Gardner Museum Heist: 27th Anniversary Story: The True Story; Not the FBI’s One: 5/8

Gardner MuseumAl then tells us he started to figure out who did it by seeing similarities between it and an earlier art theft where the painting was cut from the frame even thought the earlier one was in 1966. He says first of all it is clear to him the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum thieves had “inside” information. He notes they knew of guard’s panic button, the entrance tapes, a location to place and hold guards, knew one painting was on a hidden door, and what “red herrings” to leave. (I differ from him on this. I believe professional art thieves could easily have learned these things.)

Al suggests the inside information came from Rollin Van Nostrand “Bump” Hadley who was administrator of the museum from 1963 to 1970 and director from 1970 to 1988. Hadley died of a heart attack at his home in Fort Lauderdale at age 64 within two years following the robbery. Al said Bump refused the FBI’s request to provide it with a “list of his friends, art lovers, visitors, etc.” who he entertained in and about the museum during dinners and after hour gatherings.

Al called Bump a party animal, did not suggest he had anything to do with the theft, who might have unwittingly provided access to the museum or had loose lips in his dealings with people who were lovers of the arts. Bump had many dinners and other affairs at the Gardner even in the evening that allowed others the opportunity to case it. He suggests a person skilled in extracting information from another could have gotten all he needed from unwary Bump. (A fault with this theory is Bump retired two years before the heist and no clever thieves would depend on information that was stale.)

Al also figured the persons involved had to have knowledge of computers which would leave out much of the lay-abouts the FBI rousted. This, he suggests, shows a Harvard/M.I.T. connection at a time when computers were coming out of their infancy and the hacker was king. Al then starts out to find out more about computers by looking up some old friends.

In the meantime he’s keeping in mind the 1994 letters that came from New York with a phony West Side address. They involved a demand of $2.6 million to return the paintings and immunity from prosecution. Al’s theory is non-career criminals committed the act for insurance proceeds. (Mine is skilled criminals from Europe for an art collector. The FBI some criminal muffs blundering along. If FBI is right kiss the paintings goodbye and it should stop looking.)

Now to the nub of Al’s story. He is in New York in 1998 and is reading the obits. He reads about  a “New York heiress” living in a long lease apartment in the hotel across the street from where he was staying died in tragic circumstances. She was a patron of and great collector of the arts. Al happened to know the doorman at the hotel who doesn’t tell him much but sends him off to Billy Bob the house engineer a guy from Fall River who tells him the much-loved heiress was probably thrown off the 15th floor because she was worth between 50 to 150 million by her husband (SOB)  a “slimy bastard.” SOB is a top-notch violinist who sometimes substitutes for the first violinist at the Met. Al then tells us the mean SOB’s ”marriage to” the heiress “was concluded in 1992 after a long friendship.” (At first I thought he meant they were divorced.) The SOB  brought from his previous two marriages a son and two nephews, she brought three children.

Al then turns to David Turner who I mentioned before who got the big bit in prison. I discounted him because of that. Al initially thinks Turner may have murdered the heiress but later he concludes he would have not done the big time if he had the paintings. (Why Al, who recognizes the foibles of the FBI, would think Turner under any circumstance escapes me.)

Al eventually eliminates the gangsters dealing cocaine from TRC in Dorchester. He follows the Bump Haley trail. Bump likes to party on the Cape. So did the heiress and the SOB. Figures they met and they became friendly. Ties the ends of the string together by corroborating his theory with an Irish artist also from the Cape.


6 thoughts on “Gardner Museum Heist: 27th Anniversary Story: The True Story; Not the FBI’s One: 5/8

  1. Back in 1964 I was fishing at Turner’s Pond in Milton. Please have Courtney see who stole my Zebco tackle box. I’m pretty sure I know who stole it and the scumbag OD’d 30 years ago. I just don’t want to waste a trip to the Milton Cemetery to spit on his grave.

  2. Good point Ed. I will pass
    on your concerns to Courteney,Jesus and Buddha.

    A easy reality check for Matt would be to have Courtenay’s
    remote viewers remote view an incident from Matt’s life.

    Courtenay Brown does not remote view.
    Brown is a researcher of remote viewing.
    Remote viewer Dick Algire works closely
    with Courteny Brown at Farsight Instutute.

    Algire was also a member of the Hawaiian Remote Viewers association
    who remote viewed the MaccKenzie-Cowell murder case
    google hawaian remote viewers

    Courteny Brown had Algire and others including England’s
    Daz Smith remote view the Crucifixon of Christ
    confirming Christ was not the person on the cross.

    That was discussed by Jane Roberts in her books 40 years

    1. Daz Smith said Jesus Christ was not on the cross? Oh no, all these years of Christianity down the drain! I wasn’t aware that he “confirmed” it. This changes everything! I’m going to contact Courtney Brown right now and have Algire and Daz Smith remote view the creation! I want them to confirm God was there!

  3. Let me help you solve the case Matt.

    Step 1
    Contact Courtney Brown at the
    Far sight Institute and mention
    you are a former prosecutor but
    don’t give Courtney your last name.

    Tell him you want his remote viewers
    to remote view a crime scene before during
    and after the crime. You don’t tell him about
    the crime. That is the remote viewers job.

    2. To see what his remote viewers can do
    view their remote viewing results of JFK murder
    and 911 attack.

    3. make sure you know what remote viewing is

  4. “In the meantime he’s keeping in mind the 1994 letters that came from New York with a phony West Side address.”

    In “Master Thieves,” Kurkjian who had access to both letters in their entirety reported that in the first ransom note:

    “The letter writer stated that the paintings had been stolen to gain someone a reduction in a prison sentence, but as that opportunity had dwindled dramatically there was no longer a primary motive for keeping the artwork.”

    Hmmm. That seems like a very specific set of circumstances. Why bother with this much detail? The letter writer is stating that the person, on whose behalf the paintings were stolen, has committed a crime or crimes so serious, that even the Gardner Heist paintings won’t get them out. Someone who is still in prison and was either in prison or on the verge of going to prison in 1990, as Myles Connor was when he stole a Rembrandt from the MFA in 1975.

    That certainly represents an infinitesimally small subset of incarcerated Americans. (You wouldn’t steal paintings in the USA to get someone out of prison in France.) If the letter were a hoax, it might potentially be quickly judged a hoax from this level of extraneous detail. Perhaps it is not the true motive. But what would be the motive to go into this much detail about a potentially discreditable explanation, if it were not true.

    I believe the explanation is authentication:

    Investigators have acknowledged that the ransom note revealed knowledge of the painting and the crime not known to the public, but the ransom note writer went even one better I believe.

    The writer demonstrated a detail about one of the perpetrators, whose identity he knows is already known to investigators, an individual who was in very, very deep legal doo-doo at the time of the Gardner Heist and is still in prison.

    I don’t think the Gardner Heist is a “Sword In The Stone” type story. I thinks it’s a Sword AND The Stone type story. The Sword was never in the Stone so there was no reason for John Connolly or any other FBI agent to try pulling it out, so they didn’t try pulling it out, as the closed off, yet lackluster, investigation demonstrates.

    I am not suggesting that there is not a sincere effort to get the paintings back or that the reason the FBI backed off initially was due to official corruption. But that investigators backed off for what was deemed a greater good as has been done and covered on this blog with other criminal investigations.

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