackley used disguises, elaborate escape routes, and fake guns to hold up a string of banks, making off with thousands of pounds. He committed ten robberies in Southwest England over a six-month period. After Jackley successfully hid his loot high up in the trees of nearby parks, bank notes marked "RH"--for Robin Hood--began finding their way into the hands of the homeless. The police, despite their concerted efforts, had no idea what was going on or who was responsible. That is, until Jackley's ambition got the better of him. Eventually extradited from a U.S. prison after an arrest on American soil, and sent back to his native Britain, Jackley wrote of his fears for the world, humanity "standing on the brink of massive change," detailing his deeply revealing, morally complex motivations for the robberies. Resolving to rectify the damage he saw done at the hands of the world's richest people--one-fifth of the entire human population--he believed that our planet "could only endure so much destruction before being irreversibly destroyed." Woven throughout the narrative are entries from Jackley's many diaries, lending an intense intimacy and urgencyto the story and shedding light on Stephen's mental state and the challenges he faced in his own mind and beyond"--

Product Details

  • ISBN-10: 0593129229
  • ISBN-13: 9780593129227
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 272
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