The First Post- 12-5-10
Stephen Trantel, The Long Island Bank Robber, is scheduled to be released from prison on 1-18-2012. He will have served seven years and eight months for robbing banks in Long Island, New York. Most of the banks lay within a few miles of his home Rockville Centre, where lived with his then wife, Jeanne and two young sons.
The point is not that Stephen received unjust imprisonment. He would be the first to tell you that the sentence was fair. He would also be the first to suggest how he screwed up. His contrition for his crimes is genuine. He lost 92 months in his life for a four-month crime spree.
From July to November of 2003, Stephen Trantel, Wall Street futures trader and staunch family man robbed 10 banks, netting just over 60k. He was not armed and no one was injured during the commission of the crimes. The police dubbed him the Long Island bank robber.
His story has been featured on 48 Hours (Stolen Dreams, 2008), Who the Bleep Did I Marry? (Keeping Up Appearances, 2010) and is scheduled to be told in the new season of American Greed (2011). Following are three links videos and commentary about his story:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/03/13/48hours/main3934226.shtml. (48 hours story)
http://investigation.discovery.com/videos/who-the-bleep-did-i-marry-married-to-a-bank-robber.html (Who the Bleep Did I Marry)
http://nwso.net/2009/07/16/help-i-married-a-bank-robber/ (Naked with Socks On blog)
What intrigued me was that Stephen grew up a regular guy. By all accounts, Stephen was a good husband and father. He had been in trouble only once in his 38 years—a DUI at the age of 18.
Armed with a degree in business from State University of New York (SUNY) in Plattsburgh, he toiled and for 15 years thrived in the cutthroat, frenetic, legalized gambling universe of commodities trading on Wall Street in New York. He traded silver, gold and crude oil futures.
So, how could a 38-year-old father of two, who at his height made 300k gross in one year, end up robbing banks?
That’s what fascinated me when I watched the 48 Hours program about Stephen’s crimes. That is why I’m writing the book– Please Don’t Cancel My Shadow- The Story of Stephen Trantel, The Long Island Bank Robber.
I talk to Stephen twice weekly. This blog will include thoughts from Stephen about life in prison, about how he survived being “just a visitor in the alien world of prison” and about how he maintained a positive outlook and transformed his life.
Most of all, it will serve as a countdown to his release and how he will prepare for life when he walks out the prison door.
How will he earn? The lack of ability to do that is what put Stephen in prison. What will it be like to try to earn in this economy with convicted felon as a resume entry?
With at least twice weekly entries, we will track Stephen’s last year in prison as he prepares to resume his life in the world at age 45, with two young sons of 14 and 11 (his wife divorced him shortly after he entered prison).
His website is www.stephentrantel.com.
My contact information is:
Steve Wyrostek (Mayfield) MBA, BA
8 Harbor Isle Drive
New Buffalo, MI 49117