Machine Gun Molly

In this post, I’d like to write a little about Monica Proetti, a bank robber.

Pic of Monica Proietti
Monica Proietti, mieux connue sous le nom de « Monica la mitraille », était voleuse de banques et héros populaire. Date 5 September 2007 Source Own work Author:  Hellebore


Monica Proietti, was born on February 25, 1940; she died on September 19, 1967.  She was a Montreal bank robber and folk hero better known as “Machine Gun Molly” and in French, she is known as Monica la Mitraille.

Monica came from a poor Montreal family, and crime was not foreign in the house.  For instance, her grandmother served time in jail for receiving stolen goods; she reportedly ran a school for crime for the neighbourhood children.

In 1956, at the age of 17, Monica married Anthony Smith, a Scottish gangster, who was 33 years old. The couple had two children. Smith was deported from Canada in 1962. She then became romantically involved with Viateur Tessier, but he was jailed in 1966 for armed robbery.

When she was 19, four of her seven siblings perished in a fire in downtown Montreal.

Monica and her accomplices held up more than 20 banks, stealing over an estimated $100,000. On September 19, 1967 Monica died after crashing into a bus and being shot twice by an undercover police officer following a high-speed chase through the north-end of Montreal. Reportedly, this was to have been her last bank robbery, intended to fund a new life in Florida.

A 2004 Quebec film Monica la Mitraille (Machine Gun Molly in English) was loosely based on her life. The film was adapted from the book Souvenirs de Monica by Georges-Hébert Germain.


  1. I have to say… my favourite part about this was the grandma who ran a crime school for neighbourhood children.


  2. Fascinating! In the US, we had a notorious criminal called “Machine Gun” Kelly, who gave the FBI the moniker “G-men”, for Government Men.


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