Stephen Kurkjian has written a book on the heist. In an article he gave a run down on the matter. His story seems to revolve, like the FBI’s, around the idea that some loosely connected Mafia types like Robert V. Gentile had something to do with it. The FBI was trying to squeeze Gentile in 2012 (22 years after the theft). Those agents had information from someone in prison looking for a deal that Gentile had something to do with the robbery. How is it the FBI always seems to be like Monte Hall forever making deals?
These agents couldn’t get it through their heads that had Gentile known about the theft he’d had given up the information rather than go to prison as would any of the East Coast gangsters. He kept saying he knew nothing. He even said he wished he did know something about it because his family could use the five million dollar reward.
Despite everything in the world pointing to his ignorance of the heist, the FBI kept pressing on. Strangely it was able to get a warrant to search Gentile’s house 22 years after the heist. I guess on the federal side they never heard of staleness. On the state side the Hernandez judge found six weeks was too long a time to assume the defendant kept possession of the .45 caliber pistol he professed to own.
The FBI lie occurred two years ago when the FBI SAC in Boston Richard S. DesLauriers announced that they had a high degree of confidence they knew who did the heist. I wrote about this before. I noted at the time in 2013 that when DesLauriers was saying this that the FBI agent in charge of the investigation had no idea who was involved.
Kurkjian pointed out the reason DesLauriers made the announcement was not that he had any idea who did it as I surmised back then. It was that “he hoped the announcement would have two immediate reactions that might lead to a breakthrough.” The first, if you can believe this, that people would hustle up to their attics or out to their garages to see if the art work was hiding there; the other hope was that someone with knowledge of the theft would be so stupid as to talk about it over one of the telephones the FBI had wired up.
DesLauriers had a fondness for publicity. He’s the one that disclosed publicly the tapes of the Tsarnaev brothers. Had he been less moth-like seeking the glow of the camera lights he should have asked the agents in his office to identify them. They interviewed Tamerlan, one of the brothers. They could have nabbed them before they learned they had been identified and avoided the great harm that occurred when they took flight knowing they had been identified.
Deslauriers retired on June 11, 2013 but the FBI continues to put out false information as I pointed out here. Kurkjian’s book will take us along on the FBI’s fruitless chase of Mafia types as it looks for the stolen masterpieces. Apparently even Kurkjian recognizes the FBI is chasing its tail.
The FBI should understand that if any local Mafia guys stole it they would have done it as a bargaining chip to stay out of prison which Myles Connor always did. Since they all went to prison and never called in the chip it showed they had no knowledge of it. Further, the Mafia would know how difficult it would have been to fence.
People have written to me with theories that seem more credible than the ones the FBI has pursued. I’ve thought as time passed that it was a real professional job. Do people break into museums and steal masterpieces without having a way to dispose of them? I think not.
The Garner had to have been cased for a while before the theft; the items stolen were carefully selected for a purpose. I’d guess the masterpieces went immediately to the fence and then to the buyer or buyers. The thieves may have been liquidated. The paintings though valued up to a billion dollars are worthless on the open or even the underground markets. There’s a five million reward that could be collected. It would be easy to turn them in without criminal consequences and take that money.
That they have not been turned over suggests the pre-planning by art connoisseurs who have them for their personal enjoyment; or they no longer exist. If they were taken by hoodlums who found they were unable to fence them they would have been destroyed. They won’t be returned because a naive reporter calls those involved “fools.”
The case was bungled by the investigators on day one chasing after the usual suspects. It continues to be bungled believing every convict looking for a deal. Whether it would have been solved if the FBI did not lie and chase after gangsters is not known. But what is known is that doing that was not the way to go.