He helped pull off the "heist of the century" -- the theft of $7 million from the Glasgow to London royal mail train. Jailed, he scaled a prison wall, underwent plastic surgery in Paris and vanished.
Scotland Yard detectives tracked him to Brazil. Jailed in Rio, Britain's most-wanted man was sprung on a last-minute technicality: his Brazilian mistress was pregnant with his child.
Grinning like a fox, Great Train Robber Ronald Biggs, 51, returned to his adopted Rio today, having successfully wriggled out of yet another attempt to keep him behind bars.
"Marvelous! I love Brazil," he said with a smile as he hoisted his 6-year-old son Mike onto his shoulders.
Just 24 hours earlier, Biggs was in a Bridgetown, Barbados, jail awaiting extradition to Britain to serve the remaining 28 years on his 1963 robbery sentence.
Today, sipping beer in his beachfront apartment here, Biggs told how six former British paratroopers kidnapped him from a Rio steak house 40 days ago. f
"A guy behind me put a hammerlock around my neck, and another punched me in the stomach," he said. After shoving him into a van, the kidnappers stuffed Biggs into a canvas bag, flew him to the river port of Belem and sailed him to Barbados aboard a yacht.
"At no time did I cooperate with them," Biggs said. "They told me, 'we have Mikey, and if you don't shut up, your son will suffer.'"
While Biggs was in jail, the ringleader of his kidnappers, John McKillop was getting married at the Barbados Holiday Inn. McKillop runs a London private detective agency, but Biggs said he never learned who paid McKillop to seize him.
A Barbados court ordered Biggs' extradition to Britain, but on an appeal the extradition treaty between Britain and Barbados was ruled unvalid since it had never been ratified by Barbados and Biggs was set free.