Recently, I saw that former spy and bank robber Christopher Boyce had not only been released from Federal prison, but that he had written a book on his experiences titled, American Sons: The Untold Story of the Falcon and the Snowman. When I saw he was also off parole and completely free now, I sent him a friendly message congratulating him on his book, his release...and to send him down Memory Lane about an incident that happened back in 1981. This happened while he was on escape from the Feds, and knocking off banks up here in Washington State and Idaho.
Back in 1981, I worked for a while on a small car lot in Federal Way, Washington, selling used cars. One day, I was alone there while everyone else was at lunch. A guy wanders in on foot and asks me which of the three Mustangs we had on the lot out there was the best. I pointed out a white Mustang and he asked me the price. Eleven hundred, I told him. (good old days of cheap cars) Then he asks me if we have a bathroom. Sure, around the corner there. He tells me to go ahead and write up the sale. I ask if he wants a test drive, maybe hear it run. He says if I say it runs good, that's okay by him. He goes to the bathroom and comes back a few minutes later with this big stack of bills.
Five, ten, twenty, twenty-one, whatever...he's counting out different denominations of bills until he reaches the total price of the car, plus tax and license, of course. This wasn't really unusual back then, since most of our cars cost less than $2,500 and the majority of people paid by cash or check. I give him the keys and the paperwork and he leaves. My boss comes back, he's happy. Sales have been slow.
The next day....two guys in suits show up on the lot. My boss is sitting in the corner of the office, and I am behind the desk. They show me this grainy black and white photo and ask me if I have seen this guy, or did he buy a car? They didn't say who he was, or why they were looking for him, but they said he dumped a stolen car at the old Diamond Jim's restaurant next door. The suits are looking at me, but my boss is over there in the corner giving me the 'wave' to say no...so I said no.
Truth was, I didn't really recognize the guy who bought the car from the crappy black and white picture the suits showed me. It was no bigger than the smallest-sized school photos you typically see. Maybe three inches tall by two inches wide. After the suits left, (I think they were Federal marshals) my boss told me he didn't want them seizing the money on just a 'maybe' for some wanted guy.
A few months later, the Feds finally catch Boyce at a drive-in restaurant up in Port Angeles. His picture is in the paper. Much better picture. I recognize him right away. Mustang guy. That's him, all right. I didn't see any sense in telling anyone about it since they had him back anyway, and I thought I might get into trouble for selling him the car. I was no longer working at the car lot, either. I sent Boyce a friendly message recently taking him down Memory Lane about this incident. I also wished him well in his new life and congratulated him on his book, which I recently ordered. I've wondered if he remembers, or mentions this incident in his book. Doesn't sound like he kept the Mustang long, since when they caught him at the drive-in restaurant...he was in a big, four-door Buick.