Award Winning Director Catches Lightning In A Bottle With Lee Murray Documentary Airing On Showtime

Pat Kondelis answers the question of, what happened to “Lightning” Lee Murray in 4-part series, “Catching Lightning.” 

“Lightning” Lee Murray From the Showtime documentary, “Catching Lightning.”  in Austin, Texas on Apr 4, 2023, (“Catching Lightning” documentary/Showtime) Before partaking in one of the largest cash heist ever, Lee Murray looked poise to be the next big MMA star.  © Z News Inc.

AUSTIN, Texas — Pat Kondelis has mastered the art of storytelling in documentary form. His two Emmy Awards is a testament to his abilities. His work on his 2017 documentary, “Disgraced,” detailed the murder of Baylor basketball star Patrick Dennehy, while exposing the dirty secrets of then Baylor basketball coach, Dave Bliss. On April 7th, Kondelis’ directed documentary, “Catching Lightning” will attempt to shed light on the life of promising MMA fighter, “Lightning” Lee Murray. Murray was poised to set the MMA world on fire. Unfortunately, we never got to see Lee Murray’s full potential inside of the cage because shortly after his UFC debut, he was locked inside of a different type of cage, jail. “Catching Lightning” reveals the intricate plot that Murray took part in that is known as the biggest cash heist in history [$92 million]. Kondelis’ ability to secure exclusive interviews, surveillance footage, and input from law enforcement directly involved in the case truly puts, “Catching Lightning” over the top. 


The two-time Emmy Award winning director answers the question, “What happened to Lee Murray,” during a sit down with Zenger News. 


“Catching Lightning” Poster  “Catching Lightning” will premiere on Showtime on April 7th.  in Showtime on Apr 4, 2023, (Showtime /Showtime ) “Catching Lightning” joins the long line of riveting documentaries by director Pat Kondelis under Bat Bridge Entertainment.  © Z News Inc.




Zenger: I’ve covered combat sports for nearly 20 years and a frequent question I seem to get is, “What happened to Lee Murray?” Your documentary “Catching Lightning” seems to answer that very question. How difficult was it to answer this question as a director?


Kondelis: That’s a great question, Percy. Quite honestly, I can say, this has been the most challenging story that I have ever attempted for a multitude of reasons. The first being we started production in September 2020. That was our first interview we did, and everything was shutdown with COVID. We had to wait until April of ’21 to be able to travel to England under heavy restrictions. There were a lot of new changes that were put in place for us to actually tell this story. But I think you’re right. It seems to me that, Lee Murray has somewhat been forgotten. It’s hard for me to accept that because he is the most fascinating character I have ever come across. On top of that, he’s involved in a historic heist like nothing we have ever seen.


Zenger: What was your initial interest in doing a documentary about Murray?


Kondelis: Well, the doc was initially more about the Securitas Heist because the heist itself was just so amazing. You have so many different factors that happened in this heist that is straight out of a Hollywood movie. You have a gang of guys walking into a place that’s supposed to be impenetrable in England and get away with the largest cash heist in world history as far as we can tell. To do that without firing a weapon, without attacking anybody is a pretty staggering thing. It involves kidnapping, prosthetics, there is a “Mission Impossible” element to this. I was intrigued by how much planning went into this crime. It was executed flawlessly. What does it take to do something like this? That’s all I kept thinking about. How committed do you have to be to this. This is months of surveillance, research, planning, and preparation that goes into this. That to me was fascinating.


Then to look deeper into the story and see that the man in the center of the whole conspiracy is Lee Murray who… when I first started digging into this, Percy, he felt like a mythical character. He didn’t feel real. And I think that is another thing that propelled my interest that got me to the point of obsession with this story. Who is Lee Murray, and can we actually try to get his perspective and a three-dimensional look as to who Lee Murray is, not this mythical person, but this real human being. That was a real challenge and I hope we came close to accomplishing that.


Zenger: This is an amazing 4-part documentary. I have always been curious to know, as a director, how do you know when to cut it off? What are the keys to knowing the starting point and the ending?


Kondelis: Thank you. It’s very difficult to know because those are the two most important parts of telling a story, where do you start and how do you end it. I am a lucky person to have an amazing team around me of producers and my editors on this project and I worked very closely with them. It changes throughout. There are things we can think in theory this is the right way to go, and then you see it on the timeline and realize it’s just not working. And a story that’s this complicated, and complex, and at times convoluted, it’s a spider web. It’s not something that you would expect to land on right away, so there is a lot of experimentation there. The credit for that goes to, Sean McQueeney and Leah Marino. We all get together here as a team here at Bat Bridge [Entertainment]. It’s what makes my job fun, to work with creative people and try to figure out creative solutions. Ultimately, this is for the audience. So, you want the audience to be able to digest something that is this complex and complicated.

