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December 5, 2013

Thursday, December 05, 2013 - ,,, No comments

Isabella Stewart Gardner Theft: Boston's WGBH News' Emily Rooney reports Anne Hawley's first public comments about threats after the theft and interviews FBI Investigator Geoff Kelley about why suspect(s) not named and speculates about the paintings

Boston's WGBH's Emily Rooney reported Dec. 3 that the FBI has issued "wanted posters" for the 13 missing artworks stolen in 1990:
The posters don't sport the usual most-wanted suspects. instead, they display the missing artwork in an effort to get someone to come forward with what they know about the most significant art heist in history.
In addition, Ms. Rooney reported that "Gardner Museum director Anne Hawley is opening up about the loss":
"It was such a painful and horrible moment in the museum's life," Hawley said. Until now, Hawley has said little about the theft and what happened in the immediate aftermath. "We also are being threatened from the outside by criminals who want attention from the FBI, and so they were threatening us, and threatening putting bombs in the museum," she said. "We were evacuating museum, the staff members were under threat, no one really knew what kind of a conundrum we were in."

WGBH News' Emily Rooney interviewed Jeff Kelley, a special agent in the FBI's Boston field office, and a member of the art crime unit.

Emily Rooney: You have been in this for at least ten years.
Jeff Kelley: It is actually 11 years now I have been the investigator on this case.

Rooney: You essentially know who did it.

Kelley: Yes.

Rooney: Why can't you say?

Kelley: We have to temper what we put out there in the public, and we certainly want to get the assistance of the public and we feel it is important to kind of lay our cards out on the table and say we know who did it, and we know who is involved, but we need your help. 
Rooney: The former Boston Herald reporter Tom Mashburger has a great tale of being, essentially, blindfolded and taken to a place where somebody unrolled something and he got some chips. Is there any possibility what he saw is one of the real pieces?

Kelley: I know Tom and he has the utmost integrity. But from what I have learned about the art itself, I don't think that what he saw was the actual painting. He described it as being unrolled, kind of unfurled, but from speaking to the experts at the museum and at other museums, the paintings are so thick that they would really be almost impossible to roll up.

Rooney: Do you think that they are still in existence and do you think together — because with 13 objects, some of them are odd objects, they weren't all paintings — to think that they're together?

Kelley: I don't know if they are still together. I think they are all in existence.
Note: The correct name of the reporter "Tom Mashburger" is Tom Mashberg.
Here's a link to the YouTube video: