Holy Caramba! The FBI’s Gardner Museum Hoax Continues

(3) rembrandt garner paintingObtuse in the sense of slow witted probably best describes Boston media when it comes to the FBI. The Boston Globe and Boston Herald and even WBUR reported, as if it is news that with regard to the paintings taken from the Gardner Museum 24 years ago the FBI “has confirmed sightings of the missing artwork from credible sources.” 

First of all can you tell me what that means? It sounds like typical FBI gobbledygook. But I shouldn’t be so hard on the Globe, Herald or WBUR for repeating this story that first appeared on “myfoxBoston.com.” I can’t expect them to have any historical knowledge of events since they too often just regurgitate other news sources.

Fox News reported that “FBI Special Agent Geoff Kelly, the Bureau’s leading investigator on the Gardner Case” in his first television interview says “the trail has not grown cold.” He told Fox of the confirmed sightings. One might ask, when did these sightings happen and who saw them? Is this something new?

Special Agent Kelly went on to finger three hoodlums as persons of interest: “Carmello Merlino, Robert Guarente, and Robert Gentile.“  Since Merlino and Guarente are dead I guess the FBI is not hot on their trail, but apparently its keeping them in mind although I can’t figure out when and how the FBI plans to deal with them.

Here’s the basis for Kelly’s belief: “In the late 1990’s, two FBI informants told the Bureau that Merlino was preparing to return Rembrandt’s Storm on the Sea of Galilee, in an effort to collect the reward. However, Merlino and his crew were soon arrested in an aborted armored car heist and the painting was never returned.”

How does one thing follow the other? If you know anything about these gangsters that arrest should have motivate him even more to return the painting, if he had it. Gangsters are always willing to “make a deal” to do less time.

Kelly laid out that he “believes Guarente somehow passed control of the stolen Gardner artwork to Gentile, a Manchester, Conn. man. Kelly believes Gentile has ties to organized crime in Philadelphia, PA and that Gentile helped bring some or all of the stolen Gardner artwork to Philadelphia where it was last seen in 2000, offered for sale.”  You get a lot of confidence when someone says “somehow.”

We also learn: “In 2012 Gentile’s home and property in Manchester, Conn. were extensively searched but no sign of the stolen Gardner artwork was located.”  

So we’re to believe the FBI is working diligently on the case based on two informants giving a story in the late 1990s and information that “some or all” of the art work was offered for sale in 2000. I got to say one thing about this FBI Agent Kelly: he’s got a good thing going if he thinks the trail has not gone cold when the last bit of information was 14 years ago.

However what makes all this sort of laughable is that the FBI told somewhat the same story just a short time ago which no one in the media seems to remember. In March, 2013, the FBI Special Agent in Charge, Richard DesLauriers, the same person in charge of the Marathon Terrorist Attack investigation, said “The FBI believes with a high degree of confidence that in the years after the theft, the art was transported to Connecticut and the Philadelphia region, and some of the art was taken to Philadelphia, where it was offered for sale by those responsible for the theft.” DesLauriers added, “With that same confidence, we have identified the thieves, who are members of a criminal organization with a base in the Mid-Atlantic states and New England.” 

The FBI Bulletin also said: “After the attempted sale, which took place approximately a decade ago, the FBI’s knowledge of the art’s whereabouts is limited.”  What does “limited” mean?

Yet, in typical FBI Bureauspeak DesLauriers said the reason for the announcement over a year ago was: “we want to widen the ‘aperture of awareness’ of this crime to the reach the American public and others around the world,”  I wrote about this at the time noting that the FBI figured it caught Whitey by widening the aperture of awareness so perhaps it could get the art work back using the same methods.

The bottom line is the FBI has no information that is new. It hasn’t had anything for 14 years. It keeps putting out the same information in a different package pretending something has happened. I suggested before that it is on the wrong track: the guys it mentioned are run-of-the-mill hoodlums who aren’t professional art thieves and the Gardner heist was a professional job. The guys it mentioned would have given up the art work in a heart beat to get a deal.

Agent Kelly has been on the case for many years; it’s time the FBI put someone else on it to give it a fresh look. Turning over the same story year after year as if something is happening is a hoax on the public.

