Vermeer's The Concert

Vermeer's The Concert

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Stolen Art Watch, Gardner Art Heist, Sooke Suckered By Gardner Art Spin, Web Of Dick Ellis Deceit, Ex-Cop Dick Ellis of QUINTONS FARM HOUSE GROVE LANE ASHFIELD STOWMARKET IP146LZ Scamming Victims & Insurance Companies

Dick Ellis of  
QUINTONS FARM HOUSE
GROVE LANE
ASHFIELD
STOWMARKET
IP146LZ

Art theft: the stolen pictures we may never see again

Hollywood has got it wrong – art theft is not driven by villainous aesthetes, it is a branch of organised crime in which masterpieces are used as collateral to finance drug deals

The Concert by Jan Vermeer...17th century --- The Concert by Jan Vermeer --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS
Stolen: 'The Concert' by Jan Vermeer Photo: Bettmann/CORBIS
It had gone midnight following St Patrick’s Day in 1990 when two men disguised as policemen entered the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Within minutes they had overpowered the pair of security guards on duty. “This is a robbery,” one of the intruders announced, before executing the largest art heist in history.
Roaming through the museum, a replica of a Venetian palazzo built to house a collection boasting works by Raphael, Titian and Botticelli that belonged to the Boston heiress after whom it is named, the thieves ripped pictures from the walls and cut canvases from their frames, before removing them in two trips to their getaway vehicle outside.
In total they stole 13 works of art, including a portrait by Manet, five sketches by Degas, the only known seascape by Rembrandt, and – perhaps most heartbreakingly – The Concert by Vermeer, one of only around 36 extant paintings by the 17th-century Dutch master. Today this haul is valued at more than $500 million (£305 million).
Earlier this year, the FBI announced that the case had been “solved”, but none of the missing works has been recovered. If you visit the Dutch Room of the Gardner today, you will find the frame that once contained Rembrandt’s Storm on the Sea of Galilee hanging alongside a portrait by Rubens.
A perpetual reminder of the startling and disfiguring effect of art theft, this empty rectangle contains nothing but the sumptuous green silk wallpaper behind.
Art crime has long been an obsession for the media, ever since newspaper proprietors discovered that in-depth coverage of the theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre in 1911 would dramatically boost sales. Today things are no different: witness the excitement generated by the recent reports about hundreds of works of art looted by the Nazis and hoarded by an octogenarian recluse in Munich.
Or the attention paid to two limited-edition prints by Damien Hirst together worth £33,000 that were stolen from a gallery in London last week.
As an art critic, I am occasionally asked to comment on stories of this nature, such as the 2010 theft from the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris of five important paintings by Braque, Léger, Matisse, Modigliani and Picasso, together worth at least $123 million (£75 million). Invariably, people want to know: what happens to masterpieces after they get pinched? Do they end up in some villain’s lair, where a billionaire master-criminal can gloat over them away from prying eyes?
Well, as I discovered while filming The World’s Most Expensive Stolen Paintings, to be shown on BBC Two this Saturday, the truth is that they don’t.
The reason I wanted to make this programme was to test the validity of the Hollywood myth of art crime, built up over decades in movies from Topkapi (1964) to The Thomas Crown Affair (1999) to Danny Boyle’s recent heist flick, Trance (2013). And it turns out that the popular vision of art theft as some kind of glamorous caper is hokum – seductive, yes, but pot-boiler baloney all the same.
The likelihood of a nefarious, Dr No-style aesthete commissioning bespoke, ingenious thefts is slim-to-none: indeed, the very concept of such a figure comes from a tongue-in-cheek moment in the film of Dr No (1962), when Sean Connery visits his adversary’s lair on the Caribbean island of Crab Key and spots an easel supporting Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington, which had been stolen from the National Gallery in London the year before the movie’s release.
The reality of art crime is very different. In the case of the Goya, a 61-year-old unemployed truck driver from Newcastle removed the painting through a toilet window in order to protest against the cost of television licences for pensioners. This is prosaic to the point of absurdity – but most high-profile art crime is dangerous as well as bathetic.
According to Art Theft (2011), by the director of the National Portrait Gallery Sandy Nairne, the international market for stolen art and antiquities is worth as much as $5 billion annually: “This places it among the top international crimes, after drugs, money-laundering and the sale of illegal weapons.”
In other words, the notion of a criminal connoisseur in the mould of Dr No may be a myth, but gangs of everyday thieves and thugs do steal art – and lots of it. But since they can’t flog stolen masterpieces on the legitimate market, how does the big business of art theft actually work?
There are several ways thieves try to convert their spoils into cash. Newcomers might hope to ransom works back to the institutions from which they were stolen – but this rarely yields results. Often, though, a museum (or an insurance company) will offer a reward for information leading to the recovery of a work. While rewards are never paid to criminals, this can be circumvented with the help of one or two shady middlemen – with the authorities turning a blind eye, as long as the stolen goods are returned.
Most likely, though, pilfered art will accrue value on the black market. Typically, a stolen painting’s underworld currency will be between three and 10 per cent of its estimated legitimate value, as quoted in the media.
Thus, Vermeer’s The Concert, which is often said to be worth up to $300 million, could be a kind of criminal gaming chip, with a felonious value of up to $30 million. It could then be used as collateral, helping to finance drug deals, gun-running, tobacco trafficking, and other illicit activities.
There are obvious benefits to controlling even a share in a single object worth so much money: “Since the introduction of money-laundering regulations, it has become unsafe for criminals to pay for their operations in cash,” says Dick Ellis, who set up the Art and Antiques Squad at New Scotland Yard. “With its black-market value, stolen art can easily be carried across international borders.
“It has an international value, without the hassle of currency conversion, and may even be accepted as a trophy payment by senior cartel members.” The canvas of Vermeer’s The Concert measures just 72.5cm x 64.7cm.
Of course, there is also the prospect of a bleaker fate for stolen art: irreparable damage, or, worse, destruction. In 1969, shortly after it appeared in a television programme about Italy’s little-known artistic treasures, a late nativity by Caravaggio was stolen from an oratory in Palermo in Sicily.
Given the location of the crime, the most likely culprits were the Mafia. Sure enough, over the years, several Mafia pentiti have spoken out about what happened to the painting, which is still missing.
One said that it was ruined when it was cut out of its frame. Another claimed that it was left to moulder in a farm outhouse, where rats and pigs slowly devoured it, before it was burned.
“The overall recovery rate of stolen art is probably only 15 per cent,” explains Julian Radcliffe of the Art Loss Register, an international database of stolen and missing works. “Of the other 85 per cent, probably 20 per cent have been destroyed.”
Returning to the Gardner case, if the FBI is so confident that the crime has been solved, then where are the missing paintings?
While filming my new documentary, I met an FBI agent to discuss the possibilities. He told me that he knew who had committed the original crime, and that the agency had even traced the whereabouts of the stolen works until the turn of the millennium, when they had reached Philadelphia. But at that point, the trail went cold.
Does he have any inkling about their location today? “Absolutely not,” he said. Nobody outside the criminal fraternity can even say for sure whether they still exist.
Ultimately, we like hearing about well-executed art heists, in part because many of the cases remain unsolved – and everyone loves a fiendish mystery. But it’s time we ditched the Hollywood myths, toughened up and got real. The truth about stolen paintings is anything but glamorous. Art crime is a brutal business, with repercussions for us all.
'The World’s Most Expensive Stolen Paintings’ is on BBC Two at 9pm on Saturday

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Stolen Art Watch, Gardner Art Heist, No Mention of Immunity Or Reward, No Deals, No Mercy, No Faith, Public Expected To Provide Solution For Free, Forget About It !!

