this day in crime history: march 18, 1990

On this date in 1990, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, MA was robbed. It was just after midnight when two men dressed as police officers appeared at the museum’s door, claiming they had received a report about a disturbance at the museum. One of the two guards on duty that night let them in. Minutes later the guards were overpowered, bound with duct tape, and stashed in separate parts of the museum’s basement. The two bogus cops went to work stealing various items, including works by Rembrandt, Degas, and Manet. The estimated value of their haul: over $300 million. It was the largest art heist in US history. To date, the case remains unsolved, and none of the stolen works of art have been recovered.

Further reading:

FBI – Art Theft program – Secrets behind the largest art theft in history

5 thoughts on “this day in crime history: march 18, 1990

  1. John D.:
    WOw, that was one ballsey heist.

    And NONE of the art found…that by itself is astounding even in THIS day and age.
    But it was a smaller “private” museum, unlike the hige Guggenheim in NYC.
    That had to help the thieves.

    Someone has to have the art…all those “one-of-a-kinds” floating about.
    Damn shame it can’t be enjoyed once again by the masses who can appreciate it.

    Good story.
    Stay safe out there.


    • Latest report is that the FBI has developed some suspects. But apparently they don’t have sufficient evidence. There have been reports in the news over the years that associates of the New England crime family are on the short list, but still no arrests. I’m not holding my breath.


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