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44 thoughts on “Holy Caramba! The FBI’s Gardner Museum Hoax Continues

  1. Rather, I might not want to paint it, but it is a small world. Yes, our paths have no doubt crossed and may again. Whitey McGrail was a peach. would come into 24 in that 2-3 a.m.post bar close weekend rush, a dame on either side of him, and a really roguish air. He put on the Fourth fireworks down at the beach each year. and his murder in his bar, allegedly by long deceased now David Greig, closed out an era of sorts that you and I need no words to describe, as we shared that time over there. Yes… Lancione death was a raw strange deal. It’s brutality was out of all proportion to who he was. It remains a mystery … or as the writer Jack Beatty would put it … It was a highly leveraged deal. Reynolds was the initial patsy; his conviction was overturned. As I was not at all surprised to learn at the time. Well, We have seen them come and we have seen them go Rather. It is ever a story unfolding itself !!!

  2. J.K.M.,
    Glad to have cleared the air, so to speak. Your depth of recall, and willingness to share, is an incalculable asset to this blog. Some of your other revelations have spurred me to do a little research. I found the names John Reynolds and Jon Golden in relation to the Lancione murder. Very interesting backstory. It is funny how these matters all end up being interconnected. I too was present back in the day, uniquely positioned on multiple fronts and locations to know a lot of the players and goings on. I braced a barstool or two along West Broadway myself including the “The Car Stop” (I think that was the name) up by Magoo’s, C.C.C., Whitey McGrail’s place, Triple O’s, and the Quiet Man. I made my share of late-night stops at Store 2-4 as well, and it would surprise me if we have not been in each-other’s presence at least once. I am sure we would have one hell of a conversation if we were ever to meet or speak to each-other these days. Regards.

  3. * those heads were in a brown paper bag or sum such brown sack of course … unlike Queequeg, Melville’s loyal savage who carried his shrunken Fiji Islanders heads around on a string as he sold them one by one in New Bedford, Devlin’s savagery had nothing Noble about it. He was a real piece of work.

  4. Rather Not, No Worries, as the Dubliners say, and your gracious words are well taken. I am also detail oriented and understand completely your clocking of the age of Turner as being somewhat callow in ’84 @ 16 as apparently he was born in ’68. There was a lot going on on that corner of E and West Broadway during that time. Billy Connolly, who was a good guy, and nephew Timmy bought that bar in ’85 , naming it Connolly’s Corner Cafe, before that it was I believe named Clancy’s, but gotta check on that. Billy got … muscled … out of ownership in 86-87ish by … The Boys 🙂 … and the rest just played out in that bucket of blood. So yes, in the early days, the Best of Times 🙂 as we might say I remember Ritchie Devlin who hated me as passionately as I despised and publicly scorned him, sitting glowering darkly at the bar for a couple days in a row, with the severed heads of the young couple he murdered and was fetishistically carrying around with him for a time, set on the bar in front of him. Would that it were not so, but as Faulkner said, Life Is Stranger Than Any Fiction. And of course the Lith Club was directly across the street so the Casbah was hoppin’ back in the day.
    Prodding my memory, which is highly retentive, but with a personality all its own, I scanned more closely for where this five minute chat with Turner fit in. It seems to me that he was 18 perhaps at the time which places it more at ’86 and me @27 , and I am pretty sure I asked him his age as it is the type of hierarchical sorting out young men do. He was wearing a gold chain. He was a charmer. And he will be released from Danbury in 2025 . He will be 55. I liked him, but regarded his apparent career path … sceptically at the time. I am noted for a certain clairvoyance in these and other matters. Carmello Merlino was in likelihood a surrogate father figure for him. Not all surrogate fathers are the same. He did the kid no favors.
    Again, I understood your caveat Rather. I respect your being also a Gentleman in acknowledging our sojourn to clarity and truth together. And I , as even when we grappled, note that I esteem also the deft way in which you turn a phrase. Slainte !!! 🙂

  5. * publicly labelling the latter … i.e. calling him a murderer when he has never been convicted of such.

