Yesterday iI wrote about Kevin Cullen’s column which mentioned Mark Rossetti. Although he talked about Rossetti, his column mainly concerned the Gardner Museum heist. I suppose in a contest it’d be a close call as to who is more infamous, Whitey Bulger or those who stole the highly valuable art works from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
I’m sure everyone has heard and is relieved to know the FBI has identified the thieves who committed the Gardner Museum Robbery. What is a little disconcerting is it says it would be imprudent to tell us who they are. I don’t get it. The thieves know who they are, if they are still alive. Wouldn’t it make sense to publicly identify them and wait to see if there’s some feed back in information from the public about them?
It is strange coincidence that around the same time the Boston FBI office was telling us it knew who broke into the Gardner Museum a US Senator called that office “out of control.” There’s no doubt this office has a credibility problem. Any regular reader of this blog knows this.
There’s also little doubt that what the FBI is doing would not have worked for any of us in school. Although, I have to admit I never tried it. If only I’d have had the guts to say to the teacher, “Ma’am I know the answer but it’d be imprudent for me to tell you. So just give me an A.”
The FBI has one true believer. It is Kevin Cullen in the Boston Globe, who relies on the FBI sources for scoops. Cullen writes, “the feds think the art heist was pulled off by a combination of wiseguys from Boston and Philadelphia. Makes sense to me.” Cullen supports his belief by pointing out that gangsters in Boston knew gangsters in Philadelphia.
I happen to think the FBI is blowing a lot of smoke. If it knew who committed the robbery there is no reason not to tell. I’m cynical not so much because the FBI, like the gangsters, treats truth like an overcoat to be used only when necessary. It’s because as Joe Friday would say, “the facts don’t add up.”
According to the official FBI press release FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard DesLauriers said “[w]e have identified the thieves . . .” It goes on to say that Special Agent Geoffrey Kelly “is the lead investigator in the case and a member of the Art Crime Team.
You have to believe that if the FBI identified these two guys who stole the art work (if it were only two) it would know a lot about them like their background, their habits, their education, their friends, and so on. That seems not to be the case. From my reading of this article, the FBI is still wandering around in the dark looking for a candle.
FBI Agent Geoffrey Kelly said that because the painting were sliced out of the frame “that’s indicative of a rank amateur when it comes to art theft.” How does that square with knowing the identity of the thieves? If you know who the thieves are, you know whether they are amateurs or not.
Kelley also said about two of the thieves. “They were clever in how they got into the museum, but the working profile points to inexperienced art thieves.” It seems to me if you know who they are you don’t have a “working profile.” You know what their experience is.
Kelly goes on to say, according to the article, “it’s highly probable the thieves had no idea of the magnitude of their crime until they woke up the next morning and realized they had committed the “heist of the century.” If the FBI knew the identity of the thieves, it should know what they would have expected from the robbery. Kelly went on to say that when they found out what they had done, they must have figured it was best to “wait until the head dies down” before they tried to sell them.
Everything Kelly the guy in charge of the investigation has said points to the FBI having no idea of who committed the robbery. It would be prudent, if that is the case, not to disclose the identities of people whose identities it does not know.
Here’s what is going on. The FBI in 2011 did a big publicity push on Whitey and ended up capturing him. It reasons that if that worked, why not do the same with the Garner heist. The only thing the FBI has not figured into the equation is that the Gardner robbers were real professionals, Whitey, in truth, was an amateur.
Cutting the painting from the frame does not point to “rank amateurs” but clever professionals who could not tell when they cased the joint whether the frames were alarmed so they couldn’t chance taking them off the wall. Kelly notes how they took the surveillance tape and a print out of a motion detector which he said gave them “a comfort level that really would establish they had they had some type of knowledge about how the security protocols were conducted at the museum.” Amateurs don’ do that, professionals do.
It’ll be a least another 23 years before the truth will come out if the FBI doesn’t accept this was a professional job aimed at specific art works for which there already existed a buyer done after much planning and preparation. It wasn’t done by a brace of stumblebums hoping to make a score and waking up surprised to discover the magnitude of their heist.