I wrote how the FBI announced it had recovered a Stradivarius violin and that it told how it was praised by the Justice Department for its “outstanding work” when all its agents did was take custody of it from a violin appraiser who recognized it as having been stolen. I’ve mentioned this many times before that the FBI is in the business of fooling the American people which is all right since it has been doing that since J. Edgar Hoover took over back in 1924; the only time a problem arises is if it is fooling itself. Its job is too important for it to be doing that yet if it considers taking custody of a violin and transporting it back to its office “outstanding work” then we have an agency that is in big trouble.
Which brings me to the case of the 25-year-old Gardner Museum heist which is trending lately. This is because Carmen Ortiz has released a video of a man who visited the Gardner Museum the night before the grand theft saying the FBI agents: “are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying an unauthorized visitor to the museum the night before the theft.” Ortiz went on to explain that the car seen in the video fits the general description of the car seen outside the Gardner the night of the heist.
Now put on your thinking caps and delve into the area of circumstantial evidence. Do you think the man who drove the car in the video would have driven it both nights? If so, do you think he is one of the robbers?
If you do you have a problem because the FBI reports that it knows the identity of the two men who did the robbery posing as police officers but for some reason known only to the FBI it won’t tell us who they are other than that they are dead. You would think that if it was not conning us it would tell us who they were. It’s a well know legal precept that you can’t libel the dead so there’s really no legitimate reason not to tell us other than they really have no idea who did it.
So if the FBI does not think the man in the video did the robbery, what does it think about him? It won’t tell us so we are left to guess. Has anyone asked who the FBI thinks it might be and what his relationship to the robbers is? Does it think he might be a robber and one of the dead robbers? If so, why are they asking us to identify him?
There are more problems than that. I assume the FBI in its initial investigation took custody of the video. Wouldn’t you like to know when it first viewed it and what it did at that time? Wouldn’t you like to know why it sat on it for 25 years without telling anyone about it? Or did it?
The overall problem with the video is this. The video of the night of the robbery was taken by the robbers. It is fair to assume from that the robbers knew a video of the happenings at the Gardner Museum was in use. If a robber, or in this case an associate, visited the night before wouldn’t he know he was on a video and want to take that video also. It seems if you take one video that may be used against you that you would want to take all of them.
Then we have the old Norfolk DA George Burke surface with a secret client who can identify the man on the video. According to the Patriot Ledger Burke: “says the client believes the person pictured in the video is someone he knew who worked with antiques and had contact with Myles Connor, . . .” Anyone with half a brain, as Ben Carson famously noted fills our government offices in Washington, D.C., who read that statement would know the guy is a phony.
Here’s why. Myles was a famous bargainer. There is no way he would have done the long stretches he did in prison if he knew who did the Gardner theft. Also, the men the FBI say did it had no connection with Myles.
So what is going on. The truth is the FBI is at a dead-end. It is faking it. If the FBI didn’t depend so much on dirt ball informers it might have not been going down so many blind alleys. The video serves two purposes: to make it look like it is doing something; and as a Hail Mary pass.
Perhaps some years from now someone will stumble upon or inherit one of the items, bring it to an art dealer, he will recognize it and call the FBI. The FBI will hold a press conference telling us how it “recovered” the art work and what an “outstanding job” it did.
As an aside I suggest an article by Tom Mashberg the former Herald Reporter who was duped into thinking he saw the Rembrandt is another look at the Gardner heist from Myles Connor’s perspective.