    1. Hey turner was a bad guy he killed my uncle and my grandfather was not a Coke dealer he hung out with them turner deserves to be in jail for ever

  6. Declan, It’s somewhat inconsistent to averr in your post that an FBI Agent ” ginned” up the armored car heist and lured in Turner, lied on the stand, and committed other Constitutional wrongs to Turner that … ” Will form the basis of his appeal” and so on ; and then flip into the mode of citing this as a black mark against a ” stone killer ” who ” was planning to rob an armored car facility” , and saying you find it ” curious” that I stated in a previous comment that ” I feel bad for the kid.”
    Turner was not indicted for any murder I am aware of, though as stated he is suspected of killing Charlie Pappas. So we can dance in the speculative arena regarding this, as well as the alleged FBI malfeasance on Loomis. But we can only say that he was convicted on Loomis … not that he is a ” Stone killer ” as you describe it. The latter is speculation and not ajudicated fact. Surely your sensitivity surrounding violation of Constitutional principles by the FBI admits to a consciousness of unfairness in publicly labelling the former.
    And yes Declan, I do feel bad for the kid. To see the tragedy of a life wasted that clearly could have taken a positive direction considering his personal qualities, in no ways indicates that I condone his sins. What I deplore right now, Declan, is that with a certain cheekiness you instigated an argument regarding David Turner with me, I answered your points logically and with consummate courtesy, and you respond testily with a morally prim, essentially ad hominem remark. So, what more can we do for you. We did what we could. Curious indeed !!! 🙂

  7. * Rather … the quote was ” coming up in the rackets ” … the date of recollection had three question marks following it ….. the person who introduced him was a young barfly of the female persuasion who was tugging on my beard a bit in her lovably wiseass way by phrasing it so
    … She was not … ” in that life ” … as you …. hyperbolically 🙂 … put it, nor did I imply that the introduction was anything but casual or under any particular auspices. You … Read … all of that in. You … Overshoot …. the mark ; which is actually the etymology of the word, hyperbole. No, not my style at all. If you are going to ” Parrot” my remarks and experience, then at least like the brightly plumaged Pirate’s Macaw perched on my shoulder, do it faithfully 🙂

  8. * …. and went home on East Sixth St. to my seven year old Son whom I raised alone, and my 77 year old Sicilian Landlady Marie Colabelli. I was shot on a Friday evening, July 4 fireworks were cancelled that year due to rain ; in an infamous coincidence , around the same seven p.m. time I was shot a small time Quincy coke dealer, Robert Lancione, was being yanked out of the Powehouse Pub, a half mile up the street. He was found hog tied at the Dorchester Gas Tanks the following Sunday morning. I inject this grisly detail about a poor bastard who deserved a better fate into the … Narrative … only because it was a coincident and easily objectively verifiable fact. In 84-85 my wife and I were living on West Broadway in Tom Kirley’s Steelcote building next to crazy ” Johnny Hardware’s” and his equally nutty ex- nazi Lithuanian dad’s hardware store. I was working the graveyard at Store 24 directly across the street and shut down my register one night when I saw an inebriate getting his head kicked against the curb by two male and one female denizens up from D Street. I saved his butt. He was bobby Mackenzie, the riotously imaginative Eddie Mackenzie’s brother. Eddie is a trip. He is full of shit about Jimmy Bulger, but he always felt indebted to me and we always got along. I am sorry he is so jammed up sitting down in Central Fall right now. I let him and his Fagan’s crew of gym rats steal too much stuff out of 24 not to admit I had a soft spot for those delinquents. Their nickname for me was alternately Clark Kent and … Superman 🙂 … But I was a young man then … Rather Not. In typically Irish fashion you salted a compliment or two about my writing style in amongst the rocks thrown 🙂 … I do not have like yourself a … Nom De Blog. I use the one that Jesuit Priest John King, whose namesake I am , baptized me with. Been a fun trip down memory lane … Rather Not. I have more than indulged your curiousity. I have always enjoyed your other comments. Please confine your wit to appropriate points and continue to entertain with your crisply crusty style. I will respond no further to such questions about matters that apparently concern and impress, for some mystifying reasons, You ; than ever they Would. … Could… or Did … impress me! !!! … Ditto for Turner 🙂 …. I AM …. John King McDonald. * Good Day to you Sir

  9. Rather Not, Hmmmmmm 🙂 so my bona fides as I might hyperbolically put it or as you might with a curious hysteria take it are of some concern to to you ; let me discreetly and in the spirit of democratic intellectual fellowship our Host encourages on this blog, attempt to put your temper back in order as it seems so oddly and with an inexplicable malice directed towards me, out of …. equilibrium. Since you have now dropped the mask of civility in discourse between us from behind which we all must peer if we dare to parry wits rather than blows in any discussion, or Great Enterprise in friendly comparing of notes on matters, like Matt’s TOWB BLOG, then I must answer you only in the following wise, and to what I … deem 🙂 …. the proper extent. So, with no waste of ammunition and sparing not your prejudices so strangely found against me this Memorial Day, let me take a shot at finally and for all time straightening you out as regards your carping foolishness about relatively inconsequent matters. I will not play your transparent game to probe my memories for information that satisfies your idle and idolatrous curiosity any further than this : I do not give a fiddler’s fuck as to whether you found my telling of Turner veracious or whether it was ’84 or five or six or whatever … It, and he, was a blip on the screen. I was living in Southie from ’83 to 95′ . I was shot at immediate range through the left shoulder the rainy night of July 4, 1992. This shooting happened at Marine Bio-Products/Peninsula Trucking on West First St. I was unarmed the night I was shot, knew my assailant, kept my mouth shut, checked out of BMC against doctor’s orders

