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.
The book, released on June 2, is named for the actual case name used by the FBI.
Why wait 46 years to write about it? To give his family the whole story.
“I hadn’t thought of writing anything earlier,” Teich admitted. “This wasn’t a topic that we discussed at home. It was so traumatic; we never talked about it. And because of that, my children knew very little.
“About two years ago, I decided I needed to document everything. Firstly, as a tribute to my wife — who was a real hero — and the police professionals and as a legacy.”
“When he told me he was going to write a book, I was not too happy,” confessed Janet Teich, Jack’s wife who was a 30-year-old young mother at the time of the kidnapping. “There were details he hadn’t told me about and it was very upsetting to read what he went through.”
Teich had his own memories as well as tons of documentation to fall back on while writing.
“After the trial, the FBI, police and Nassau County gave me the transcripts. The FBI gave me the ransom tapes — the actual tapes.”
It took eight days of horror before Teich was freed after his ransom was paid. Ultimately, two (one of whom was a former employee of Teich’s company) were prosecuted for the kidnapping: one was convicted but released after 19 years. Only $38,000 of the $750,000 (more than $4 million in today's dollars) ransom was ever recovered.
Teich hasn’t given up hope of recovering more, however. He is offering a reward to anyone who can help track down the missing ransom money and the other co-conspirators involved in his terrifying kidnapping.
“Somebody will come out of the woodwork, let’s see what happens.”
Meanwhile, "Operation Jacknap" is gathering interest from Hollywood.
This comes as no surprise as the book reads more like a thriller and the details provided make it so easy to picture each event. Readers will feel Teich’s fear during the week he was held as well as his frustration in the years that followed — trying to catch and convict the perpetrators and find the missing ransom.
“So you may see a movie one of these days,” said Teich. “We’ll see.”
Teich sees himself as a survivor — and rightly so. But the traumatic event changed his life.
“I thought I would have a bullet in the back of my head. I never thought I would get out alive,” said Teich. “It took me a number of years to get back to work and to be able to focus on my work. Today I still look into the rear view mirror when I pull into my driveway. Are you ever fully recovered?”
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