Geoff Kelly FBI Agent, Good Guy, But Follows The FBI/Gardner Museum Bogus Script


Gardner Heist Update: Museum Got Threats After Theft, FBI Needs Public's Help

 Empty frames hang in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
Empty frames hang in the Isabella Stewart Gardner MuseumTwenty-three years since 13 priceless pieces of art were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Gardner and the FBI issued a public appeal similar to the one launched just prior to James "Whitey" Bulger's capture — complete with wanted posters.
The posters don't sport the usual most-wanted suspects. instead, they display the missing artwork in an effort to get someone to come forward with what they know about the most significant art heist in history.
Gardner Museum director Anne Hawley is opening up about the loss.
"It was such a painful and horrible moment in the museum's life," Hawley said.
Until now, Hawley has said little about the theft and what happened in the immediate aftermath.
"We also are being threatened from the outside by criminals who want attention from the FBI, and so they were threatening us, and threatening putting bombs in the museum," she said. "We were evacuating museum, the staff members were under threat, no one really knew what kind of a conundrum we were in."
Meanwhile, the FBI followed thousands of leads worldwide, including in Ireland and Japan, and they believe they know who might have taken the art.
WGBH News' Emily Rooney interviewed Jeff Kelley, a special agent in the FBI's Boston field office, and a member of the art crime unit.
Emily Rooney: You have been in this for at least ten years.
Geoff Kelley: It is actually 11 years now I have been the investigator on this case.
Rooney: You essentially know who did it.
Kelley: Yes.
Rooney: Why can't you say?
Kelley: We have to temper what we put out there in the public, and we certainly want to get the assistance of the public and we feel it is important to kind of lay our cards out on the table and say we know who did it, and we know who is involved, but we need your help.
We still have an investigation here, and we still have to preserve the integrity of the investigation, and because of that we can't tell you everything, and I know it is kind of a little tantalizing to kind of put that out there and not be able to follow it up and say this is who we think did it.
Rooney: Have you talked to the person?
Kelley: We have certainly talked a to a lot of people, we have spoken to people we think were involved and spoken to other people it has gotten us to where we are now, and basically we need the help of the public.
We have used it before, and it is great, and we continue to try and solicit the help from the public.
Rooney: Anne Hawley told us — we never heard that before — that right after the heist there were all kinds of bomb threats and the museum was threatened. Explain that. What happened?
Kelley: Certainly when you have a case of this magnitude, people are going to come out of the woodwork. That is what happened.
Shortly after the case — it happened over the years — where people came forward either claiming to have information about the theft, or coming forward to try and extort some money out of the museum, so this has been such an unusual investigation.
I have been working it for 11 years, but obviously it has been almost 24 years since it happened.
And it has run the gamut from everything from an art investigation to drug investigation to extortion investigation. I mean, it has really encompassed every type of federal statute that you could think of.
Rooney: The former Boston Herald reporter Tom Mashburger has a great tale of being, essentially, blindfolded and taken to a place where somebody unrolled something and he got some chips
Is there any possibility what he saw is one of the real pieces?
Kelley: I know Tom and he has the utmost integrity. But from what I have learned about the art itself, I don't think that what he saw was the actual painting.
He described it as being unrolled, kind of unfurled, but from speaking to the experts at the museum and at other museums, the paintings are so thick that they would really be almost impossible to roll up.
Rooney: Do you think that they are still in existence and do you think together — because with 13 objects, some of them are odd objects, they weren't all paintings — to think that they're together?
Kelley: I don't know if they are still together. I think they are all in existence.
You have to be cynical in this position and certainly one of the things we have to look at was: Did these paintings get destroyed right after? When these guys woke up and realized they committed the heist of the century, did they panic and destroy them? And that's why we haven't seen them — it is a possibility, but we have had confirmed sightings of some of these pieces throughout the 90s and into the early 2000s and that really gives us a comfort level that these paintings had not been destroyed.
From the Gardner Art Heist Archives:

GARDNER THEFT: 15 YEARS LATER, 2005 Article



Sunday, March 18, 1990 is a famous date. On that day, the biggest art heist in U.S. history occurred at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, with over $300 million in paintings lost. Works by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Manet and Degas, along with several other valuable and irrepacable works, were stolen. To this day it is regarded as a fascinating and tragic moment in Boston history.

At the heart of the recent controversy around the stolen art is William Youngworth, who has been portrayed in the press as a central figure in the theft. Boston Herald reporter Tom Mashberg has claimed that Youngworth sent him to a warehouse where he witnessed one of the missing works: the famed Rembrandt painting "Christ In A Storm On The Sea Of Galilee".

Recently, Mr. Youngworth wrote to Big RED & Shiny, stating that he has been mis-represented. After much consideration, Big RED has offered Mr. Youngworth an opportunity to state his case, and present his side of the story and the subsequent interpretations of the Boston press. Below is his view, in his own words, offered to enlighten any discussion around the stolen artworks of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.


The most recently 're-newed' efforts by the Gardner Museum to recover their former property is this week's request was for the person who reached out to them in 1994 contact them again. Like 1994 was the only time??? Please! [1]

Is it because that person offered just enough of their neck to get it whacked off by demonstrating control? Allow me to be so bold as to make another prediction, like I did after they lowered the boom on me in 1997. That was their last chance. They carved the olive branch to a fine point and stuck it in my eye. The author they seek has passed away.

Mr. Kurkjian's feature was very interesting. While I don't care for Mr. Kurkjian after his bullying tactics of March 2004, you cannot take away from the fact that he is smart with a lot of feds whispering things in his ears that other reporters would die for. But he works for The Boston Globe which has some editorial integrity, most the time.

