America's Biggest Art Heist --1990


"Isabella Stewart Gardner, heiress and the wife to a rich man, went often shopped for an extravagant collection of artwork. Among her treasures were a Vermeer and a Rembrandt, two certified masterpieces. When she died in 1924, Gardner built a museum in her house to display her treasures. On March 18, 1990, two men dressed as Boston cops tied up the guards, shut off the alarm system and took off with the Vermeer, the Rembrandt and several less valuable pieces. The estimated the value of the stolen goods is $300 million. It is still listed as the biggest American art robbery on the FBI's website. That's because nothing has been recovered. The fear is that the thieves grabbed what they could and may now not know what to do with their haul. The Vermeer, one of only 32 known works by the artist in existence, may be worth at least $70 million, and so beautifully famous that it is unsellable on the open market. So the greatest art heist in American history may have been a botch, a tragedy so terrible that the thieves may have to destroy the very treasures they stole in order to conceal their guilt."

The Mystery

Where did the paintings go and did the criminals destroy the works? Where the paintings sold?


The Victim

The Victims are the art lovers of the world, the family of Isabella Stewart Gardner, and the Museum.

The Suspects

1) Robert Gentile, 76, a used-car salesman in Manchester, Conn.

2) James (Whitey) Bulger, Boston’s notorious mafia boss

3) Myles Connor, notorious art thief

The Evidence

Not much evidence is available (which is why this crime has been largely unsolved). The few things of some value are the fingerprints left behind, the MO of the crime, and the sketch of the suspects.


The Narrator of the story may be a detective who is assigned to the case, or one of the guards who were tied up during the crime.

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