New England’s Most Baffling Unsolved Mysteries: The Gardner Museum Heist
Every region has its share of mysterious occurrences that continue to baffles its residents for years to come. From grisly murders and missing people, to unexplained creatures and “aliens,” New England has a long history or unsolved events that continue to inspire wild theories and speculation to this day.
The daring heist of $500 million worth of art from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum may be the number one mystery New Englanders would love to solve. Not only are we anxious to learn the identities of the two criminal geniuses who pulled it off, we also wouldn’t mind collecting on the whopping $10 million reward still offered by the museum!
On the morning of March 18, 1990 a vehicle pulled up near the side entrance of the Museum. Two men disguised as police officers buzzed the security desk, claiming that they were responding to a disturbance call. The security guard made the fateful decision to break protocol and let the “officers” in.
Within minutes, he and a second guard found themselves handcuffed and tied up in the basement. The men then proceeded to steal 13 pieces of art, resulting in the most profitable theft of private property in history. The stolen works include pieces by renowned artists like Vermeer, Rembrandt, Degas, and Manet.
The pair departed the Museum at 2:45 am, after making two separate trips to their car with the artwork. It took them just 81 minutes to collect their booty and vanish into thin air. Police did not arrive until 8:15 a.m.
Despite several promising clues over the past 30 years, “the biggest unsolved art theft in world history” remains unsolved. Police and FBI believe that the robbery was the work of a criminal organization.
The Gardner has not removed the empty frames or the blank spaces where the art once hung as a sad homage to what they lost. According to their website:
The Museum is offering a reward of $10 million for information leading directly to the recovery of all 13 works in good condition. A separate reward of $100,000 is being offered for the return of the Napoleonic eagle finial.
Anyone with information about the stolen artworks or the investigation should contact the Gardner Museum directly. Confidentiality and anonymity is guaranteed.
Director of Security
617 278 5114
After three decades, it is unlikely that anyone will ever collect on that reward.