Then, of course, not to be out-done by the Globe (the very Globe that fired him for same reasons the Herald hired him), we hear from Tom Mashberg. The very same reporter that gave us the sensational summer of 1997 with banner headlines of "We've seen it". That was the tale where I supposedly took him to a warehouse and showed him the Storm On The Sea Of Galilee. Hey Tom, where did all that happen again?

Mr. Mashberg gives the public some tripe about another cell-mate tale. I guess he hasn't learned his lesson about cell-mate's with tales to tell. Poor Tom. Ever since he got tossed out of the Gardner car he's been pouring the nasties on me. Tom, we can't hear your tinhorn out here.

I haven't settled on the title of my book yet. Either Dirty Pictures or Tom's Tinhorn.

You would think those con artists would have packed it in by now. Just last week I received an approach from a party in Las Vegas offering to place Five Million in a Hong Kong Bank for me. So I sniff at the bait. In the story this person fobs herself off as a Las Vegas art dealer with a line like she is Julia Roberts in Ocean's 11. When I tell her how the process starts to even see if the new owners want to sell their new acquisitions back, the scam wore its tread off real quick.

The "art dealer" turns out to be a Las Vegas Dominatrix who's claim to fame was some lie she skillfully crafted about having Bill Bennet as one of her 'clients'. I've had some funny scams run on me but this was the best yet. Check out this "art dealer" at their website. Too funny. When I give him/her the "run along" I get a nasty diatribe and how she was going to my old sell-out lawyer and go around me with a crew doing 30 years in a Federal Prison. The same crew who the FBI said was plotting to kidnap my little boy to get at the Gardner stash. Sounds like they have it, huh? But because it is me and a flea has more rights in the Commonwealth then my family has, conspiracy to kidnap a little boy for a 300 million dollar ransom is fluffed off.

Trust me. No one on the face of God's earth wishes the 1994 author could write back more than me and a little boy.

Well who knows. Maybe the Gardner will get lucky and someone is hard-up enough to chase that fake reward. When one of their Trustees turned over my sincere personal letter to a Tabloid for publication last year my debt to him was settled. All he had to do was send a post card to a P.O. Box saying "yes" and he would have been talking to the people he needs to talk to now.

As for me. I found a woman who loves me. My little boy is growing into a fine man. Our life is nice and private. We have a beautiful home full of love and the Gardner can do their Blanche DuBouir act again next year.

Sorry everyone. I did my best but the frauds of the Fenway make too much off this thing to wrap it up. Hell, half of those things were misattributed to start with. I am left with one question from Mr. Kurkjian's feature: How did the robber know the security console so well? He knows, but not telling goes with the deal he made for what he got.

[1] "Gardner Museum Seeks Tips On Thefts", The Boston Globe, March 14, 2005


- See more at: http://www.bigredandshiny.com/cgi-bin/BRS.cgi?section=article&issue=20&article=YOUNGWORTH_GARDNER_THEFT_15_216622#sthash.JV6Dyz85.dpuf

A Hartford Wise Guy And A $500 Million Museum Heist

 It was a shore dinner in Maine a decade ago that transformed Robert Gentile, an aging, unremarkable wise guy from Hartford, into the best lead in years in one of the world's most baffling crime mysteries, the unsolved robbery of half a billion dollars in art from Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Gentile disagrees with most of what the government says about him. But he does not dispute that he and his wife drove to Portland, Maine, from their home in Manchester. It was nothing then for the couple to jump into a car and cross New England for a meal. Gentile is said to be passionate about food. His nickname is "The Cook."
Neither is there disagreement that Gentile was meeting Robert Guarente and his wife. Guarente, a bank robber, moved from Boston to Maine in 2002, after his last prison sentence. He was living in the woods, two hours north of Portland. Guarente had been associated for years with three Boston criminals who the FBI believed were involved in or had information about the Gardner heist. One of the three was Guarente's nephew; another was Guarente's driver.
Gentile and Guarente had been friends and partners since the 1980s when they met at a used car auction. Federal prosecutors have said in court: They were inducted into the mafia together. They are believed to have "committed robberies and possibly other violent crimes together." And they roomed together for a while outside Boston while acting as "armed bodyguards" for the mafia capo who was their boss.
No one disputes that Gentile picked up the check in Portland. Or that he continues to complain that Guarente's wife, Elene, ordered an expensive lobster dinner.
What is disputed, hotly, is what happened outside in the parking lot. Elene Guarente has told the Gardner investigators that she believes her husband put one or more of the stolen paintings in their car before they left their home in the woods and that the art was handed off to Gentile in Portland.
Gentile claims that Elene Guarente's account, which she first gave investigators in 2009 or '10, is, as he once muttered in court, "lies, lies, all lies." Through his lawyers, he denies receiving a painting or paintings, denies having knowledge about the robbery and denies knowing what happened to the art afterward. Gentile said he met with Guarente in Portland because his friend, who died in January 2004, was sick, broke and in need of a loan.
Gentile's most emphatic denial may have come earlier this month when a federal judge sentenced him to 21/2 years in prison on what the government called unrelated drug and gun charges. At age 76, overweight, crippled by back injuries and suffering from a heart condition, Gentile pleaded guilty to the charges — knowing that doing so meant a certain prison sentence — in spite of an offer of leniency and a chance at the $5 million reward if he helped recover the art.
Gentile's lawyer, A. Ryan McGuigan, accused the FBI of concocting the drug case to pressure Gentile to cooperate in the Gardner investigation. The judge brushed aside the argument, concluding that Gentile did not need to be persuaded by an FBI informant to engage in the profitable sale of prescription painkillers. In any event, McGuigan said Gentile had nothing to trade the government for leniency or the reward, no matter how badly he wanted both.

As he settles into prison, Gentile could become another dead end in the succession of dead ends that have characterized the Gardner investigation. But the account of how he became, at least briefly, the best potential lead in the Gardner case offers a glimpse inside a sensational robbery from which the art world may never recover.

Gentile And The Gardner
The FBI will not discuss Gentile in the context of the Gardner robbery. But its interest has become apparent in other ways, including filings in court, a sensational press statement it issued in March, its pursuit of Gentile's Boston associates and a curious price list found in Gentile's home.
Buried among the guns and other odd items in Gentile's basement was a list of the stolen Gardner paintings and accompanying values. An infamous art thief from Massachusetts said recently that he wrote the list and that Gentile probably acquired it, in a transaction not directly related to the robbery that may have been nothing more than an attempted swindle.
There are signs, too, that government investigators are not persuaded by what one described as Gentile's consistent denials. A federal prosecutor said in court that an FBI polygraph examiner concluded there is a 99 percent probability that Gentile was not telling the truth last year when he denied knowing anything about the stolen art. Gentile's lawyer said the results are false because the test was improperly administered.
A year ago, dozens of FBI agents swarmed over Gentile's suburban yard. They found an empty hole someone had dug and apparently tried to conceal beneath a storage shed in his backyard.

