Every evening throughout the British summer of 1964, the routine on the ground floor of Block B in Newgate Prison had been invariable. Gordon, in cell 7, would take off his blue uniform, fold it neatly and put outside the door. Then the door would be locked by a warder who would after that peer in every 15 minutes, for Gordon was a maximum security prisoner. Meanwhile, Gordon would stretch his 32-years-old, six-foot, sinewy frame on the berth, run his hand through his wavy brown hair and gaze at the ceiling, as if engaged in some marvellous reverie.
Gordon’s routine was interrupted in the early hours of August 12. That night he reduced his 30 years sentence by 29 years and eight months. Shortly after 3am, three men scaled the prison‘s 6m wall with ladders and, with duplicates of two master keys, made their way into Gordon’s corridor and cell. When Gordon’s warder appeared on schedule they smashed him into unconsciousness. They provided the prisoner with civilian clothes and left the way that they had entered with Gordon. And the Great Tower Heist, already a British legend, fascinated Englishmen even more now that the gang had managed the Great Jail Break.
The break added one puzzle to another, for little is known about the heist itself. It was said that more than a year or so later, the police were still putting the pieces together.