of one of America’s largest ransom cases—and the massive FBI and police manhunt to bring the radical captors to justice.
The New York Times described what happened to New York businessman Jack Teich as a “front page horror.” Two hundred FBI agents and Nassau County police officers combined forces to form a dragnet, hunt for his kidnappers, and rescue him.
Teich lay handcuffed and chained to the walls of a closet in the Bronx with a medical bandage wrapped around his head to cover his eyes. His captors demanded that his wife, Janet, drop a bag with $750,000 (the equivalent of four million dollars in today’s currency) in a locker at Penn Station, making the Jack Teich ransom one of the highest in U.S. history at the time.
FBI and Nassau County police detectives spent over a year before finally uncovering the meticulously planned kidnapping ploy hatched by radical mastermind Richard Warren Williams. The FBI internally dubbed the Jack Teich kidnapping operation “Jacknap.”
The real-life crime drama that followed proved stranger than fiction, involving a tense across-the-country manhunt, a trailer in California stuffed with tens of thousands of ransom dollars hidden inside, a contentious jury trial that dominated NYC headlines for months; a guilty verdict that was overturned twenty-one years later on a controversial technicality; a retrial stymied by a mysterious fire that incinerated court records; and a civil verdict ruling that the kidnapper pay Jack Teich back the ransom money, plus interest.
Operation Jacknap tells the incredible true crime story that continues even now. Indeed, as of this writing, no one knows where the majority of the ransom money is located.
Inside, Teich also details his offer of a reward to anyone helping track down the still missing money and kidnappers.
Jack Teich is a serial entrepreneur, philanthropist, avid art collector and a proud grandfather of five and father of three. Teich was the president of Acme Architectural Products, a family business that manufactured commercial construction materials. Today, he is the president of Whitehead Company, a real estate investment company specializing in commercial property in New York and Pennsylvania, as well as a partner in Jubilee Restaurant Group.
Jack is a member of numerous executive boards and international organizations such as Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), Chief Executives Organization (CEO), The Friars Club, and The Harmonie Club. Jack is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., and served in the United States Coast Guard. He lives with his wife Janet Teich, a noted sculptor, in New York.
With the publication of this book and the detailed information about the crime in it, we hope that there may be renewed interest in solving it. Accordingly, we are offering to pay $50,000 for information that leads to the return of a significant portion of the ransom money or the arrest and conviction of additional participants in the crime.
If you have information about the crime, please contact Jacknap, Box 4155, 511 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10011.
If any ransom money is recovered as a result of this offer, it will be donated to “The Federal Law Enforcement Foundation”, whose primary mission is to provide financial assistance to Federal as well as local law enforcement.
below is the ONLY individual convicted for the kidnapping.
3 others individuals were involved but never caught or indicted.
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The recovered Mustang the kidnappers used to transport Jack Teich.
Nothing seemed out of place that November night of 1974 when Jack Teich pulled into the driveway of his Long Island home in Kings Point.
As he exited his car, two men accosted him, covered his head and pushed him into the backseat of a waiting car, placing a tarp over his body.
What should have been a peaceful homecoming to wife and sons after a long day of work suddenly turned into a nightmare.
This is how the story of "Operation Jacknap" begins and the pace never lets up as Teich, now 80 and a Westchester resident, recounts those harrowing days of fearing for his own life and the lives of his family, the police and FBI search for the culprits and the years of legal trials that followed.
n November 12, 1974, Jack Teich was a businessman in Long Island, New York, returning home from a long day at work. As he pulled into his driveway in Kings Point that night, his world changed in a matter of seconds. Two masked men, one holding a pistol and the other a shotgun, pulled him out of his car and told him to comply or he would be killed. 34-year-old Jack Teich was kidnapped at gunpoint outside his own home and driven away to an unknown location. The kidnapper in charge called himself ‘The Keeper’ and they wanted cash if Jack was going to stay alive.
In the hours that followed his abduction, Jack’s wife Janet Teich discovered her husband’s car in the driveway with no sign of Jack. She called the police. Within 24 hours the kidnappers made contact with a ransom demand. Their letter said:
In 1974, I was a new FBI agent and the only female agent assigned to the New York Office of the FBI, responsible for the investigation of kidnap cases. On Nov. 13, I came to work prepared to fly to the Boston office on a temporary assignment. However, I was told that I would instead be going to Kings Point in Long Island where a businessman named Jack Teich had been kidnapped at gunpoint the day before. Little did I know then, it would be the largest kidnapping case in America at the time.
My assignment was to remain with Teich’s family to ensure their safety and to develop a trusting and cooperative relationship. When I arrived at the Teich residence, I was astonished when I met Janet Teich, a young woman with two little boys.
On the evening of November 12, 1974, 34-year-old New York businessman Jack Teich was abducted at gunpoint from the driveway of his suburban home in Kings Point, Nassau County.
“You’re a Jew, right?” Teich remembers his kidnappers asking.
“They knew I was a Jew,” he tells The Times of Israel in a Zoom interview. “They knew more than they let on.”
Dubbed “Operation Jacknap” by the FBI, Teich’s case was one of America’s largest kidnapping and ransom cases at the time with a demand for $750,000 — the equivalent of $4 million today.
Thank you very much for our interview-it was great to hear you tell your harrowing and amazing story. I loved reading Operation Jacknap! Below is the link to our interview
It was 1974. Jack Teich. Kidnapped at his LI home. The $750,000 ransom (equal to today’s $4 mil) never fully recovered — although now he has. I know Jack Teich. He’s my friend lawyer Barry Slotnick’s friend, and he’s now out with just-published “Operation Jacknap: A True Story of Kidnapping, Extortion, Ransom, and Rescue.”
Why his book now, after so many years?
“I’m not getting younger. I was too emotional before. That was the radicalized ’70s. A year earlier was the John Paul Getty III kidnapping. Nine months before, Patty Hearst.
It was a simple request for directions that took a detour into hell.
Great Neck businessman Jack Teich drove into his driveway on Nov. 12, 1974. A car pulled up behind, and someone yelled, “Excuse me, you know how to get to Northern Boulevard?”
Teich got out of his car to respond.
So did the other driver. He was wearing a ski mask and brandishing a gun.
Returning to his Kings Point, LI, home after work on the evening of Nov. 12, 1974, Jack Teich turned off his Lincoln — only to notice two headlights reflecting off his garage door.
“I thought I’d left my lights on,” he recalled.
He hadn’t. Two masked men — one brandishing a pistol, the other a sawed-off shotgun — hopped out of a car parked behind his. Someone shouted: “Get over here, or we’re going to blow your head off!”