Federal prosecutors said in court that Gentile was such a fixture in organized crime in Boston by the middle to late 1990s that he, with Guarente, was sworn in as a member of the Boston faction of a Mafia family that is active in Philadelphia. In a dramatic press statement in March 18, the FBI claimed the stolen paintings were moved to Connecticut, at least for a time, and to Pennsylvania. The bureau issued the statement on the 23rd anniversary of the robbery:
"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. 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."

Characteristically, the bureau will not elaborate.
Not only does Gentile deny being a member of the mafia, he denies knowingly associating with gangsters. If he is being truthful, people who know him say he is one of the world's most unlucky men because circumstance in which he has become entangled.
Some of the most important art ever created disappeared at about 1:30 a.m. on March 18, 1990, as St. Patrick's Day celebrations wound down across Boston. Two thieves dressed as police officers bluffed their way into the museum, a century-old, Italianate mansion full of uninsured art and protected by an outdated security system
They bound the museum security guards and battered 13 masterworks from the museum walls before driving away in a red car fewer than 90 minutes later.
Among the missing art: a Vermeer, a Manet and five drawings by Degas. Two of the paintings — "Storm on the Sea of Galilee," Rembrandt's only known seascape, and Vermeer's "The Concert" — could be worth substantially more than $100 million, if anyone could find away to unload some of the world's hottest art.

Cooking For The Boys
In Hartford, Gentile seemed to inhabit a different world. He is short and round, with a high forehead. His hair is white and he leans heavily on a cane when he walks. He has penetrating eyes and is a pleasant conversationalist when he chooses.
Over the last eight years, he could be found most days at Clean Country Cars, a garage and used car lot on Franklin Avenue in the Hartford's South End. He put a stove and a refrigerator in a service bay and, as he wrote in a court filing, "cooked lunch for the boys."
"I like to cook," Gentile once said. "Macaronis. Chicken."

The list of attendees at his luncheons in bay No. 1, according to someone familiar with the events, could read like a federal indictment. Among others: Hartford tough guy and mob soldier Anthony Volpe and John "Fast Jack" Farrell, the Patriarca family's card and dice man.
Gentile's arrest record begins during the Eisenhower administration, although most of his involvement with the police occurred in the 1960s. Convictions include aggravated assault, receipt of stolen goods, illegal gun possession, larceny and gambling. He beat a counterfeiting case.
During three searches of his suburban ranch in Manchester last year, FBI agents found explosives, a bullet-proof vest, Tasers, police scanners, a police scanner code book, blackjacks, switch-blade knives, two dozen blank social security cards, a South Carolina drivers license issued under the alias Robert Gino, five silencers, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, a California police badge, three sets of handcuffs with the serial numbers ground off, police hats and what a federal magistrate characterized as an "arsenal" of firearms.

There was a surveillance camera trained on the approach to his home. Hanging from a hook inside the front door was a loaded, 12-gauge Mossberg shotgun with a pistol grip, a federal prosecutor said.
Gentile has giving varying explanations for the presence in his home of the weaponry and related paraphernalia. He said some of it had been there so long he forgot about it. Other material probably was dropped off by a friend who is a "dump picker." Gentile's lawyer said he is a hoarder.
He is handicapped by back pain, probably the result, according to multiple sources, of a blow his father delivered with a metal bar when he was 12 years old. He left school two years later to work for his father's masonry business and became the youngest bricklayer and cement mason to join the International Union of Brick Layers and Allied Craft Workers.
He took a stab at the restaurant business in the 1970s, but closed his place, the Italian Villa in Meriden, after two years.
Gentile and his brothers had a reputation as top concrete finishers, according to friends. When union construction slowed in the 1970s, he went to work for a builder of swimming pools in greater Hartford.
Meeting Guarente

Gentile moved from swimming pools to used cars, according to friends and material filed in court. He met Guarente at one of the automobile auctions where dealers buy inventory, said associates of Gentile and a person familiar with the investigation.
A source who claims to have met repeatedly with Guarente beginning in the 1990s said that Guarente was a bank robber whose last arrest and conviction, in the 1990s, was for cocaine trafficking.

"Guarente was Gentile's connection with Boston," said the source. "Until then, Gentile was his own man. He did his own thing, his own way. Guarente was a stone cold criminal and robber. He told me he robbed 30 banks and, toward the end, he was selling huge amounts of drugs."
Said a law enforcement source: "Guarente was the hub of so many people. He is an interesting guy because he is not well known. But he knows everybody."
One of the places Guarente visited, according to a variety of sources, including an FBI report, was TRC Auto Electric, a repair business in Dorchester, Mass., a hangout of reputed Boston mob associate Carmello Merlino.
Gentile met Merlino at least once: He was with Guarente when he stopped by the garage to talk about having work done on his car, according to a source who knows all three men.
Merlino and his crew were on the FBI's list of Gardner suspects in the 1990s, according to filings in federal court. The legal filings and FBI reports show that, by 1997, the FBI had inserted two informants in Merlino's operation. Over the next year, the informants reported that Merlino treated Guarente like a partner. They also reported that Merlino talked as if he might have access to the stolen art.
In one of the FBI reports, an informant said it appeared to him that Merlino "was getting the authorization to do something with the stolen paintings." A lawyer with knowledge of a variety of Gardner cases said the informant reports, collectively, suggest Merlino was trying to take possession of the paintings.
Merlino also was meeting, according to FBI reports and other legal documents, with two younger men: robbery suspect David Turner, who was Guarente's driver; and, less frequently, with Stephen Rossetti, Guarente's nephew. When he was questioned by the FBI, Gentile was asked to identify Turner from photographs, said a source familiar with the investigation.
While looking for the stolen paintings, the FBI learned that Merlino and the two younger men were planning to rob an armored car depot. Agents intercepted and arrested the men on their way to the depot in early 1999. An FBI agent later testified in court that, immediately after the depot arrests, he tried to question the three about the Gardner heist. They refused to talk.
The three robbers argued unsuccessfully that the FBI, through its informants, created a conspiracy to rob the depot to leverage them to talk about the stolen art. Gentile's lawyer failed when making the same claim in court about his drug and gun indictments.
The Philadelphia Connection
Guarente also introduced Gentile to Robert Luisi, the Boston mobster who a federal prosecutor said sponsored Gentile and Guarente for membership in the Philadelphia mafia — a city where the FBI said some of the stolen Gardner art was taken.