    1. Mr McDonald,
      I apologize if I offended you. Although you found my few words hysterical, temperamental, malicious, uncivilized, prejudicial, carping, foolish, transparent, idle, and idolatrous, I can assure you that was not my intent. I overlooked your three question marks, which prompted me to publicly question the meeting. Had it not been for you naming the year AND specifying your age (and disposition) at the time, I may not have had pause, and taken to the keyboard, but for my knowing the facts and dates that I know and stated in my previous reply. Forgive me for being a stickler for facts, and please know that no rocks were included with my genuine compliments on your literary talents.

  10. Matt, INSIDE JOB 🙂 …I will say that there was a detail involved that has always struck some chord with me as regards the psychological set of the older bandit: It has been a while since I read the account, but there was some feature in it regarding this gentleman being …. a gentleman …. about the way he trussed one of the security guards to a basement pipe I think. He took deliberate pains as to making the fellows wait, until morning liberation, as painless and relatively comfortable as he could. This indicates high intelligence, a veteran knowledge of Psy Ops, and an extremely self-possessed under stress character, to me. A somewhat Gallic temperament perhaps … A European, rather than American gang connection ??? … This would explain a phenomenon we have both noted I think : the unlikelihood in the inexhaustiblly self-interested Underworld for criminals to keep a secret of such magnitude, for so long and with such impregnability. Someone runs a very tight ship indeed on this one. Let’s give them a salute shall we Matt 🙂

    1. John:

      I agree. The selection of paintings; the skill with which the job was done; the courtesy with which the guards were handled – not wanting to turn an art theft into some other than what it was – the lack of face masks (out of towners) – no leads and so many other things point away from the direction the FBI went. I’d guess they first thought Myles and possible Whitey, although that also would be out of Whitey’s line. Your point is well taken about the origin of the robbers; was anything said about them having an accent? It seems to me the investigation was bungled from the git go. The FBI should have secured every video for the prior year and identified the people who looked at the specific paintings. It would have been a lot of work to do but there’s no doubt the place was cased prior to the job and the bandits should have appeared on the video tapes. I do salute them for a job well done.

  11. Declan, Just read that pacer pdf on Turner appeal which I gather Mr.Romano and Carmello and/or William Merlino were allowed to join in on …. or maybe not Romano as he was the FBI C.I. Right ??? … Such a tangled goddamn web !!! … Well … what is Order for the Spider is chaos for the flies as the saying goes. These particular flies got caught in a very sticky web. And the idea as promoted by Merlino that he was Batman to David Turner’s Robin on the Gardner Museum job flies in the face of common sense : He was hot about the five million reward, breathlessly gushed on about it, got seriously jammed up on the Loomis Armored Car Facility conspiracy, but was not able to produce or identify in any possible way the whereabouts of loot that he allegedly stole ???????? … Ultimately he had the most vital incentive of all to … cough up the goods 🙂 …. His Freedom !!!!!! … And …. Nuttin’ … after all the smoke and mirrored sunglasses … still … Nuttin’ !!!!!!!!!! … Ditto for Turner. Like so much else in Isabella Stewart Gardner’s. strange and mysterious Underworld Tour for her Old Masters, Merlino’s account I suspect is as Macbeth says ” … a tale told by an idiot. Full of sound and fury. Signifying nothing ” Macbeth Act 5, Shakespeare

    1. John:

      You have good knowledge and experience in this area. My sense from everything I have read is that this was a “professional job” done by guys who knew what they were doing and not by local hoodlums who the FBI have been using as informants mainly because they are available. What’s your take on the matter.

