Home Celebrity Does Netflix’s This Is a Break-in Resolve a 30-Year-Old Art Heist Secret?

Does Netflix’s This Is a Break-in Resolve a 30-Year-Old Art Heist Secret?


Does Netflix’s This Is a Robbery Fix a 30-Year-Old Art Break-in Mystery?Director Colin Barnicle

on his docuseries, which sets out a persuading case for who actually pulled off the 1990 theft of 13 invaluable pieces from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.< div data-testid ="BylinesWrapper "class= "sc-fubCfw sc-iIEYCM jetItr bylines content-header __ bylines"> By Lisa Liebma n April 9, 2021 Although he was just 4 when Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum was robbed, director Colin Barnicle has always been interested by the secret of the world’s biggest unsolved art break-in. In the morning hours after St. Patrick’s Day in 1990, two men dressed as polices talked their way into the Venetian-style structure filled with invaluable paintings, sculptures, tapestries, and ornamental arts. After announcing, “Gentleman, this is a robbery,” the burglars bound the museum’s two security guards, and invested 81 minutes cutting paintings– including works by Rembrandt, Degas, and Manet– out of their frames without ever tripping an alarm. They got away with 13 pieces then valued at about $200 million.Thirty-one years and

a $10 million reward later on, the whereabouts of the art– now worth $500 million– remains unknown. Barnicle hopes laying out the “nuts and bolts” of among his home town’s most infamous criminal activities in the docuseries This Is A Break-in, out on Netflix April 7, “jogs something loose” to finally restore the missing out on canvases to the Gardner’s gallery walls.As children of

former Boston World columnist Mike Barnicle and Anne Finucane, Barnicle and his brother-slash-producing partner, Nick, grew up finding out about the break-in, which was typically the subject of discussion at their parents’ supper parties. “It kind of was just constantly on in the background,” Barnicle recently told Vanity Fair.

In 2015, the director started foregrounding the truths surrounding the theft while also producing documentaries about sports and music, including Billy Joel: New York State of Mind, which won 4 regional New york city Emmy Awards in 2018. He quickly discovered that due to its very little security, the Gardner “was a recognized spot to strike.”

Though no forensic evidence, like fingerprints or hair, was gathered the night of the theft, Barnicle does not blame the Boston Authorities. “This was the FBI’s case. This is on them,” he stated. “They did not secure the crime scene the method they were expected to.”

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum garden. Thanks to Netflix.The investigation into the break-in showed up a slew of suspects. Guard Richard Abath’s actions the night of the break-in were suspicious due to the fact that he opened and shut the museum’s outside door about 15 minutes prior to the burglars appeared. A movement detector also showed that he was the only person in the room where Manet’s” Chez Tortoni “hung– the lone painting drawn from that gallery. Previous Assistant U.S. Lawyer Robert Fisher says in the series that the break-in could not have actually happened without details. But he likewise notes that if he might have charged somebody, he would have. “It appears like he did something odd, “Barnicle stated about Abath unlocking.” He states he did it all of the time. However there’s no record of him ever doing it prior to.”Still, Barnicle does not believe he took the Manet.(The previous guard decreased to be talked to for the series, and only supplied composed declarations in reaction.)

Plenty of other unpleasant characters– lots of with mob ties– hovered at the edge of the criminal activity. Convicted art burglar Myles Connor Jr.– who had actually previously stolen Rembrandts from Boston’s Museum of Arts in 1975– had a solid alibi: he remained in jail at the time of the criminal activity. Still, former Boston Herald reporter Tom Mashberg speculates in the show that the taken loot may have been stowed away in Connor’s 40-foot trailer and offered off by his criminal caretaker William P. Youngworth III. Barnicle disagrees: “I believe Myles was educated of the criminal offense. However he did not have anything concrete from it, and neither did Youngworth.”

Without any motion in the case by 1997, at the FBI’s request, the Gardner increased its benefit from $1 to $5 million (and doubled that in 2017). In 2013, the FBI announced that “members of a criminal organization” lagged the burglary– however they still had not situated the art. The series recommends two members of “made guy” Carmelo Merlino’s team, George Reissfelder and Lenny DiMuzio– both now dead– were the police impersonators who snatched masterpieces, including Rembrandt’s 1633 seascape “The Storm on the Sea of Galilee,” Vermeer’s 1658 portrait “The Performance,” and Govaert Flinck’s 1638 “Landscape With Obelisk.”

“I believe there was a shopping list for the Rembrandts,” Barnicle said of the scoundrels, who left behind a lot more important work. Instead of remaining in the museum, Barnicle thinks the burglars felt caught after a close-by holiday party separated, and guests spilled out into the street. “It looks like [the robbers] had police radios on them and they were keeping track of calls … There was a sound problem called in … You can be dressed in a police officer uniform, however it’s still quite suspicious when you’re carrying rolled-up canvases.”

Once they “recognized they couldn’t roll up the paintings, [that] they had a sizing issue, they started to choose off some little things for themselves … Products they could put in a pocket or fold up … They even went for a flat Napoleonic flag”– but just ended up with its useless finial.

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Stephen Kurkjian, an investigative reporter. Thanks to Netflix.Stephen Kurkjian, a now retired Boston World investigative reporter and the author of Master Thieves: The Boston Gangsters Who Managed the World’s Greatest Art Break-in, states in the series that a low-level smart man named Bobby Donati is key to the criminal activity. Kurkjian thinks he had the paintings after the theft. Barnicle stated Donati desired the Rembrandts “as a bargaining chip” in case he was jailed. A year after the burglary, Donati’s beheaded body was discovered in the trunk of his car. His murder is unsolved.According to the FBI,

the paintings moved from Merlino in Boston to his mob associate Robert Guarente– an old good friend of Donati’s– who had moved to Maine. They state he gave the art to Connecticut Mafioso Robert Gentile, who is also supposedly a member of the Philadelphia mob. Though the paintings may have gone through the City of Brotherly Love, Barnicle doubts they remained there. “One piece may have, but not the whole canon,” he said. “The Philly mob once stole a Corvette [throughout] the exact same time duration. And they could not offer the Corvette– and that’s an automobile … I do not see what they would be finishing with a Rembrandt.”

Knowledge of the paintings’ whereabouts might now lie with David Turner, the last remaining member of the Merlino gang. The founded guilty felon, who invested 20 years in jail for a stopped working armored-car heist, was released in 2019– after in some way having 7 years shaved off of his sentence. It’s presumed Turner betrayed Gentile, who was also in prison.In 2012, the FBI

raided Gentile’s Connecticut residential or commercial property– packed with helicopters and excavation equipment. The search showed up a pistol, some weed– and a Boston World story about the burglary with a piece of paper listing all of the taken items and their values. Gentile, now 84, was also released from jail in 2019, and rejects any knowledge of the crime.Rather than languishing in some remote area, Barnicle thinks the paintings are close to house.”I would be quite shocked if this things has left the higher New England network of bad guys. I believe they’re most likely stashed someplace in someone’s basement, or perhaps hanging up on somebody’s wall in their corridor. And they just don’t know what it is since it’s a Degas illustration.”And for the record, he states, the FBI agrees.More Great Stories From Vanity Fair– Cover Story: Anya Taylor-Joy on Life Prior To and After The Queen’s Gambit– Zack Snyder Explains His Long-Awaited Justice League Ending– Tina Turner Is Still Haunted by Her ViolentMarriage– Emilio Estevez’s True Hollywood Stories

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