Luisi had tried to join, but was not accepted by, the New England mafia, an associate said. Philadelphia agreed to accept him when he reached out through a man he met in prison. He agreed and, according to court filings, became the boss, or capo, of the Philadelphia mob's Boston crew.
Guarente became Luisi's second in command and Gentile became a soldier in his crew, according to a prosecution court filing.
As it turned out, Philadelphia's Boston crew collapsed within months of being created. Within a year, Luisi had been indicted in a cocaine conspiracy. Worse for Gentile, Luisi agreed to cooperate with the government.
Gentile's lawyer said in court that Luisi lied to curry favor with the FBI.
During his interviews with the FBI, Luisi said Gentile and Guarente committed robberies together. He said they lived with him for a while in Waltham, Mass., while acting as his armed bodyguards.
Luisi told the FBI that Gentile always armed himself, usually with a snub nose .38-caliber revolver and a .22-caliber derringer. He said Gentile gave him a silencer for his own handgun.
The FBI found a half dozen silencers in Gentile's cellar, as well as two snub nose, .38-caliber revolvers and a .22-caliber derringer, according to a government legal filing.
Luisi said that, in the late 1990s, Gentile was planning the robbery of an armored car carrying cash from a casino in Ledyard and that Luisi had introduced him to a crew of Charlestown robbers who could help, a federal prosecutor said in court.
It was Luisi who told the FBI that said Gentile's nickname was "The Cook."
Gentile acknowledges using the name "The Cook," according to a government court filing. But his lawyer said he denies almost everything else.

He acknowledges working for Luisi, but said he was paid what amounted to small change for cooking and running card games, his lawyer said. Another source who knew Luisi in the late 1990s said "Luisi had apartment where they hung out and Gentile would cook. Gentile was the cook and the bodyguard."
Within a year of Gentile's alleged induction in the mafia, his network in Boston was in disarray.
Guarente was indicted for selling cocaine on April 1998. He was released from prison in December 2000 and died in January 2004.

Merlino and his crew were charged in the Loomis Fargo robbery on February 1999. Merlino died in prison and the others have decades left to serve on their sentences.
Luisi was charged in a cocaine conspiracy on July 1999.
When Guarente's wife told investigators in 2009 or '10 about the meal in Portland, only Gentile was a alive and out of jail.
A Postscript
One of New England's most colorful thieves, Florian "Al" Monday, believes he knows the significance of the list of stolen Gardener paintings — and their black market values — that the FBI found in Gentile's cellar.
He said it is his.
Monday said, in a recent interview, that he has been engaged in the murky business of stolen art at least since 1972, when he and a small group he recruited stole Rembrandt's "St. Bartholomew" from the Worcester Art Museum. In the process, one of them shot and wounded a security guard. The painting was quickly recovered and the gang was arrested. Monday got nine to 20 years in prison.
Because the Gardner thieves carried weapons, Monday said he was an early suspect in the theft of those Gardner paintings.
"Of course, everyone thought that I had stolen them since I'm the guy that invented that methodology, of robbing museums with a gun," Monday said recently.
He got stung in 2002 when he and a partner, a Rhode Island swindler who put up $250,000, tried to buy an etching they had been persuaded was one of the Gardner's Rembrandt pieces. It was a forgery.
Monday said he believes his list of the stolen Gardner art fell into Gentile's hands under similar circumstances.
Monday said he drafted the list for a partner, who knew both Gentile and Guarente. The partner wanted to buy Gardner art because he had lined up a pair of prospective buyers. Gentile was the middleman through whom Guarente and Monday's partner communicated, according to Monday and another source.
Monday said he was putting up the money for the deal, but would not say where he got it. He said he did not know and never met either Gentile or Guarente.
"Guarente? I know nothing about him," Monday said. "I never negotiated any prices for him. I hadn't heard of Gentile until recently. The list ... was a list of the paintings and the prices that I was willing to pay for them. That's what those figures are. It is not their value. It is what I was willing to pay for them."
The deal fell apart, Monday said, when the partner suspected that he was being hustled, and that Guarente had no Gardner art to sell.

Monday said his partner paid Guarente $10,000 when Guarente said he needed the money to travel to Florida to obtain whatever art was involved. Monday said he suspects Guarente never went to Florida.
The partner was next told that he had to pay to see proof that Guarente actually had the Gardner art. The proof was to be a photograph, purportedly of the stolen art.
Guarente mailed the photograph to Gentile. The partner, who carried a jeweler's loupe, recognized it as a photograph of a page in an art book. He left with the money but forgot the list.

Conn. man thought linked to heist gets 2½ years

HARTFORD, Conn. — A reputed Connecticut mobster has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison in a weapons and prescription drugs case that revealed federal authorities' belief that he knew something about the largest property heist in U.S. history.
Seventy-six-year-old Robert Gentile (JEN'-tile) of Manchester was sentenced Thursday in Hartford. He pleaded guilty in November to illegally selling prescription drugs and possessing guns, silencers and ammunition.
With credit for time served and good behavior, Gentile is expected to get out of prison in 10 to 12 months. He has been detained since his arrest in February 2012.
Gentile's lawyer has denied that his client is a mobster or has information on the still-unsolved 1990 theft of a half-billion dollars' worth of art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

Conn. man gets 2½ years in drugs and guns case; feds said he had info on Boston art heist

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A reputed Connecticut mobster was sentenced Thursday to 2 1/2 years in prison in a weapons and prescription drugs case that revealed federal authorities' belief that he knew something about the largest property heist in U.S. history.

Robert Gentile, 76, of Manchester, pleaded guilty in November to illegally selling prescription drugs and possessing guns, silencers and ammunition. With credit for time already served and good behavior, Gentile is expected to be released from prison in 10 to 12 months. He then faces three months of home confinement, followed by three years of supervised released.
Prosecutors were seeking a prison term of 4 to 4½ years. Gentile sought a sentence of prison time already served and wanted to be released on probation or home confinement. He has been detained since his arrest in February of last year.

Gentile spoke at the hearing, telling the judge he's been a hardworking man all of his life. He started talking about his wife, saying he loved her, before breaking down into tears.
The case made national news last year when prosecutors revealed that the FBI believed Gentile had information on the still-unsolved theft of art worth an estimated half-billion dollars from Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990.

Two men posing as police officers stole 13 pieces of artwork including paintings by Rembrandt, Manet, Degas and Vermeer. FBI officials said earlier this year that they believe they know who stole the paintings but still don't know where the artwork is.

Gentile has denied knowing anything about the art heist and no one has been charged in the theft. But prosecutors revealed at the sentencing hearing that Gentile had taken a polygraph about the theft and claimed he didn't know where the stolen paintings were, which an expert concluded likely was a lie.

Federal agents said they found an arsenal of weapons at Gentile's home including several handguns, a shotgun, five silencers, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and homemade dynamite. Authorities also searched the property with ground-penetrating radar in what Gentile's lawyer called a veiled and unsuccessful attempt to find the stolen artwork.

