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Retired agent Neil Herman and retired NYPD Detective/Lt. Kevin Hallinan review the three-year crime spree in the New York metropolitan area that culminated on October 20, 1981, when 11 members of the Weather Underground, a radical domestic terrorist group, carried out a Brink’s armored car robbery at the Nanuet Mall in Nyack, New York.
Using high-powered weapons, the terrorist group stole 1.6 million dollars, and shot and killed Brink’s guard Peter Paige. During their getaway, they also shot and killed Nyack Police Department Sgt. Edward J. O’Grady, Jr. and Police Officer Waverly “Chipper” Brown.
This case, code-named NYROB, was the first major investigation of the FBI-NYPD Joint Terrorism Task Force formed in 1980 to investigate the growing number of terrorist acts targeting the New York.
Neil and Kevin also discuss modern terrorism and the early days of the multi-agency FBI-NYPD Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) partnership, the first in the county. See below to link to the original Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the FBI and NYPD.
Special Agent (Retired)
1973 – 1998
“The tragedy at Nyack, New York, set off a wave of investigations with the Joint Terrorism Task Force that literally wrote the book on how the FBI and the NYPD would parley and work together.”—Retired Agent Neil Herman
Neil Herman served in the FBI for 26 years. During his career, he primarily worked national and international terrorism investigations, including coordinating the fugitive hunt for major players in the Brink’s armored car robbery. As supervisor in the New York Field Office of a Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) from 1992 until 1998, he coordinated the activities of federal, state, and local investigators.
Neil supervised many notable cases, including TWA Flight 800, which was one of the largest investigations in the Bureau’s history, and the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, which at the time was the single greatest act of terrorism committed on US soil.
While leading the task force, his team accomplished five extraterritorial renditions/extraditions of international terrorism subjects to the US to stand trial. He has appeared on-camera in hundreds of interviews regarding terrorism-related matters on 60 Minutes and all major networks, CNN, FOX, ABC, CBS, and NBC.
NYPD Det/Lt. (Retired)
1961 – 1986
“Small town police officers being killed like that was a unifying cry to law enforcement that we all had targets on our backs and we best come together to bring this reign of terror to an end.”—Retired NYPD Det/Lt. Kevin Hallinan
Retired Det/Lt. Kevin Hallinan served in the New York Police Department (NYPD) for 25 years. He was the co-commander of the F.B.I./NYPD Joint Terrorism Task Force and, on four occasions during his law enforcement career, the director of the FBI cited him for his contributions in fighting the war on terrorism. Kevin holds over 30 citations from the NYPD and has testified before the U.S. Congress on domestic terrorism and venue security. He received the U.S. Attorney General Award for Exceptional Public Service.
After leaving the NYPD, he served as senior vice president of security and facility management for Major League Baseball (MLB) for over 20 years.
He managed the full spectrum of security resources and programs for all 30 Major League Baseball Clubs, and conducted numerous investigations relative to due diligence and misconduct, deemed a threat to the integrity of baseball. Kevin is the author of Over the Wall: From the Dangerous Streets of NYC…Through the Birth of Counterterrorism and Beyond, his memoir from beat cop to detective and fighting terrorism alongside the FBI.
The following are links to articles about the Nyack, NY Brink’s armored car robbery in 1981 and the formation of the FBI/NYPD JTTF:
Time Magazine – 11/2/1981: Bullets from the Underground (slow to load)
Daily News – 10-20-2022: Look back at the 1981 Brink’s robbery in Nanuet, NY
Rockland/Westchester Journal News – 10/21/2021: Brinks robbery-murders: After 40 years, ‘the wounds remain’ for family of victims
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin Volume -11/1981: Joint FBI-NYPD Task Forces – A Study in Cooperation (MOU)
FBI Website – 12/8/2015: Model Partnership—New York Joint Terrorism Task Force Celebrates 35 Years
During their case review, Neil Herman and Kevin Hallinan mentioned these investigations previously covered by FBI Retired Case File Review:
Episode 060: Rick Hahn – FALN, Terrorists for Puerto Rican Independence
Episode 047: Richard Marquise – Lockerbie Bombing of Flight 103
260: John Anticev – 1993 World Trade Center Bombing
261: John Anticev – 1993 WTC Bombing, TERRSTOP, Informant Emad Salem
1981 Brink’s Armored Car Robbery Photos
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Outstanding Episode both guests were extremely articulate & had amazing recall of the events of the Brinks Case. Over the Wall was a fantastic read. It tells a story about great police work, comrodery, & sacrifice from beginning to end. Looking forward to future episodes.
Thanks for listening!