Pat Kondelis  Director to new Showtime documentary “Catching Lightning.”  in Austin, Texas on Apr 4, 2023, (Bat Bridge Entertainment /Bat Bride Entertainment ) Two-Time Emmy Award-winning director, Pat Kondelis goes in-depth on the whereabouts of Lee Murray.  © Z News Inc.

Zenger: A lot to unpack with Lee Murray in terms of his fighting career, family life, the heist. How satisfied are you with the finished product?


Kondelis: That’s a tough question. I think every project is different. They’re never where you want them to be, and “Catching Lightning” is no exception. There are still people I wanted to speak to, things that I wanted to include. But you have restraints that you just have to deal with and time. This one was difficult to do. That last part [Part 4] was an hour and a half. I feel like we did the best that we could. I can sleep well at night knowing that we gave max effort. It’s not where I hoped it would be, but I’m very proud of it nonetheless.


Zenger: A film that involves so many people and moving parts, how imperative is cooperation?


Kondelis: It’s paramount. Without people agreeing to sit down in front of a camera, which is a whole new level. It’s putting yourself out there in a unique way opposed to other forms of media. And trusting that we’re going to handle their perspective and story the right way. Without that we don’t have a story to tell and I’m proud and honored that people continue to say, yes. For this one, we have gotten every perspective on this story for the first time. That’s always the goal. I want to hear from everybody. If you look at the documentaries that we make at Bat Bridge, that’s what we do. We’re not telling a one-dimensional story from one side. I want to present the audience with the most complete picture possible.


Zenger: When you begin to do research on something of this nature, it can present more questions than answers. Where did this one leave you?


Kondelis: You’re absolutely right. I still have a lot of questions. This is still an ongoing investigation. There are people that played significant roles in this heist that have not been found. The majority of the money have not been found. I believe it’s $54 million that’s never been recovered. Where is that money, where are these key players that are involved with this? The case is ongoing is what the police told me. A couple of people got away with this.


Zenger: Do you feel Lee Murray was treated fairly or do you think he received the brunt of the punishment because he was targeted because of who he is?


Kondelis: I think he was definitely targeted. I think the evidence shows that. The fact that he got his sentence more than doubled in Morocco is proof of that. I wanna make it clear, I certainly do not condone what he did. He shouldn’t have done it and he deserved to go to prison for it. But I think when you compare it to the other people that did the exact same thing that he did, almost all who are out of prison now, he’s been in Morocco for 17 years, under far harsher conditions. I just don’t see what’s the point now. Who is this helping to keep him there and under these circumstances? I think he’s paid a price a thousand-fold harsher than anybody else involved in this. 


I wanna be careful not to advocate for a criminal because I do not agree with for one second what he did. But when you look at the fact that clearly, they were not trying to harm anybody, they didn’t physically attack anybody, they never fired a weapon. They were clearly there for the money and the money only… yes, I’m sure they scared people and traumatized people, I’m not discrediting that, but we know, child molesters get slaps on the wrist for destroying lives in a far worst way than this heist was. The police in the documentary said they wanted to send a message that this wouldn’t be tolerated, so Lee Murray became a human deterrent from a criminal justice standpoint. I think his past with the police in England specifically added to their desire to go after him. I think one of the things we revealed in the documentary that is fascinating is, he was absolutely not the mastermind. He’s the guy that’s running the operation inside the Securitas Depot. But all of the evidence points to the fact that he was not the mastermind. It’s a 25-year sentence but they leveed that sentence for 3 years after he was already there, so it’s 28 years. That’s an unbelievably harsh sentence. I feel like he has definitely paid the price already.


Zenger: Not sure if you rank your films, but if so, where does this one rank?


Kondelis: I’ve been proud of everything we have been able to capture on all of them. I think this one holds the distinction of being the most complicated and challenging one to make while at the same time being the most fun. I had the most fun making this documentary than I had on the other ones. Part of it is the wildness of the stories, the characters, the crew that I have to work with, the fact that this is a global story. We shot in six countries over the course of three years. It’s been quite the epic journey in attempting to tell an epic story.