Gentile and a co-defendant, Andrew Parente, were also charged with selling dozens of prescription drug pills including Dilaudid, Percoset and OxyContin. Parente also has pleaded guilty and is set to be sentenced later this month.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John Durham said at sentencing that Gentile had been recorded by an informant saying he had associated with reputed Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger and another mobster. He did not elaborate on those associations.

But Durham said earlier in court documents that Gentile has been identified by several people as a member of a Philadelphia crime family who has been involved in criminal activity for virtually his entire adult life.

Durham said a captain in the La Cosa Nostra, Robert Luisi, told authorities that Gentile had committed robberies and possibly other violent crimes and once planned to rob an armored car carrying money from a Connecticut casino. Luisi also said that Gentile once lived with him in Waltham, Mass., and Gentile was his body guard.

Gentile's lawyer, A. Ryan McGuigan, called Luisi's allegations "hearsay" and said the government has never proven any link between Gentile and organized crime. He also said Gentile's criminal record, before the current case, includes only old convictions for non-violent crimes.

McGuigan said Gentile is a family man and retired bricklayer, concrete mason and automobile dealership owner. He said Gentile's last conviction was for larceny in 1996 involving improper distribution of proceeds from his father's estate. Gentile's other convictions were in 1956, 1962 and 1963 for receiving stolen goods, carrying a deadly weapon in a motor vehicle and possession of illegal firearms, respectively, McGuigan said.

When he pleaded guilty in November, Gentile said he wanted to spare the state and himself the expense of a trial and hoped to get out of prison as soon as possible to be with his ailing wife. Both Gentile and his wife have heart problems and other ailments, according to court documents.
Art Hostage Comments:
Lets look at the facts behind the case. First, back in 1998 William Youngworth offered help to recover the Gardner art if he could get immunity and the $5 million reward offered by the Gardner Museum. The FBI then embarked on a campaign that saw William Youngworth jailed for three years as leverage to try and provoke William Youngworth to reveal what he knew without any immunity or promise of the so called reward. That failed.

Then Robert Gentile, a made man in the Mafia was asked if he could help recover the Gardner art to which he also sought immunity and the $5 million reward offered by the Gardner museum. Again no offer was forthcoming and the FBI used an informant to set up Robert Gentile so they could pressurize Gentile into revealing what he knew.
Again this failed

Furthermore, the so called reward offer by the Gardner Museum is $5 million for ALL of the stolen paintings recovered In Good Condition, despite the undisputed fact some were cut from their frames, therefore the condition would not have been good from the get-go. Furthermore, what if a single Gardner painting or two or three were recovered, would there be a delay until ALL Gardner artworks were recovered? Yet another hook/condition designed to deceive perhaps?

Many well respected and experienced professional people associated with the art crime business think the reward offer by the Gardner Museum is bogus and the "Good condition" clause is there to deceive and prevent the Gardner Museum from being liable to payout if and when the paintings were recovered. The "ALL" recovered is also another condition to the alleged reward offer that prevents anyone stepping forward with information because that may only lead to recovery of a single, two or three Gardner art works.

Second, the so called immunity offer by the Boston D.A. office was explained by Boston Assistant D.A. Brian Kelly during the IFAR meeting in New York back in March 2010 when he explained that anyone seeking the immunity would have to give up their right to take the fifth amendment, meaning they would lose their right to silence and would be required to reveal all they knew about the whereabouts of the Gardner art and who has been in possession of the Gardner art.
 Furthermore anyone seeking immunity would also be required to testify against those in possession of the Gardner art.

Therefore it is little wonder no-one has stepped forward with an offer of help to recover the Gardner art given the track history of those who have tired before and all the conditions.

The only possible solution to demonstrate any semblance of sincerity to be accepted by an evermore skeptical public and anyone who may have information that helps recover the Gardner art would be for a clarification of the immunity offer and also a distinct clarification of the reward offer by the Gardner Museum.

Anything less just re-enforces the allegations that both the immunity offer and reward offers are bogus and designed to deceive.
GARDNER THEFT: 15 YEARS LATER

Print this article
Sunday, March 18, 1990 is a famous date. On that day, the biggest art heist in U.S. history occurred at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, with over $300 million in paintings lost. Works by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Manet and Degas, along with several other valuable and irrepacable works, were stolen. To this day it is regarded as a fascinating and tragic moment in Boston history.

At the heart of the recent controversy around the stolen art is William Youngworth, who has been portrayed in the press as a central figure in the theft. Boston Herald reporter Tom Mashberg has claimed that Youngworth sent him to a warehouse where he witnessed one of the missing works: the famed Rembrandt painting "Christ In A Storm On The Sea Of Galilee".

Recently, Mr. Youngworth wrote to Big RED & Shiny, stating that he has been mis-represented. After much consideration, Big RED has offered Mr. Youngworth an opportunity to state his case, and present his side of the story and the subsequent interpretations of the Boston press. Below is his view, in his own words, offered to enlighten any discussion around the stolen artworks of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.


----

The most recently 're-newed' efforts by the Gardner Museum to recover their former property is this week's request was for the person who reached out to them in 1994 contact them again. Like 1994 was the only time??? Please! [1]

Is it because that person offered just enough of their neck to get it whacked off by demonstrating control? Allow me to be so bold as to make another prediction, like I did after they lowered the boom on me in 1997. That was their last chance. They carved the olive branch to a fine point and stuck it in my eye. The author they seek has passed away.

Mr. Kurkjian's feature was very interesting. While I don't care for Mr. Kurkjian after his bullying tactics of March 2004, you cannot take away from the fact that he is smart with a lot of feds whispering things in his ears that other reporters would die for. But he works for The Boston Globe which has some editorial integrity, most the time.

Then, of course, not to be out-done by the Globe (the very Globe that fired him for same reasons the Herald hired him), we hear from Tom Mashberg. The very same reporter that gave us the sensational summer of 1997 with banner headlines of "We've seen it". That was the tale where I supposedly took him to a warehouse and showed him the Storm On The Sea Of Galilee. Hey Tom, where did all that happen again?

Mr. Mashberg gives the public some tripe about another cell-mate tale. I guess he hasn't learned his lesson about cell-mate's with tales to tell. Poor Tom. Ever since he got tossed out of the Gardner car he's been pouring the nasties on me. Tom, we can't hear your tinhorn out here.

I haven't settled on the title of my book yet. Either Dirty Pictures or Tom's Tinhorn.

You would think those con artists would have packed it in by now. Just last week I received an approach from a party in Las Vegas offering to place Five Million in a Hong Kong Bank for me. So I sniff at the bait. In the story this person fobs herself off as a Las Vegas art dealer with a line like she is Julia Roberts in Ocean's 11. When I tell her how the process starts to even see if the new owners want to sell their new acquisitions back, the scam wore its tread off real quick.

