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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Dumb And Dumber-Anthony Prince and the Year of Broken Pathways

It's a good thing we Australians have a droll sense of humour. Otherwise why would I choose to feature the first post about one of my fellow countrymen, who achieved international notoriety by carrying out (along with one accomplice) what was termed:-"possibly the most inept bank robbery of all time". The stunt earned Anthony Prince and Luke Carroll the names 'Dumb and Dumber'. They were both holidaying in the glamorous ski resort town of Vail, Colarado and came from solid loving middle class families.

The reason I feature the life of Anthony Prince is that he (along with Luke Carroll) were both 19 at the time of the robbery and were thus in their first adult year of 'Broken Pathways'. Anthony chose to speak out about his life in a national TV Show called 'Australian Story' and he left an excellent psychological profile of just what it means to feel somewhat 'out of control' and suddenly have your direction altered and have to slowly accommodate to the changes over the remaining years of the cycle till his next 'Year of Revolution' at age 24.

He couldn't tell it any better than if I had access to an in-depth interview and asked just what I wanted. This material is similar to the 'Wolf of Wall Street' biography because it is detailed, exact and describes 'Life Cycles' as if they knew about it. Remember I do all my work second hand.

Their own defence lawyer described this crime as "absurd". Carroll and Prince robbed the Weststar bank in Vail, a place where they were regular customers and well known to the tellers. Their Australian accents made easy picking even though they wore ski masks. They also wore name tags from the sports store they worked at. Their getaway was to board a chair lift about a quarter mile away and snow-board down the opposite side of the mountain and go home. They took photos with the cash in a McDonald's toilet and tried to buy one-way tickets to Mexico the next day. Told they couldn't, they opted for a round trip. The FBI already had mugshots, because they were arrested in January that year, for shooting out windows with a paintball gun. A police officer recognised them from the FBI flyer and their accents and arrested them as they tried to pass through airport security. More could be said about what they did with the money, including trying to flush $800 down the holding cell toilet, but I think by now you've got the picture.

Hollywood could not do better if they tried. What were they thinking? This was the brain snap to end all brain snaps. Now Anthony Prince was interviewed about all this. Just how did it happen? He tells how he was overawed by Vail:- "everywhere you look, flashy cars, money, houses....this was the Mecca". "We were two Aussie larrikins out for a good time....up early, in bed late, trying to get into clubs with fake ID's etc," They were amazed they could buy paintball guns in Walmart, so that's what they did.

Shooting out window panes with the guns got them arrested, but unfortunately it didn't slow them down. "We felt like we could get away with anything....and we were like how crazy would it be to take these BB guns into that bank and rob it? It was a small bank, two female employees, no security whatsoever. You'd be stupid not to try it".

"So it began as a joke and then just slowly, subconsciously moved into something which was real and we'd talked ourselves into it". This is exactly the sense of not being fully in control of events that marks the 'Year of Broken Pathways'. Not as dramatically for most of us as these two poor kids, but it does in so many different ways for everyone one of us. It did for John Lennon when he thought nothing of donating money to the Black Panther movement, and Robert the Bruce when he thought nothing of telling the Red Comyn he wasn't going to be the first King of Scotland in private. Events seem unreal at the moment they occur.

Now what was the outcome of Anthony Prince's life over the remaining years of that cycle? What uphill struggle did he continue to face? Well the first thing was getting used to the inside of a US maximum security prison. "I've been slashed with blades. I've been beat down, hit with was a scary environment".

He cried openly at his trial and begged forgiveness of the teller he had pointed a gun at. He only got 4 1/2 years, not the possible 25. He thought that he had to make it up to the his long-suffering parents, so he got correspondence material through his mother to study at an Australian university.

He spent a lot of time with immigration detainees whose English was bad so he sat down and helped them write letters to their loved ones. "I had a bit of a knack for it so I became known as this.....the love letter writer in there". Then in the final year of the cycle, just before his 24th birthday, he was released and came home to Byron Bay, an idyllic holiday spot on the NSW coast. "Coming home was amazing. I wish everyone could feel what I felt. The first plate of bacon and eggs...."

Yes it took him all of the remaining years of the cycle to finish this modern morality tale, complete with forgiveness from Jessica Cole Gunther the bank teller. It wasn't until the end that she looked him up on Facebook and showed him her letter written years ago. "It really did blow me away" he said.

Keep with me because I'm asking you to tell me who I'll be featuring next. He has been billed as 'the world's greatest footballer'...and that is of the round ball game I don't know much about. OK you couldn't get Robert the Bruce and you've never heard of Anthony Prince, but this guy you know! So leave me a comment and tell me. Oh, and for the big prize I want to know which year I'm featuring and why? Till then, may the cycles always bring you good fortune.


  1. Do they carry your book in U.S.? We have a good library system, I'd like to read it, or find a used copy. Even better, I know there's an Australian group from Project Gutenberg. If I can download it, I'll have Adobe reader read it out loud into my player/mp3. I have some catching up to do with others (I mentioned Ahelia on BC; I have go through her serials. But now I'm following you. Love the blog, will take time hopefully this weekend. Sweet tides, Linda

  2. "it was stupid NOT to try?" Apparently, they didn't even try. He's lucky he got four years. American justice, historically, has been more aggressive towards crime against property, not so much for killing. Ex. Horse thieves in the West. He reminds me of a Brit that was caught in Australia, made a movie about him? Choppers? I'll find the name. Love the story, love the site.

  3. Poor bloke! But his life does seem very pleasant right now.

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  7. I can not believe people feel sorry for this human being. Trying to claim fame for being so stupid! Isn't it enough that he hurt so many people in this selfish act he commited so long ago, why would you need to drag it out any longer and make people relive your painful actions. To me he comes across as a manipulative boy dressed as a man. If a lesson was taught this would not be continuing. Move on, there is no need for this other than big noting yourself.

    I'm embarrassed for this person. What a joke!

  8. I'm happy to publish your voice of dissention, but I wish you chose not to be anonymous. If Jessica Cole Gunther (the bank teller who was traumatised by the robbery) found it in her heart to forgive then I believe we also should forgive. The foibles of youth are often regretted and I believe he has learnt his lesson.

  9. Are you serious? the guy just lost 4 and a half years of his life and trying to get back off his feet and all your trying to do is kick him when he's trying to get back up. i think anthony has done the right thing by apologizing to the people who he has hurt emotionally and expressing his past by advocating what he has done wrong and the regret he lives with. The last thing he needs is people like you thinking you know what he's been through. You are gutless!

  10. I'm not sure I follow your logic. I'm actually wondering if you are related to the other anonymous commenter? Anyway, I basically agree we should let bygones be bygones with Anthony Prince. As to "knowing what he's been through"....well I along with many others saw the Australian Story episode and that's what I used for my research.