This Is The Only Living Suspect In The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Heist

On March 18, 1990, the "single largest property theft in the world" took place at Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum when two men dressed like cops tricked the security guards into letting them into the museum in the middle of the night. Those two men tied up the guards and spent an uninterrupted hour and 20 minutes stealing 13 works of art, cutting some canvases out of their frames, according to the Gardner Museum website. 

The fake police left at 2:45 a.m. and the real police didn't show up until 8:15 a.m., giving the thieves an ample head start in their getaway. 

Fast-forward 31 years, no one has ever been charged for the crime, and the stolen art has never been found. According to Art Net, the theft included artwork by "Rembrandt, Johannes Vermeer, Edgar Degas, and Édouard Manet, collectively worth an estimated $500 million."

Yet, just because there have been no formal charges for the infamous art heist, detectives certainly had suspects in mind. Art Net reported investigators believed the Irish mob or the Italian mafia had something to do with it, and in 2013, the FBI said that it had identified the two men who broke into the museum, but didn't release their names to the public. 

According to The New York Times, those suspects were two known criminals with mob ties, George A. Reissfelder and Leonard V. DiMuzio, but both died in 1991 — DiMuzio was shot to death and Reissfelder overdosed. 

The last living suspect in the art heist is Robert 'Bobby the Cook' Gentile

Another suspect, Robert "Bobby the Cook" Gentile, denied being involved with the mafia at all in an exclusive 2021 interview with Connecticut news station WTNH.  He also told the station he had nothing to do with the heist and didn't even know it happened until the police came knocking at his door. 

According to The New York Times, the 87-year-old became a person of interest after the widow of mobster Robert Guarente said her husband had passed some of the art to Gentile in a parking lot in Maine in 2002. 

Gentile was suspected of having two of the works of art in his possession, per WTNH, but when the FBI searched his home, they didn't find any stolen art. However, they did find a handwritten list that itemized the stolen paintings along with the prices they would fetch on the black market.

Gentile told WTNH, "It wasn't a list. Well, it was a list. It was a piece of paper of all the paintings and all anybody wants to know if you have anyone who can buy them wants to buy them. He says 'take this, read it.' Took it home, never read it. I just put it down."

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is offering a $10 million reward for "information leading directly to the recovery of all 13 works of art in good condition, and a separate $100,000 reward for the Napoleonic finial."