The "art dealer" turns out to be a Las Vegas Dominatrix who's claim to fame was some lie she skillfully crafted about having Bill Bennet as one of her 'clients'. I've had some funny scams run on me but this was the best yet. Check out this "art dealer" at their website. Too funny. When I give him/her the "run along" I get a nasty diatribe and how she was going to my old sell-out lawyer and go around me with a crew doing 30 years in a Federal Prison. The same crew who the FBI said was plotting to kidnap my little boy to get at the Gardner stash. Sounds like they have it, huh? But because it is me and a flea has more rights in the Commonwealth then my family has, conspiracy to kidnap a little boy for a 300 million dollar ransom is fluffed off.

Trust me. No one on the face of God's earth wishes the 1994 author could write back more than me and a little boy.

Well who knows. Maybe the Gardner will get lucky and someone is hard-up enough to chase that fake reward. When one of their Trustees turned over my sincere personal letter to a Tabloid for publication last year my debt to him was settled. All he had to do was send a post card to a P.O. Box saying "yes" and he would have been talking to the people he needs to talk to now.

As for me. I found a woman who loves me. My little boy is growing into a fine man. Our life is nice and private. We have a beautiful home full of love and the Gardner can do their Blanche DuBouir act again next year.

Sorry everyone. I did my best but the frauds of the Fenway make too much off this thing to wrap it up. Hell, half of those things were misattributed to start with. I am left with one question from Mr. Kurkjian's feature: How did the robber know the security console so well? He knows, but not telling goes with the deal he made for what he got.

----

[1] "Gardner Museum Seeks Tips On Thefts", The Boston Globe, March 14, 2005

Links to articles about the Gardner Museum theft and William Youngworth:
Big RED & Shiny news item - "New Leads In Art's Biggest Whodunnit" - BRS #2
The Boston Globe - "New theory airs on Gardner museum theft" By Shelley Murphy and Stephen Kurkjian
Court TV's CrimeLibrary.com - "The Biggest U.S. Art Theft"
The Boston Phoenix - "Don't Quote Me -We've Seen It!" by Dan Kennedy
The Boston Herald - "Documents show Gardner gadfly was informant" By Tom Mashberg
The Guardian - "The Art of the Heist"
CNN - "The Gardner Museum Heist"

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum website
Information from the Gardner Museum regarding the theft and reward for the return of stolen artwork
- See more at: http://www.bigredandshiny.com/cgi-bin/BRS.cgi?section=article&issue=20&article=YOUNGWORTH_GARDNER_THEFT_15_216622#sthash.JV6Dyz85.dpuf
GARDNER THEFT: 15 YEARS LATER

Print this article
Sunday, March 18, 1990 is a famous date. On that day, the biggest art heist in U.S. history occurred at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, with over $300 million in paintings lost. Works by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Manet and Degas, along with several other valuable and irrepacable works, were stolen. To this day it is regarded as a fascinating and tragic moment in Boston history.

At the heart of the recent controversy around the stolen art is William Youngworth, who has been portrayed in the press as a central figure in the theft. Boston Herald reporter Tom Mashberg has claimed that Youngworth sent him to a warehouse where he witnessed one of the missing works: the famed Rembrandt painting "Christ In A Storm On The Sea Of Galilee".

Recently, Mr. Youngworth wrote to Big RED & Shiny, stating that he has been mis-represented. After much consideration, Big RED has offered Mr. Youngworth an opportunity to state his case, and present his side of the story and the subsequent interpretations of the Boston press. Below is his view, in his own words, offered to enlighten any discussion around the stolen artworks of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.


----

The most recently 're-newed' efforts by the Gardner Museum to recover their former property is this week's request was for the person who reached out to them in 1994 contact them again. Like 1994 was the only time??? Please! [1]

Is it because that person offered just enough of their neck to get it whacked off by demonstrating control? Allow me to be so bold as to make another prediction, like I did after they lowered the boom on me in 1997. That was their last chance. They carved the olive branch to a fine point and stuck it in my eye. The author they seek has passed away.

Mr. Kurkjian's feature was very interesting. While I don't care for Mr. Kurkjian after his bullying tactics of March 2004, you cannot take away from the fact that he is smart with a lot of feds whispering things in his ears that other reporters would die for. But he works for The Boston Globe which has some editorial integrity, most the time.

Then, of course, not to be out-done by the Globe (the very Globe that fired him for same reasons the Herald hired him), we hear from Tom Mashberg. The very same reporter that gave us the sensational summer of 1997 with banner headlines of "We've seen it". That was the tale where I supposedly took him to a warehouse and showed him the Storm On The Sea Of Galilee. Hey Tom, where did all that happen again?

Mr. Mashberg gives the public some tripe about another cell-mate tale. I guess he hasn't learned his lesson about cell-mate's with tales to tell. Poor Tom. Ever since he got tossed out of the Gardner car he's been pouring the nasties on me. Tom, we can't hear your tinhorn out here.

I haven't settled on the title of my book yet. Either Dirty Pictures or Tom's Tinhorn.

You would think those con artists would have packed it in by now. Just last week I received an approach from a party in Las Vegas offering to place Five Million in a Hong Kong Bank for me. So I sniff at the bait. In the story this person fobs herself off as a Las Vegas art dealer with a line like she is Julia Roberts in Ocean's 11. When I tell her how the process starts to even see if the new owners want to sell their new acquisitions back, the scam wore its tread off real quick.

The "art dealer" turns out to be a Las Vegas Dominatrix who's claim to fame was some lie she skillfully crafted about having Bill Bennet as one of her 'clients'. I've had some funny scams run on me but this was the best yet. Check out this "art dealer" at their website. Too funny. When I give him/her the "run along" I get a nasty diatribe and how she was going to my old sell-out lawyer and go around me with a crew doing 30 years in a Federal Prison. The same crew who the FBI said was plotting to kidnap my little boy to get at the Gardner stash. Sounds like they have it, huh? But because it is me and a flea has more rights in the Commonwealth then my family has, conspiracy to kidnap a little boy for a 300 million dollar ransom is fluffed off.

Trust me. No one on the face of God's earth wishes the 1994 author could write back more than me and a little boy.

Well who knows. Maybe the Gardner will get lucky and someone is hard-up enough to chase that fake reward. When one of their Trustees turned over my sincere personal letter to a Tabloid for publication last year my debt to him was settled. All he had to do was send a post card to a P.O. Box saying "yes" and he would have been talking to the people he needs to talk to now.

As for me. I found a woman who loves me. My little boy is growing into a fine man. Our life is nice and private. We have a beautiful home full of love and the Gardner can do their Blanche DuBouir act again next year.

