BOSTON – The FBI has positively identified the two robbers who in 1990 committed the largest art heist in history, stealing over $500 million worth of masterpieces from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
The pair gained admission to the lightly guarded museum after midnight on March 18, 1990 by posing as uniformed Boston police officers. Their haul included one of the 36 known paintings by 17th century
Dutch master Johannes Vermeer. In addition, three Rembrandts and 13 other pieces were stolen.
One of the identified thiefs was a local ex-con who was free only because his lawyer, now
Secretary of State John Kerry, was able to get his first-degree murder
conviction overturned in 1982.
The works of art have never been recovered.
The museum is offering a $5 million
reward for the return of the paintings and other assorted items. The
Vermeer painting, The Concert, may be the most valuable missing
artwork in the world. Its current estimated value is $250 million.
Among the stolen Rembrandts is a tiny self-portrait and The Storm on the Sea of Galilee, the Dutch master’s only seascape.
Reissfelder, was a career criminal who was convicted of
murdering a guard during a robbery in South Boston in 1966. Kerry and Law partner
Sragow were appointed by the court to handle Reissfelder’s
appeal as Kerry began running for lieutenant governor in 1982. Despite
what had become overwhelming evidence of Reissfelder’s innocence, many
in the criminal-justice system were reluctant to hand the showboating
swift boat veteran a high-profile legal victory in the midst of his
Even then, Kerry was widely disliked by many in state politics for
his shameless self-promotion, preening and thin skin. For his love of
television appearances, he was known as “Liveshot.”
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