  12. * From David Turner’s mouth … to a easily gulled Boston Magazine starry eyed fabulists ears …. to the eyes of the Public. Reality according to D.T. … a kid who wholly underestimated the characters of the career Eyetalian wiseguys he ran with and was left holding his ass never mind his hat Lo these many years now. Guys like Merlino … sanctioned Italians … were not into being terrified by spoiled kids from Braintree like David Turner. Being easily lured to a spot and then a blast in the noggin’ easily sorts out that sort of useful boy. … One glamorizes a Turner at the risk of just being the sort of unwitting dupe that in the final judgment … he himself was. Good luck on that …Appeal … young David. It was nice to meet you !!! 🙂

    1. John:

      Truer words were never spoken: good luck on the appeal it was nice knowing you. I wonder how many dupes have been sent off to their dismal fate by the wise guys with that line.

    2. Dear John King(of hyperbole)McDonald,
      I admire your use of the English language in your comments, although I fear that they are far more style than substance. In addition to the repeated parroting of details and stories previously written, which is painfully obvious, you now seem to be injecting yourself into the narrative. I challenge the veracity of your streetcorner meeting back in 1984. For one thing Mr. Turner spent most of 1984 as a 16 yr old high-school junior. And how or why would someone involved in that life feel the need to point out a 16yr old, as “an up and comer in the rackets” to the likes of you, a self-proclaimed 25 yr old cynic, at the time. Face it, IT NEVER HAPPENED. Stick to the fancy words and phrases, they are entertaining at the least, and….you seem to have the host eating out of your hand.

      1. Rather:

        I know you directed this to John but you did suggest he had me eating out of his hand. I’m not going to say one way or the other whether that is the case since tit would be hard for me to judge that. But I would suggest that some of the hardest attacks on what I have said have come from him. I happen to agree with some of what he says and believes he provides a different and interesting insight into matters we are interested in. You are right to call him out on things as you should do when I err. That’s how we learn. Thanks.

        1. Thanks Matt. JKM does have a wealth of relevant first-person local knowledge, as do I. I know what I know, and know that could not have happened in 1984. But, we have sufficiently addressed the discrepancy, and decided to move on in the spirit of mutual respect. Let’s all continue this dialogue, as it focuses on one of the last remaining mysteries, of that era, that is worth following.

  13. * Carmello … not Carlos … Merino … my memory for the names of these … characteeeuuurrrrsssss gets hazy at times …. my assessment of them always quite … distinct … however 🙂

  14. Declan, An afterthought. If David Turner has any knowledge of Gardner do you really think he is waiting to a release date when he is in his early sixties to reveal and/or profit from it ??? It don’t compute as they say. I enjoyed your remarks howsomever. It is always of interest to conjecture about Gardner.

  15. Declan, David Turner was a bit of a hothouse flower from Braintree . Popular in high school, I believe he was very close to his dad. They worked roofing or some such and I think his Father got killed in an accident when he David T. was fifteen or sixteen ; this turned him in a bad direction. His early partner in crime was Charlie Pappas whose father George was no prize back in the day. Turner is strongly suspected of murdering the younger Pappas fearing his testimony against him on an armed home invasion they both participated in. David Turner was not a Wannabe but more a NevahShouldaBeen. The best thing for him would have been to be a NevetWantedToBe, but simply Was !!! 🙂
    I appreciate your tone and your take on the matter Declan, but strongly differ in your conclusions regarding Turner and the Carlos Merlino Crew. Merlino was an old hand; a grizzzled, murderous, and incorrigible guy. Turner was a good lookin’ kid with an itch in his britches to be a GANGSTAAAAA. Well, he bought the dream. His egoism and ambition were completely exploited by Merlino; a pattern common to gangs and initiation of younger by cynical older worldwide. He was vicious, yes, but judging by the indiscriminate way he shot up the younger Pappas, whose father George the coke dealer was professionally hit at Chinatown’s Four Seas Restaurant in … early eighties ??? , he was more a young guy caught up in things than catching up to the thing as it were. Well, the Feds rammed the shit out of him with their SUV’S that rainy morn in Dot as he drove around killing time wondering : Oh where oh where is Merlino who was supposed to meet us at the garage? … Typical Carlos. I feel bad for the kid. As denoted in my remarks about him, I was a very …. Cynical …. 25 year old. 🙂

    1. You feel bad for a stone killer who was convicted of plotting to rob an armored car facility? Curious.

    2. Hey turner was a bad guy he killed my uncle and my grandfather was not a Coke dealer he hung out with them turner deserves to be in jail for ever

