Quincy attorney says he may have clue to Gardner museum heist

“I’d love to see that this may be the key to breaking that case and finding all those wonderful paintings that were stolen”, Burke said.


Burke, now a lawyer in Quincy, told the Patriot Ledger that a client of his believes the person shown in recently-released surveillance footage is an acquaintance who handled antiques in the past. “I can’t deal with this right now”, she told the publication before hanging up.

The FBI has said the two men suspected of robbing the museum are dead, but the tipster believes the shadowy figure in the video is the brains behind the heist – and he is very much alive, according to the station.

On 18 March 1990, contrary to procedure, a night-guard called Richard Abath allowed two men disguised as police officers to enter the museum’s premises after they claimed to be investigating a complaint.

Works of art including Rembrandt’s “Storm on the Sea of Galilee“, Vermeer’s “The Concert” and Manet’s “Chez Tortoni,” were among the 13 pieces stolen from the museum, which features the collection of the eccentric Boston socialite Gardner. A red flag considering that letting the man in would have been against the museum’s policy, according to the NYT.

The thieves tied the guards on duty to pipes in the basement and roamed through the galleries, handpicking their wares.

In 2013, authorities said the robbers belonged to a criminal organization based in New England and the mid-Atlantic states and took the art to Connecticut and the Philadelphia region in the years after the theft.

“I would put them in front of the frames, and I would say this: These people, this artwork, was collected for one transcendent reason, and that was to inspire Bostonians specifically, but [also] the art world in general, to come up with an American tradition of art”, Kurkjian said.

Federal authorities have released the footage with the hopes that public cooperation might lead them to identifying the late night visitor.

A 25-year-old safety video is elevating new questions within the thriller of who pulled off the most important artwork heist in American historical past.

The video is one of several avenues investigators are pursuing in their attempt to recover the art.

Kowenhoven declined to identify the men.

The man briefly interacts with the night guard, and then disappears into the night in a auto that mysteriously fits a similar description to the one used in the robbery.

A $5 million reward has been offered by the museum for information that leads to the recovery of the stolen artwork.


The low-resolution video – captured by museum security cameras – shows a security guard appearing to hit an intercom button, then to grant access to a man who can be seen in the museum’s reception area at about 12:49 a.m. on March 17, 1990, nearly exactly 24 hours before the heist.

Empty frame at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum