Try to imagine the scene of a bank robbery. A man armed with a gun walks into your local branch. He threatens the cashier, ordering her to hand over the money. He seems exceedingly confident. This unknown assailant must be terrifying to her, the other employees ,and their clients, except…
Except the man in question isn’t wearing a mask. His face is completely unobscured, and visible for all to see – including the branch’s security cameras. The man would rob another bank later that same day, utilizing exactly the same method. What on earth made him think he could get away with this? Did he craft some ingenious method to evade modern security systems? Did he crack under the pressure of the situation? Or was he just insanely brazen? The answer may shock you, and placed him firmly in the annals of one of history’s stupidest criminals.
There are countless stories of witless robbers and less than genius criminals. Wheeler might well have just joined that endless list, and been completely forgotten, were it not for the method that he used and that he was so sure would land him safely on easy street, instead of in the big house. That bank robber will not be forgotten, because the method he used – later discovered by a psychologist who decided to examine whether it hinted at something greater in the human psyche – changed the way we perceive behavior forever. Read on to discover how one idiot made us all smarter.
[post_page_title]The maskless bandit[/post_page_title]
One morning in 1995, an armed man walked into a bank in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and robbed it at gunpoint. A few hours later, he robbed another. Even more unusual? The fact that the man wore no mask. His face was plainly visible, not only to the people inside but also to security cameras, which captured footage of the robbery. At 5 feet 6 inches tall and 270 pounds, the man – 45-year-old McArthur Wheeler – didn’t exactly disappear into a crowd, and yet he was completely convinced he would never be caught. When cops later showed up on his doorstep, the only thing he could utter was, “But I wore the juice.”