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Ballad of the Whiskey Robber
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Author Julian Rubinstein spent three years researching the Whiskey Robber's story, talking to cops, criminals, and hockey players to get all the details. (Image courtesy Little Brown)
In the 1990s a one-man crime wave hit the Hungarian capital of Budapest. A man, usually dressed in a bad wig and reeking of whiskey, robbed more than 20 post offices and banks. Much to the frustration of the Hungarian police, the "Whiskey Robber" became a national hero.

The Whiskey Robber's reputation only grew when he was finally caught.

Police were shocked to discover he was Atilla Ambrus, the goalie with one of the nation's top hockey teams.

Then he escaped and sparked the largest manhunt ever in post-communist Eastern Europe. That's when former Sports Illustrated writer Julian Rubinstein got interested in the story.

His new book, "Ballad of the Whiskey Robber," reveals how Ambrus was able to live a double life.

The book recently became a New York Times Editors pick. A translation is currently the top-selling non-fiction title in Hungary. He spoke with MPR's Euan Kerr. To listen to the interview, choose the audio link in the right column.

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