The story of Karls Monzon is, in so many ways, an extraordinary one. For true-crime buffs, it’s especially fascinating not only because of the inherently pulse-pounding nature of Monzon’s crimes but for the impressive way in which he was caught and for the cautionary tale that that capture provides.
In short, Monzon was an ordinary man who, for a long time, lived an upright life. But after a crucial turning point, he chose to “break bad” and become a bank robber.
For those who haven’t yet watched the “Money Plane” episode of the Netflix series Heist, the following will contain spoilers.
Karls Monzon: Master Thief
Karls Monzon is an immigrant from Cuba who escaped from that country in search of a better life in southern Florida. By all accounts, he was an extremely hardworking and decent man.
He was a diligent employee at a towing company for years, and his friends all recall him as a caring man who was willing to give others the shirt off his back.
Monzon also deeply loved his wife Brandy. But despite all of that love and his unflagging efforts to care for her, she just could not conceive a child. Brandy Monzon miscarried twice and underwent all sorts of fertility treatments, none of which were helpful.
To start a family, Karls and his wife needed money, and that’s where the idea to turn to crime was born.
Karls’ brother-in-law and uncle-in-law orchestrated a plan to nab $7.4 million from a warehouse at Miami International Airport on November 6, 2005.
Astonishingly, the heist went off without a hitch, and Monzon and his team made off with the money. Karls did a few commonsensical things to keep from being caught, like being careful not to leave his DNA or fingerprints anywhere and not drastically changing his lifestyle so as not to attract attention.
Unfortunately, one of the members of his heist crew, Jeffrey Boatwright, was not so smart. To keep Boatright quiet, other heist crew members orchestrated a plot to kidnap him and hold him for ransom though Monzon insists he was not involved in this.
In any event, the FBI and ICE eventually brought Monzon into custody and forced him to participate in a sting operation to rescue Boatright.
For his participation in the raid and a guilty plea to his theft, Monzon was given a sentence of a mere 17 years in jail, of which he served only nine.
Interestingly, however, $6 million of the stolen $7.4 million still remains unaccounted for. Does Monzon have it? Has someone else taken it? No one knows.