FBI: Suspects in Infamous 1990 Art Heist Are Dead

But investigators still want to get the stolen paintings back
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2015 12:11 PM CDT
FBI: Suspects in Infamous 1990 Art Heist Are Dead
A still image from the new video.   (Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum/U.S. Attorney's Office via AP)

Don't expect newly released surveillance video from a famous 1990 art heist in Boston to result in the capture of the bandits, and not just because of the statute of limitations: The FBI says they're dead. An agency official in Boston won't identify the two men suspected of dressing up as police officers to rob the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, but he tells the AP that "great investigative work" solved the case several years ago. "So now the focus of the investigation is the recovery of the art." The pair got away with 13 priceless paintings from the likes of Rembrandt and Vermeer.

"Every lead, every tip, everything that comes in we're tracking down, no matter where it is in the area, in the country or overseas," says Peter Kowenhoven. "These are cultural masterpieces that we are trying to recover." The video is from the night before the robbery, and it shows a security guard identified as Richard Abath letting a man inside the museum, against protocol. Was it simply a weird coincidence? Abath, who now lives in Vermont, has long denied any involvement but has never made secret his presence during the robbery, during which he and another guard were allegedly tied up. In fact, he went on to write his college thesis about it, notes the Boston Globe. (More Boston stories.)

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