  16. John,

    David Turner did not turn out to be a victim of the older generation. He in fact, was probably the most dangerous of the bunch. Merlino, among others, was terrified of him. Despite his polite and sometimes gentle ways, he is alleged to have been a stone killer. Several people that underestimated Mr turner ended up dead, including at least one person who was to be a witness against him at another murder trial. He was definitely thought to have information on the Gardner heist…in fact, (written about fairly accurately in a Boston Magazine article) he was brought in to the armored car heist(which was wholly ginned up by an FBI informant) solely because they felt it would give them leverage to get the paintings back. Merlino reached out for him several times to join the conspiracy, but had all but given up due to his failure to respond to his calls. The FBI informant insisted that Merlino keep trying to contact Turner, which, eventually, he did. Turner believes he still has a chance to win on appeal, which would be the only reason he would not give up the info if he had it. It turns out…hold on to your hat…that an FBI agent lied during the trial when asked about another informant that was working the Merlino/Turner group at the same time. As usual, despite ADMITTING on the stand that he had lied, nothing was done to the agent, who, coincidentally, was an old drinking buddy of the judge, who shall remain nameless. The judge decided that while he had lied, it really wouldn’t have made a difference in The outcome of the case. The whole matter of perjury, well, I guess we can let that go this time, right? Unfortunately, Neil Cronin (who is NOT the one who lied) is no longer with us. He is the only one who made any progress on solving the case. The Gardners new Security “expert” has absolutely zero investigative experience…he couldn’t make a case with 24 cans, as we used to say. He was some sort of uniformed building guard, if I recall correctly! Pay special attention to the first paragraph of the last link, Matt…you’ll have déjà vu all over again /Yogi

    http://www.bostonmagazine.com/2006/05/fbi-the-set-up-part-one/
    http://www.bostonmagazine.com/2006/05/fbi-the-set-up-part-two/

    http://pacer.mad.uscourts.gov/dc/cgi-bin/recentops.pl?filename=stearns/pdf/turner.pdf

    1. Declan:

      Good information. Thanks for it. The Boston magazine article is quite informative. I had missed it. I found another interesting article: http://arthistorystories.com/2013/04/18/the-isabella-stewart-gardner-museum-heist-the-suspects-where-are-they-now/ If you believe any of that you’d see there are a dozen guys who alleged to have seen or know something about the theft. Unfortunately, despite them all being hoodlums who would gladly have given the stuff up for a deal nothing has come of it. I think the FBI went off on the wrong track in the beginning thinking that somehow the job was done by local hoodlums. The Turner/Merlino crew weren’t into that type of activity and had they been there were just too many people around them to keep it secret. When I was doing drug taps we had targeted Merlino’s operation in Dorchester but for some reason that I now forget we never got around to it; probably because it was outside our jurisdiction and the logistics would have made it difficult to do. Reading the Boston Magazine story I figure the FBI gave it a pass because it had informants into it.

      Turner has been in prison for many years now and his chances on appeal are pretty much zero if he hasn’t already lost the appeal. The Boston Magazine story in 2006. Had he information on the paintings there is no way he’d not have given it up in a heart beat. The whole manner of the theft cries out “professional job.”

      I was unable to get the pacer cite you referred to. If you have a chance could you let me know what the first paragraph of the last link showed. Again, thanks for the information – it points to a lot of things that I’ve been suggesting and gives them substance.

      1. Matt:

        STEARNS, D.J.

        “This is another case in which the Boston office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is accused of undermining a defendant’s right to a fair trial by attempting to conceal the identity of one of its confidential informants.1 Because the information provided by the informant was usable in only a limited sense, and was cumulative of other evidence offered at trial, no violation of the constitutional guarantee of due process occurred, and the motion for a new trial will be denied.”

        Sound familiar? ..do you recall reading about the prosecution of the agent that admitting to perjury? I must have missed The Globe that day!

        1. Declan:

          Wow, that is interesting but as you say we shouldn’t be surprised by now about the different standards and the judges just going along – never figured out how cumulative evidence was not so unimportant – I always thought the more you had the better since you had to convince the jury of the fact – for a judge to say it was only cumulative so no violation occurred then one must wonder.

    2. I doubt Turner has any useful pertinent information. He wouldn’t sit in prison for the many years he’s been there waiting on appeal. He would have put his Degas horses in the race to win if he knew where the artwork was.

