The story behind the September Brink Heist story
There are few Columbus writers that I admire more than Andrew Welsh-Huggins. A reporter for the Associated Press for more than two decades, he has covered some of the greatest stories of our time, from the death penalty and terrorism to the coronavirus pandemic and racial injustice. But for me, what sets Andrew the most is this: his extraordinary productivity. Despite his demanding daily job, Andrew has written 10 books since 2009, including seven novels in his crime series Andy Hayes in Columbus, the latest of which, “An Empty Grave,” was released in June.
How is it? “I’m a pretty boring but disciplined person,” he says. Every morning before work, Andrew spends a few hours on his personal writing, rain or shine. “My whole thing in life is just to create systems to get things done,” he says.
Over the past year, Andrew has devoted most of his personal writing time to some other type of project. He mainly took a break from fiction to focus on researching and writing a true crime story about Sean Murphy, a notorious burglar who was the mastermind behind the January 2009 heist of a Brink’s warehouse in Columbus, one of the most daring heists of all time. seen in these parts. Andrew has interviewed Murphy 15 times and has racked up thousands of pages of court and law enforcement documents about Murphy’s colorful career, which also includes the theft of the New York Giants’ Super Bowl rings after their 2008 victory. on the New England Patriots. For the September issue of Columbus Monthly, Andrew wrote a captivating report on the Murphy and Brink’s affair, building on this impressive research.
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Andrew’s interest in Murphy began around four years ago when he met retired Columbus FBI agent Harry Trombitas for coffee in Dublin. Trombitas mentioned his desire to write a book about his career. “Then he riffed on the Murphy and Brink’s case, saying, ‘It’s a book in itself,’ Andrew says.
Indeed, after reading Andrew’s story, it’s easy to see the potential for a book exploration of Murphy’s outlaw life. “He’s fun. He’s lively. He’s engaging, expresses himself well, brash, isn’t afraid to stick to his statements,” Andrew says. “I don’t want to make him a hero, but he’s a very entertaining guy. There’s no doubt about it. In fact, Andrew has already written a 60,000 word manuscript on the charismatic criminal and is looking for a literary agent to help him find a publisher.
In the meantime, we are delighted to present Andrew’s work. Her story is a rare and accessible glimpse into a strange and notorious crime, masterfully told by one of our city’s best (and most disciplined) writers.
This story is from the September 2021 issue of Columbus monthly.