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Here's How an MMA Fighter Pulled off One of the Largest Money Heists in History

A documentary on Lee's life "Catching Lightning" by Emmy award-winning director and producer Pat Kondelis premiered in April 2024.
Cover Image Source: Instagram | @freelightningleemurray
Cover Image Source: Instagram | @freelightningleemurray

Renowned English-Moroccan fighter Lee Murray was notorious for his involvement in one of the largest and most daring robberies in British history. Noted for his hand speed and power, Murray got the nickname "Lightning Lee" in the world of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). His fame suddenly took a negative turn from crowd-cheering fights to deceptive robbery schemes. His career nosedived in 2006 when he and a group of fraudsters robbed £53 million ($66 million) from the Securitas cash depot in Kent, England. To create a sense of terror, they also kidnapped the manager of the depot and his family to get the money. The exact reason behind Murray's involvement in the entire robbery scene is not disclosed but it is believed that financial gain was the primary motive.

On 27th June 2006, the Kent police confirmed the arrest of Murray and 30 more people. Later, in June 2009, Murray's daring attempt to escape from Salé prison made headlines. His fans' curiosity peaked when a popular director announced Murray's life captured in a documentary. Currently, he is serving imprisonment in Tifelt, Northwestern Morocco, and despite being detained, he became a father in 2010.

Two-time Emmy award-winning director and producer Pat Kondelis decided to explore the controversial life of this renowned fighter and made a documentary for Showtime, giving Lee Murray's story a Hollywood spin. The documentary, "Catching Lightning," released in four parts, premiered on April 9, 2024. Fans can watch it on Paramount Plus, The Roku Channel, Fandango at Home, or Prime Video. In this gripping, surprise thriller, the entire experience of watching Murray perform the robbery is sneaky and brutal. The character of Lee Murray is performed by Logan Nail and other cast members include Richard Cerato, Ronnie Carl Jackson, Zander James, Rob Faubion, Eve Sinclair, and Paulo Andre Aragao.

Besides Lee Murray, the documentary focuses on other MMA fighters narrating stories about how good Murray was fighting with his dead-strong punches. One of the stories is about a big fight outside a club in London where Murray is said to have knocked out Tito Ortiz, a famous MMA fighter. Interestingly, the sporty humor while narrating a real-life incident gives the documentary the needed traction. Critics and other directors have given the documentary a thumbs up as it leverages different things like footage from the crime, interviews, news stories, and reenactments to tell the story.

Kondelis did not have to work much on keeping the audience interested as Murray's fan base is immense and many wanted to understand the darker side of his personality. Some others were deeply hurt by their role model getting trapped in the robbery case and this documentary gave them a closure of sorts. Even though it's entertaining, this documentary is not like any breezy heist work of art—it deals with darker motives.