Netflix It’s a flight, a four-part documentary on real crime, follows the biggest and most baffling artistic heist in history: the theft of 13 pieces from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. During St. Patrick’s Day weekend in 1990, two men posed as Boston cops and robbed the museum, taking $ 500 million worth of artwork. While there have been many leads over the years, none of them have ever been in favor of the museum. The status of the paintings remains a mystery, and recent theories have even linked the puzzling heist to the Boston Mafia. Let’s break down the most crucial details of the case to paint a picture of what happened that night.
In the early hours of March 18, 1990, Richard Abath was working the night shift as a guard at the Gardner Museum. He saw two policemen on the security camera and rang them against protocol. The men told him there might be an arrest warrant for him. But as they handcuffed him, they told him, “It’s a theft.” After the fake police tied Abath and another guard, they cut out – yes, cut out from their frames – some of the museum’s most valuable pieces, including works by Johannes Vermeer, Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet and Rembrandt van Rijn. . Surprisingly, they spent a total of 81 minutes in the museum, an unusually long time for a flight. The thieves then rushed in with the security tape and half a billion dollars in art.
The documentary series examines many tips that ultimately led to dead ends. Abath was immediately a person of interest as people suspected internal work, but that line of inquiry did not take off. Law enforcement also believed the artwork could have been used as collateral on the black market, examining links to the Irish Republican Army and the Boston Mafia – It’s a flight finally looks at this last closest theory, and it gets a convoluted hair. Gangster Bobby Donati apparently wanted to get his friend Vincent Ferrara out of jail by performing a major heist. Donati was eventually murdered, but reporters heard a rumor that he bought police uniforms in paper bags before his death.
Donati was friends with a man named Bobby Guarente, who also had close ties to a gangster named Carmello Merlino, who organized a team at his auto store where the Gardner heist was supposed to be planned. One of Merlino’s associates, a man named George Reissfelder, matched the description of one of the fake cops and allegedly even had a piece of Manet in his house. Of course, the FBI couldn’t get any information early enough – many of Merlino’s crew died from murder or natural causes. And even with what they see as a solid case on the suspects, law enforcement could never find the artwork.
Today, the Gardner Museum is offering a reward of $ 10 million for information leading directly to the recovery of the work of art. The empty frames remain hanging in their original locations at the Gardner, serving as symbols of hope (if not spooky) for their potential return in the future.