  17. * … who couldn’t tell a Rembrandt from a Renault !!! … LOVE IT !!! … Matt, salt that one away. It’s what we call : A Keeper !!! 🙂

  18. * Matt, Yes … an interesting freudian slip … William Youngsworth … not ” Youngblood ” … Myles Connors Antiques hounding muse … I know he had a shop in Allston, lower part of Harvard, back in the early nineties. He led them on quite a Merry Chase for the paintings for a while even to claiming flat knowledge of their location in some storage space or whatnot ; But alack and alas …. T’were all for naught. He died about eight years ago now I think. The intrepid Myles meanwhile is ruggedly carrying on down in rural R.I. with the random bust here and there for stealing sunglasses from Rite Aid and purloining bales of hay from his neighbors adjoining fields during Night’s dark watches. Oh Myles, Bill Delahunt’s darlin’, thy larcenous Art Treasurin’ thievin’ heart wert ever an equal opportunity one 🙂 Gotta love Myles … the Zen hoodlum !!! … Matt, I bet you know just what I mean about this colorful character who made your Norfolk County boss’s career. Now … there’s another book idea for you !!! 🙂 … Happy Memorial Day Counselor !!!

  19. Interesting to note that AG Holder has ordered all interviews of suspects to be recorded and if possible be filmed. You deserve much credit for emphasizing the need for this correction to the old unreliable practice of note taking. Your constant refrain has produced an essential improvement in federal law enforcement practices that will benefit the entire country. Hopefully your position on the injustice inflicted on Connolly in Florida will be just as efficacious. Happy Memorial Day and congratulation for a job well done.

    1. NC:

      If only that was the case – you jumped ahead of my 10.00 post on Holder – it’s like a lot of other things somewhat of a sham. Happy Memorial Day to to you and thanks for the boost.

  20. Matt, I agree. Merlino’s young protege, David Turner, will remain in federal custody for many more years after being busted driving around with the armament for that abortive heist. Seems unlikely Merlino would have had anything substantive Turner would not have known of, and then bargained with. From Billy Youngblood/Myles Connor on this case is replete with pretenders. And yet …

    I had a brief corner of E and West Broadway encounter with young Davey Turner outside a bar of now notorious repute in ’84 ??? … The gold chained stripling several years younger than my very cynical self at age 25 was introduced to me as someone who was … ” Coming up in the Rackets..” He was polite, respectful, articulate and highly personable. But I remember thinking to myself as I regarded him askance, though not in an unfriendly way something in the way of : Man, these Old Guys are gonna pick your bones clean and leave them winnowing in the wind. Yes, such was my cynicism !!! 🙂 …. And yes, that’s pretty much what Merlino and that bunch did, though Davey was clearly a willing, though less than witting, fellow traveler.
    Funny thing is though, it is not difficult to imagine his style and personality, and the kid did have both, as fitting into the younger of the two Gardner Robbery’s ” Boston Police Officers ” uniforms . But this has all become an imaginative crime solving parlor game by now. If he had the goods, which the Feds were hot on him about for a time, he would have bargained for his freedom, and more !!! Ahhhh … those wily Feds …. just what are they still on about ??? ….. SUMTIN’ apparently 🙂 … I think they are dismissed at peril … Damn … is that Storm On The Sea Of Galilee strongly missed … And the Shade of Isabella Stewart Gardner

    1. John:

      Good insight into one of the hoodlums. I’d have no problem if the FBI would come out and say “look we’re at a dead end and we need your help – get us back the paintings and we’ll give you a cool 5 million.” I wonder if that woman in Iceland can come in to help.

      You point out that all the pretenders have had information on the paintings. You know those guys always looking o pull a con. Remember that Herald Reporter who was trying to help find them using a guy named Youngsworth to go to a warehouse where he was shown a part of the picture and took a paint sampling. As I said chasing after these local hoodlums who couldn’t tell a Rembrandt from a Renault seems like much wasted time. Next year is the 25th anniversary – you can bet the media will be telling us that the FBI has new leads. Sometimes when I see some of the things the FBI does it reminds me of the song by the Platters the great pretenders.

        1. Jan:

          I sort of doubt it. I’d have been happy with two million to just drift off into the sunset.

          1. 5 million is a good sum considering the statute has run and/or the concern expressed is for the return of the artwork rather than prosecution even if the statute hadn’t run. Who drifted off into the sunset with 2 million?

            1. Jan:

              5 million is nice. Maybe the FBI will arrange with the the lady from Iceland to get the paintings.

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