Skip to content

How the 1978 Lufthansa Heist Led to a Trail of Dead Bodies

  • History

On December 11, 1978, six masked, armed men burst into the Lufthansa Airlines cargo terminal at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport during a graveyard shift and robbed $5.8 million in cash and jewels, the largest heist in U.S. history at the time.

No shots were fired. No one was seriously hurt or killed. It took just 64 minutes for a crew of low-level crooks linked to the Lucchese crime family to steal $5 million in untraceable bills (worth $22.4 million in 2022) and $800,000 in jewels (worth 3.6 million in 2022).