Sorry everyone. I did my best but the frauds of the Fenway make too much off this thing to wrap it up. Hell, half of those things were misattributed to start with. I am left with one question from Mr. Kurkjian's feature: How did the robber know the security console so well? He knows, but not telling goes with the deal he made for what he got.

----

[1] "Gardner Museum Seeks Tips On Thefts", The Boston Globe, March 14, 2005

Links to articles about the Gardner Museum theft and William Youngworth:
Big RED & Shiny news item - "New Leads In Art's Biggest Whodunnit" - BRS #2
The Boston Globe - "New theory airs on Gardner museum theft" By Shelley Murphy and Stephen Kurkjian
Court TV's CrimeLibrary.com - "The Biggest U.S. Art Theft"
The Boston Phoenix - "Don't Quote Me -We've Seen It!" by Dan Kennedy
The Boston Herald - "Documents show Gardner gadfly was informant" By Tom Mashberg
The Guardian - "The Art of the Heist"
CNN - "The Gardner Museum Heist"

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum website
Information from the Gardner Museum regarding the theft and reward for the return of stolen artwork
- See more at: http://www.bigredandshiny.com/cgi-bin/BRS.cgi?section=article&issue=20&article=YOUNGWORTH_GARDNER_THEFT_15_216622#sthash.JV6Dyz85.dpuf
GARDNER THEFT: 15 YEARS LATER

Print this article
Sunday, March 18, 1990 is a famous date. On that day, the biggest art heist in U.S. history occurred at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, with over $300 million in paintings lost. Works by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Manet and Degas, along with several other valuable and irrepacable works, were stolen. To this day it is regarded as a fascinating and tragic moment in Boston history.

At the heart of the recent controversy around the stolen art is William Youngworth, who has been portrayed in the press as a central figure in the theft. Boston Herald reporter Tom Mashberg has claimed that Youngworth sent him to a warehouse where he witnessed one of the missing works: the famed Rembrandt painting "Christ In A Storm On The Sea Of Galilee".

Recently, Mr. Youngworth wrote to Big RED & Shiny, stating that he has been mis-represented. After much consideration, Big RED has offered Mr. Youngworth an opportunity to state his case, and present his side of the story and the subsequent interpretations of the Boston press. Below is his view, in his own words, offered to enlighten any discussion around the stolen artworks of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.


----

The most recently 're-newed' efforts by the Gardner Museum to recover their former property is this week's request was for the person who reached out to them in 1994 contact them again. Like 1994 was the only time??? Please! [1]

Is it because that person offered just enough of their neck to get it whacked off by demonstrating control? Allow me to be so bold as to make another prediction, like I did after they lowered the boom on me in 1997. That was their last chance. They carved the olive branch to a fine point and stuck it in my eye. The author they seek has passed away.

Mr. Kurkjian's feature was very interesting. While I don't care for Mr. Kurkjian after his bullying tactics of March 2004, you cannot take away from the fact that he is smart with a lot of feds whispering things in his ears that other reporters would die for. But he works for The Boston Globe which has some editorial integrity, most the time.

Then, of course, not to be out-done by the Globe (the very Globe that fired him for same reasons the Herald hired him), we hear from Tom Mashberg. The very same reporter that gave us the sensational summer of 1997 with banner headlines of "We've seen it". That was the tale where I supposedly took him to a warehouse and showed him the Storm On The Sea Of Galilee. Hey Tom, where did all that happen again?

Mr. Mashberg gives the public some tripe about another cell-mate tale. I guess he hasn't learned his lesson about cell-mate's with tales to tell. Poor Tom. Ever since he got tossed out of the Gardner car he's been pouring the nasties on me. Tom, we can't hear your tinhorn out here.

I haven't settled on the title of my book yet. Either Dirty Pictures or Tom's Tinhorn.

You would think those con artists would have packed it in by now. Just last week I received an approach from a party in Las Vegas offering to place Five Million in a Hong Kong Bank for me. So I sniff at the bait. In the story this person fobs herself off as a Las Vegas art dealer with a line like she is Julia Roberts in Ocean's 11. When I tell her how the process starts to even see if the new owners want to sell their new acquisitions back, the scam wore its tread off real quick.

The "art dealer" turns out to be a Las Vegas Dominatrix who's claim to fame was some lie she skillfully crafted about having Bill Bennet as one of her 'clients'. I've had some funny scams run on me but this was the best yet. Check out this "art dealer" at their website. Too funny. When I give him/her the "run along" I get a nasty diatribe and how she was going to my old sell-out lawyer and go around me with a crew doing 30 years in a Federal Prison. The same crew who the FBI said was plotting to kidnap my little boy to get at the Gardner stash. Sounds like they have it, huh? But because it is me and a flea has more rights in the Commonwealth then my family has, conspiracy to kidnap a little boy for a 300 million dollar ransom is fluffed off.

Trust me. No one on the face of God's earth wishes the 1994 author could write back more than me and a little boy.

Well who knows. Maybe the Gardner will get lucky and someone is hard-up enough to chase that fake reward. When one of their Trustees turned over my sincere personal letter to a Tabloid for publication last year my debt to him was settled. All he had to do was send a post card to a P.O. Box saying "yes" and he would have been talking to the people he needs to talk to now.

As for me. I found a woman who loves me. My little boy is growing into a fine man. Our life is nice and private. We have a beautiful home full of love and the Gardner can do their Blanche DuBouir act again next year.

Sorry everyone. I did my best but the frauds of the Fenway make too much off this thing to wrap it up. Hell, half of those things were misattributed to start with. I am left with one question from Mr. Kurkjian's feature: How did the robber know the security console so well? He knows, but not telling goes with the deal he made for what he got.

----

[1] "Gardner Museum Seeks Tips On Thefts", The Boston Globe, March 14, 2005

Links to articles about the Gardner Museum theft and William Youngworth:
Big RED & Shiny news item - "New Leads In Art's Biggest Whodunnit" - BRS #2
The Boston Globe - "New theory airs on Gardner museum theft" By Shelley Murphy and Stephen Kurkjian
Court TV's CrimeLibrary.com - "The Biggest U.S. Art Theft"
The Boston Phoenix - "Don't Quote Me -We've Seen It!" by Dan Kennedy
The Boston Herald - "Documents show Gardner gadfly was informant" By Tom Mashberg
The Guardian - "The Art of the Heist"
CNN - "The Gardner Museum Heist"

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum website
Information from the Gardner Museum regarding the theft and reward for the return of stolen artwork
- See more at: http://www.bigredandshiny.com/cgi-bin/BRS.cgi?section=article&issue=20&article=YOUNGWORTH_GARDNER_THEFT_15_216622#sthash.JV6Dyz85.dpuf