#SpookySZN: ‘The Sneak’ investigates athletes caught up in their shocking crimes
From USA Today & Wondery, “The Sneak” digs into true crime in the world of sports. Now with three seasons, each eight to nine episodes long, there’s plenty to catch up on. You may know some of the heinous crimes committed by famous athletes, but these are some of the wildest. These aren’t simple doping scandals, Olympic errors, drug smugglings, or illegal possession of a firearm charges. These are far worse.
The first season of “The Sneak” recounts the tale of D.B. Tuber, nicknamed after 1970’s criminal D.B. Cooper who also pulled off a legendary hijacking and robbery. His real name was Anthony J. Curcio, a high school football and baseball star who went on to play football at University of Idaho, fulfilling his childhood dream. But his dream was quickly shattered when he tore his ACL at practice, ending his football career. But this football star became a worldwide sensation in a different way when he pulled off one of the most elaborate armored car heists of all time.
It’s September 30, 2008, in the sleepy town of Monroe, Washington. In a few hours, the U.S. government will bail out some of the largest banks in the country as the stock markets continue to plummet. But first, a man dressed in jeans, a blue shirt, work shoes, a yellow safety vest and painters mask will pepper spray an armored car guard who is pushing a dolly loaded with money into a Bank of America. He will grab two of the bags and run off, being chased by a local realtor into a park where he vanishes into thin air.
The story only unravels farther from there. It involves a Craigslist ad, an inner tube, and a wig. It will take a month before Curcio is apprehended, and in the meantime, the public takes to calling this bank robber D.B. Tuber for his elaborate scheme.
“The Sneak” interviews people who witnessed the crime, who investigated the crime, and who commited the crime. Curcio himself recounts the day minute-by-minute in the fourth episode. Parts of this case remain unsolved and there are corroborators who remain untouched. Curcio worked with several people in this plot, but he refused to name them, and the money he gave his getaway driver and other accomplices was never recovered.
Murders at Whiskey Creek and the disappearance of Mario Rossi
The other two stories covered in subsequent seasons of “The Sneak” are just as outrageous. Champion Surfer Jack Roland Murphy pulled off one of the biggest jewel heists in history, but getting caught in that crime didn’t stop him from commiting more. He went on to commit more robberies and even murder two people.
Mario Rossi’s family was told he died in a plane crash in Bermuda, but early on, the story wasn’t adding up. This was just after the enormous NASCAR drug bust after the 1982 Daytona 500. Authorities believe that owner Billie Harvey and driver Gary Balough grossed over $300 million, both of which were from the team on which Rossi was working as a mechanic. Rossi’s involvement in the drug operation is uncertain, but he remains the most interesting figure in the scandal, as he has never been found. Season 3 of “The Sneak” features this story along with more high-profile interviews with Rossi’s family.
Listen to “The Sneak” for a documentary podcast series on the most spectacular true crime in the sports world.