If there was any question that the news media is a lap-dog of the local FBI just look at this quote from the first line in a front page newspaper article last Friday: “The recent discovery of old surveillance footage that energized the investigation into the 1990 Gardner Museum heist . . . “
The discovery was not recent. The FBI has had the video containing the surveillance footage for 25 years. Its public disclosure was recent. We must assume the FBI viewed it many times over the years otherwise it is a disgrace.
The FBI’s Gardner Museum problem is not the media. Our local Boston media which depends on the FBI as sources has a record of abysmal failure when it comes to questioning anything it says. It serves as the FBI publicity bureau and faithful Helen Gandy.
The FBI’s Gardner Museum problem is itself. It cannot seem to keep its story straight. Whether it is because it is lazy or sloppy it is hard to tell; or perhaps it is because no matter what it says or does it knows the Boston media will always stand and cheer for it like high school cheerleaders.
I wrote about this about two and a half years ago. It is appropriate with Carmen Ortiz’s office and the FBI making a big show of releasing the video that we go back in time to see what I said.
I wrote in March 2013 that: “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.”
DesLauriers, since retired, did not tell us whether the thieves were among the quick at that time. We have recently learned that they are not.
I wrote that: “You have to believe that if the FBI identified these two guys who stole the art work . . . it would know a lot about them like their background, their habits, their education, their friends, and so on.” I don’t think there is anyone who would disagree with that. In a case as important as the Gardner Museum heist we have to assume the FBI left no stone unturned. That goes to even assuming they viewed the video of March 16, 1990, the day before the theft and identified the dude who came into the museum.
After that I noted that at about the same time the leader of the investigation: “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.” (my emphasis) That made me scratch my head. If Kelly knew who did it he’d know if they were rank amateurs and would not be saying some action of theirs indicated that is what they were. Also, if they cut the painting from the frame you could say that 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 did not stop there. He said: ”They were clever in how they got into the museum, but the working profile points to inexperienced art thieves.” I noted at the time that “if you know who they are you don’t have a “working profile.”” If you know them you know whether they are inexperienced or not.
Kelly continued by telling how they took with them the surveillance tape and a print out of a motion detector. He said that 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.” My gut told me that amateurs don’t do that, professionals do.
I pointed out Kelly went on to say, “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.” He continued by saying they must have decided it was best to “wait until the head dies down” before they tried to sell them. How do you square Kelly’s surmise as to who the thieves are and what happened afterwards with the FBI saying they know who they are?
If Kelly’s scenario is right and a couple of stumble bums pulled off the “heist of the century” isn’t the first thing they do is to destroy the evidence? If they are in way over their heads their first reaction is to start digging out.
I explained back then: “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 Gardner 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.”
The newspaper article first mentioned showed my explanation proved to be right on the mark. The AUSA in charge of the investigation Brian Kelly was interviewed. He is quoted as saying: “Any strategy to raise public awareness of the artworks . . . can aid in the investigation, noting it was a public tip that led to the arrest and ultimate conviction in 2013 of notorious gangster James “Whitey” Bulger. “Certainly, keeping it in the news is helpful because it does lead to tips, and at some point they will get lucky,. . . They just have to get lucky once.”
How does this all square with knowing who did it. What does Kelly mean by “any strategy?” Lying about knowing the identity of the thieves? Pretending you don’t know who is in the video? Acting like you’re doing something when nothings happening?
One thing we did learn from Kelly. All the so-called information about the robbers is nonsense. The FBI is hoping for one lucky tip. It really has no clue.