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The Audubon Caper: Untold Story of the Theft of an American Treasure Paperback – March 22, 2012

4.8 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 164 pages
  • Publisher: Black Rose Writing (March 22, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612960944
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612960944
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,700,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
R. Murry's The Audubon Caper is a fast-paced story. There are so many things going on in this creative non-fiction tale. One of the greatest things about this book is that it's based on a true story. I kept thinking about that as I read, noting that definitely truth can be stranger than fiction. Murry's writing lets us really get to know him. He's frequently very open about his thoughts and feelings throughout the tale, something I really enjoyed. We see him get caught up in drugs, booze, and sex, very fitting for the `60s/`70s scene--yet he graduates from college and accomplishes a lot, such as surviving Viet Nam and a number of other military feats.

The story keeps us on our toes, shifting from the present and going into the past, and around again. Murry tells us one of the reasons he gets involved in stealing the Audubon paintings is because of being loosened up by cocaine and scotch. His rich college buddy van Zandt ends up roping Murry into the theft by using the powers of friendship. In addition, Murry has vowed to van Zandt's father to keep an eye on him, keeping him out of prison. We see Murry getting in way over his head and that's before we learn about the big named mafia guys who are connected to van Zandt.

Much of the story takes place in Key West, where the theft and the trial take place. Murry's colorful description of Key West is well done, as are his noting of details of his characters, giving us a rundown of what they wear and drink. We get a really good historical sense of the significance of the Audubon paintings, something Murry does well. It's also fascinating how easily these artistic treasures are taken.

Dancing with the FBI is one of the best parts of the story.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For Georgie, who has no computer: He read it during three seating on the bathroom throne.

The book is a page turner. I enjoyed the character development, the use of going back in time while taking the trip to court. Watching the story develop through the eyes of the star witness, who was on the hot seat, was well done.

More at [...]
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I cannot imagine the kind of life author Roy Murry has lived, but fortunately for me I don't have to. Mr. Murry does an outstanding job of describing his erstwhile adventures as every thing from a 5th Special Forces' Green Beret to a person under the protecton of the U.S. Governmenat's Witness Protection Program.

More specifically, Murry's book is about how and why he inadvertantly became a major player in the theft of Audubon's Bird's of America prints from Mr. Audubon's art gallery in Key West, Florida.

Murry relates his recollectons and experiences with a great deal of candor in this creative non-fiction tale. The Audubon Caper is a hair-raising, eye-opening story that you simply won't want to miss, particularly if you desire an inside glimpse into how one of our intelligence agencies conducts some of its covert operations.

I very much enjoyed the Audubon Caper and recommend it highly.

Carol Marrs Phipps, Author of Elf Killers and The heart of the Staff Series
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
From the opening chapter, this book captured my interest and set the stage for what was to come. The Audubon Caper is a riveting and unvarnished account of the author’s role in a major art heist and involvement with some very unsavory characters who ultimately threaten his life. He gives us a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to be a government informant and enter the federal Witness Protection Program.

I enjoyed the way this book took me back to the 1970s and those tumultuous days of Watergate and the end of the Vietnam War. Perhaps this resonated even more with me because I’m a member of that generation, and remember the tremendous societal and cultural upheaval and explosion of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll.

After distinguished service in Vietnam as a Green Beret, Roy Murry is on his way to a conventional life and job as an accountant when he meets Francis “Forrest” van Zandt. What starts as a friendship ultimately puts Roy in the midst of a plot to steal more than 400 Audubon prints valued at $400,000 from the Audubon House in Key West, Florida. One of my favorite parts of the book is his compelling account of transporting the prints. He’s driving on a dark highway, belting down scotches, and having an intense debate with himself over the choices he’s made. Love this narrative: “Looking in the mirror I saw a young man ready for a change in his present life’s pattern. Educated yes, but not using his intelligence very well. In my new life, I would emphasize my peace of mind.”

This perspective is relevant beyond the scope of the story. We all find ourselves in situations we didn’t intend, when the path we’re on takes a jagged turn, and we’re faced with tough choices. What defines us is not how we got there, but how we go about setting things right. Bravo to Mr. Murry for a wonderful tale about the choices we make, consequences and redemption.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had a long career as cop and during that time I laid out the infamous option of "work for me or go to prison" many times. Roy Murry tells his story of when that option was given to him. He made the mistake of thinking that simply delivering a kilo of cocaine would be a quick deal for easy money. It was... until a federal agent came knocking on his door. Roy then found out he no longer controlled his life.

Murry tells his story with keen wit, sharp observation and personal soul searching. The story starts out a little slowly but then it grabbed me like a fast current and carried me into a turbulent sea of danger, intrigue and betrayal. You'll have to read this true story to figure out who created the intrigue and who betrayed who.

If you are interested in stories of investigations of major crime conspiracies told from the inside, you must read this book. Based on my experience, I can tell you every word rings true. A great read.
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