The Sundance Now Original true crime docuseries The Heiress and the Heist focuses on the story of Rose Dugdale, the English heiress who abandoned her life of privilege to join the IRA and was the mastermind behind some of the most audacious and radical schemes of 1974. The three-part series premieres as a full-season binge on Thursday, July 27 on Sundance Now and AMC+.
The Heiress and the Heist chronicles Rose’s transformation as a revolutionary —from her early childhood in Devon to the time she spent in Limerick Prison— and includes historical events and the social upheavals that affected England, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland from the late 1960s to mid-1970s. The focus of the series is the Russborough House heist from 1974, which was largely orchestrated by Dugdale who acted as the brains of the operation, selecting which paintings were to be stolen at the time of the robbery. The immediate aftermath of the crime is relayed by key witness testimonies, including the crime correspondents who reported the story, and the police officer who made the detection and arrest of Dugdale in Cork with the 19 paintings.
The Heiress and the Heist, A Sundance Now Original Series, is executive produced by Shannon Cooper, Jonathan Ford, Ronan Hand and Mariana Rios Sanchez, and directed by David Harvey. The series is produced by Peninsula Television and distributed by Abacus Media Rights.
EPISODE DESCRIPTIONS – FULL-SEASON BINGE ON THURSDAY, JULY 27 ON SUNDANCE NOW AND AMC+
To rebel against her privileged background and family wealth, Rose Dugdale organizes the robbery of her family home. The possibility of her committing any further criminal acts is deemed “extremely remote” but her radicalization is only beginning.
The night of April 26, 1974, Dugdale leads a raid on Russborough House to steal paintings kept in the stunning Palladian mansion. Under her specific instructions, the gang steal 19 works of art valued at around $90 million today.
The paintings are recovered and Dugdale is sentenced to prison. Months later, Eddie Gallagher and Marion Coyle kidnap Dutch businessman, Tiede Herrema, to force the release of Dugdale and two other IRA members. After 19 days, Herrema is released.