An attorney from Quincy, Massachusetts believes that one of his clients may have valuable information that could help FBI agents identify the men involved in an art heist that took place at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990. The attorney George Burke, who formally worked as a district attorney for Norfolk County, has stated that his client believes he can identify one of the men pictured in surveillance footage released from the museum that depicts the heist taking place.
The client, who has respectfully requested to remain anonymous at this time, is an antiques dealer who recognized one of the individuals in the video as someone he knew who also worked with antiques at the time. He has stated that the individual in question had connections to a man by the name of Myles Connor—Connor, a man from Milton, Massachusetts, had been suspected of playing a role in the heist for many years. At the time of the incident however, Myles Connor was already in federal jail for other crimes. He has stated to authorities that while he had originally planned an art heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1988, he was not the one who hired this crew in 1990. The client of George Burke who was able to identify the man in question contacted his attorney after surveillance footage had been released earlier in the week. The man asked for attorney Burke to release the information on his behalf, stating that he was “…deathly afraid of being killed.” Following this exchange, George Burke contacted the U.S. District to notify Carmen Ortiz of the development.
The heist, which took place on March 18, 1990, has largely remained a mystery in the 25 years that have passed since the incident occurred. Footage amassed over a two day period between March 17th and 18th of that year show a vehicle pulling up to the rear door of the Gardner museum at approximately 12:49 AM on March 17th —an estimated 24 hours before the actual heist happened. In this particular clip of video surveillance, a man is shown entering the museum with the help of a security guard that was on duty at the time. The next day, in the early hours of March 18th, a similar vehicle is shown arriving at the museum again. This time two men who had been dressed in police uniforms convinced the guard on duty to allow them to gain access to the museum. Shortly after the security guards complied, the false police officers handcuffed the guards and began their thievery. According to reports, the two men stole approximately 13 works of art with an estimated value of $500 million. The FBI has concluded that the vehicle seen in the video from March 17th looks similar to the one seen in the video from March 18th, and that the entrance used by the two men was the same as the one used by the first man in the initial surveillance footage.
George Burke is all too familiar with these types of situations. Prior to being informed of the possible identity of one of the thieves shown in the video, Burke dealt with Myles Connor directly in an effort to recover a Rembrandt painting that Connor had stolen in the past. Burke has stated that with the new information coming to light, he feels as though his involvement has come “full-circle”.
Prior to the release of information being provided by George Burke’s client, the FBI indicated that it had identified the two men in the footage and had determined that both individuals have since passed away. Releasing the videos of the heist was a way for FBI officials to gain further information about what took place all those years ago. A mystery that has eluded agents for the better part of two decades may be one step closer to becoming uncovered. FBI agents working on the case are still hopeful they may be able to track down the 13 works of art stolen in 1990.
In addition to the efforts sustained by FBI officials, the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum is offering a reward of $5 million to anyone who can provide helpful information that will lead to the recollection of these priceless art pieces.
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