Facebook Confession: Man Apologizes for 1970s Robbery

A man finds victim he stole from 35 years ago and makes amends.

By Timothy Weisberg
|  Monday, Dec 2, 2013  |  Updated 6:43 PM EDT
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Facebook Confession: Man Apologizes for 1970s Robbery

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Traffic moves past the front entrance of the American Museum of Natural History in this file photo from 2004.

It was an apology more than 35 years in the making made possible by Facebook.

Michael Goodman confessed online that he held up Claude Soffel and took his bus pass from him outside the Museum of Natural History in the 1970s, BBC News reported.

After reading a post about the closure of H&H Bagels on Manhattan's Upper West Side, Michael Goodman recognized Soffel's name on the comment thread and reached out to him with the heartfelt apology.

"You may not remember this (about 1976 or '77) but a long long time ago ... trying to look like a tough guy ... I walked up to you and mugged you for your bus pass," Goodman said in a Facebook comment directed to Soffel.

"I have never forgotten the incident or your name," Goodman wrote. "Finally I can say I'm very sorry."

Soffel accepted the apology in a response.

"Clearly you're a bigger man today," Soffel wrote to Goodman. "I recognize your name now as well. So, apology accepted. So let us now, jointly put this in its proper place, behind us."

The interaction between Goodman and Soffel was a hit with members of the Facebook group that the two connected on, especially as the story continued to be picked up by multiple media outlets. The group, NYC 89th Street Soldiers & Sailors Monument Alumni – 1970s, was created for people to get reacquainted with others who grew up on 89th St & Broadway from the 1960s to 1980s, according to the group page.

Goodman, who now lives in Hilo, Hawaii, wrote that he felt "peace on this subject" and even "joy."

The two continued to comment back and forth about the increased media exposure and an interview each had with a New York Post reporter.

"She mentioned you'd take me out for a beer if only you were in NY," Soffel told Goodman. "Hmmm, how's the weather in Hilo?"

Goodman happily obliged, going as far as to say Soffel was a "friend" and a "hero."

"Anytime your [sic] in my neck of the woods come check out the Big Island & there will be a cold one waiting," he wrote.

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