In The Shawshank Redemption, Andy conjures up the identity of Randall Stephens as a front for laundering money. He then assumes this identity after escaping from prison. Red comments that the the media reported withdrawals of 'better than $370,000 from each' bank where the laundered money had been deposited. In which case, the media would know that Andy and Randall were technically one, right?

Therefore, is it possible that the United States would pursue extraditing Andy from Mexico?

Also, how could Andy deliver inside information about the Shawshank crimes without incriminating himself?

Could Andy have crafted another identity unrelated to Stephens or his birth name and used this to cross the border?

I can't imagine that Andy could have convincingly faked his death, so I'll let that possibility go.

Andy does say to Red: "Randall Stephens. He's the guilty one, your honour." In context, he's explaining what his defence in court would be if the money laundering was found out. However, Andy's initial conviction was mainly based on "very convenient" events and his lack of remorse, so couldn't a lawyer argue that it was "very convenient" that Randall Stephens could not be found at the cessation of a wild goose chase?

  • 3
    It was $370,000 total that Andy took, not $370K from each bank. That being said, I am sure Randall Stephens ceased to exist once Andy was in Mexico. Also note, the only person who knew he was in Mexico was Red. He vanished "like a fart in the wind." – dbugger Aug 22 '16 at 2:30
  • Ah, fair enough. Over $2 million in today's money. Withdrawing the money in stages and so rapidly, that was clever. Andy could even have crafted another identity while in prison like that of Stephens, and used that other identity to cross the border. @dbugger – Mad Banners Aug 22 '16 at 7:27
  • @dbugger There were Andy's postcards to Red. But once the prison officials who knew Andy were gone, no one would notice, right? – Mad Banners Aug 29 '16 at 2:21
  • There were no names on the postcards. – dbugger Aug 29 '16 at 9:13
  • Hmm, not enough information to act on, I guess. @dbugger – Mad Banners Aug 29 '16 at 9:18

To extend Andrew's answer:

How could anyone link Randall (who got hunders of thousands of dollars) with an inmate called Andy? Andy communications were controlled by the prison guards, so it stands to reason that they would have noticed if he had begun impersonating (like, receiving driver licenses and so on) someone called Randall, and alerted the authorities.

If the link was discovered it meant that the whole setup was in the clear. If that happened before Andy made his move, he could always claim that he was being pressured by the prison manager into doing that. Even the most basic investigation would find where the money did come from, what was it being spent on, and so long.

And if it was discovered after Andy made his move, it would hurt the prison manager but not Andy. After all, Andy was still legally a condemned murderer who had escaped from prison, so it is not likely that he would stay somewhere where he could be arrested, or that money laundering charges would make the police look for him harder. That is why he could tip the newspapers without personal risk.

  • 1
    Plus, the warden, who is the one the money was stolen from and is the only person who would miss it or try to track it down or get it back, blew his brains out with his revolver when the police came for him. +1 for good additional information. – PoloHoleSet Aug 24 '16 at 20:09

USA signed an extradition agreement with Mexico in May, 1978 that went into effect in 1980.

So, even if they somehow traced the missing money (who would ever report it missing?), there was no extradition agreement in place for quite some time.

Extradition treaty link

  • 1
    Of course, I always think of the scene in Goin' South when Jack Nicholson's character crosses the Rio Grande, stands on the bank in Mexico and taunts the marshals. They proceed to ride across the river, Nicholson's horse keels over and dies from exhaustion, and they haul him back to the USA, while he basically accuses them of cheating. – PoloHoleSet Aug 22 '16 at 21:05
  • Glad SJuan76 picked up on the "link Randall to Andy" part I kind of glossed over. No particular reason to think it would be Andy. Just as likely to think it was the warden or the "real" Randall, depending on how much of those details were leaked to the press. I'd think Andy would limit any breadcrumbs that would lead back to him, especially if it was his plan to take it all, so he might leave key details of the laundering aspect out of what he sent. – PoloHoleSet Aug 25 '16 at 13:51

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .