The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, April 22, 2018

The Gardner Heist: The True Story of the World's Largest Unsolved Art Theft by Ulrich Boser
Reporter Ulrich Boser tells the story behind the caper and reveals for the first time the identities of the thieves.

NEW YORK, NY.- Shortly after midnight on March 18, 1990, two men broke into the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and stole $500 million worth of art, including one Vermeer, three Rembrandts, and five Degas. It is the largest art heist in history; it is the biggest burglary in American memory. But after thousands of leads—and a $5 million reward—not a single painting has been recovered. In THE GARDNER HEIST: The True Story of the World’s Largest Unsolved Art Theft (Collins, On-Sale Date: 2/24/2009 ISBN 13: 9780061451836, $25.95, Hardcover), reporter Ulrich Boser tells the story behind the caper and reveals for the first time the identities of the thieves. Using eyewitness accounts, exclusive interviews, and newly discovered FBI files, Boser provides powerful evidence that mobster David Turner was behind the robbery.

THE GARDNER HEIST takes readers deep inside the art underworld. Boser examines why criminals swipe precious masterpieces—and how museums fail to adequately protect their works. Art theft has boomed over the past few decades, and the illegal trade in stolen paintings and sculptures has become one of the world’s largest black markets; experts believe it’s a $6 billion business.

Famed art detective Harold Smith worked the Gardner heist for years, and after his death, Boser inherited his case files. Armed with little more than a pen and notepad, Boser explored Smith’s unfinished leads and came across a remarkable cast of characters. There’s the brilliant, rock 'n' roll art thief who swears that he knows who committed the robbery; the golden-boy gangster who professes his innocence in rhyming verse; the Irish-American mobster James “Whitey” Bulger who is second only to Osama bin Laden on the FBI’s Most Wanted list; and the Boston heiress Isabella Stewart Gardner who stipulated in her will that nothing should ever be changed in her museum, a provision followed so closely that the empty frames of the stolen works still hang on the walls.

In his spellbinding story, Boser describes how he cracked one of the biggest mysteries of the case and discovered the identities of the men who looted the museum nearly two decades ago. After uncovering compelling new evidence—including an eyewitness who saw the thieves before they entered the museum on the night of the heist—Boser fingers mobster David Turner, once hailed as the Teflon gangster of Boston’s South Shore. Turner is currently serving a 38–year prison term for armed robbery; he has never been charged with the museum theft.

THE GARDNER HEIST moves beyond the Boston museum robbery, and Boser details the growing practice of trading looted paintings for drugs and guns; discusses why only 5 percent of stolen art is ever recovered; and debunks art crime myths such as the idea of an art-loving millionaire who snaps up stolen paintings for his own private collection. In a story of obsession and loss, of art and greed, of mobsters and socialites, THE GARDNER HEIST might be as compelling as the stolen masterpieces themselves.

Ulrich Boser has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Smithsonian, Slate, and many other publications. His work has received various awards and citations; Washingtonian magazine recently named him a “writer to watch.” He has also served as a contributing editor at US News and World Report and as a special projects editor at the Washington Post Express. He is the founding editor of the Open Case, a web magazine and online community devoted to unsolved crimes. For more information about the Gardner case, please visit For more information about Ulrich Boser, please visit

Today's News

February 24, 2009

Victorian Paintings from the Museo de Arte de Ponce Opens at Museo del Prado

The Art of Papal Rome Exhibition will be a World Exclusive at the National Gallery of Canada

Record for Matisse and Others at Christie's Sale of Yves Saint Laurent Collection

The Gardner Heist: The True Story of the World's Largest Unsolved Art Theft by Ulrich Boser

Orientalist Art to Headline Sotheby's First-ever Major International Auction Series in the Middle East

Spectacular French Bronzes on View at Metropolitan Museum

Exhibition Hall in San Benito de Valladolid Opens John Heartfield's Photomontages

Getty Exhibition Highlights Manuscripts from One of the Greatest Epochs of Central European Art

Kunsthal Rotterdam Presents the Rich History of the Oldest Art Prize in the Netherlands

Exhibition of Paintings by the Italian Artist Tarshito to Open at The Nehru Centre

Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones Opens at the Victoria & Albert Museum

Ito Jachuko - Jade Flowers in Mysterious Gardens Opens at MKG Hamburg

Sotheby's Opens an Office in Jakarta and Appoints Deborah Iskandar as Managing Director

Thomas Chambers: American Marine and Landscape Painter on Exhibit at Hyde Collection

Claremont Museum of Art Presents James Hueter: A Retrospective

$45,000 Burns Manuscript Joins The Homecoming

Design Drawings from High Renaissance Italy on View at Courtauld Gallery

P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center Presents Lutz Bacher's First Museum Survey Exhibition

Detroit Institute of Arts Announces $6 Million Budget Cut - Layoffs, Cost-cutting and Program Reductions

Parrish Prints Debut at the Crocker: Fantasies and Fairy-Tales: Maxfield Parrish and the Art of the Print

Radical Architecture Firm COOP HIMMELB(L)AU Spotlighted in U.S. Debut of Exhibition

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- John Surtees' one-owner 1957 BMW 507 to be offered for the first time at Bonhams Festival of Speed sale

2.- Antiques looted in Libya by IS sold in Spain, two experts arrested

3.- The world's oldest bridge to be preserved by the British Museum's Iraq Scheme

4.- Exquisite jewels dazzle in historic Cartier exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia

5.- Now showing in US cinemas: "Hitler VS Picasso and The Others" directed by Claudio Poli

6.- New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art returns stolen idols to Nepal

7.- Glasgow starts a year of celebration as Charles Rennie Mackintosh exhibition opens

8.- Very rare Qing Dynasty bowl sells for $30.4 million

9.- Gardner Museum publishes "Stolen" book about 13 works in 1990 theft

10.- Royal Ontario Museum announces appointment of Curator, Islamic Art & Culture

Related Stories

Important Judaica and Israeli & international art bring a combined $7.9 million at Sotheby's New York

Tunisia to auction ousted despot's treasures

Andy Warhol's Mao portraits excluded from the Beijing and Shanghai shows next year

China criticises French Qing dynasty seal auction

Christie's announces auction marking the first half century of the popular and luxurious interiors shop Guinevere

Nine new exhibits debut at San Diego International Airport

Rembrandt masterpiece "Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet" back on display at National Museum Cardiff

Amber: 40-million-year-old fossilised tree resin is Baltic gold

Egyptian artist Iman Issa wins the Ist FHN Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona Award

The main chapel of the Basilica of Santa Croce open for visits after five year restoration

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful