By MIKE MILIARD  |  March 18, 2009

I'll ask you the question everyone has asked you over the past 19 years: were you involved in the Gardner Heist?

MC: Well, I was in jail when the museum was robbed. But it was my friends who did the robbery, and they used my plan to carry out the robbery.

I had planned with my friends to rob the museum, and the object back then was to simply keep the paintings for a period of time, when they knew they were not gonna get them back, that the police were not going to recover them, then, due to the fact that it was a private museum and it had a lot of sponsors, it made a good deal of sense that they shortly, once they realized it wasn't going to be recovered, a reward was gonna be offered. And in return for the reward then the paintings would be returned. And of course, it would be handled through attorneys to make sure that there would be no repercussions as far as them getting recovered.

As far as anybody was concerned it was an honest recovery and not stealing things and then blackmailing the museum to get it back, which it in point of fact would have been, but on the surface it would have been a legal recovery. So it was the monetary value that instigated my first thought. And then, when I was away in jail [in Illinois], my friends pulled off the robbery. I was incarcerated at the time, and one of them came to see me in Lompoc [federal prison in California].

Now who are these two friends?

MC: Bobby Donati and David Houghton. And they had a third party with them. I believe the third party was a fellow named Novio Tourquet [a name new to the investigation, and not mentioned by Connor in his book]. But because I had a memory loss several years ago due to a serious heart attack, I'm not 100 percent sure that it was Novio. However, I went under hypnosis and Novio's name came up. Because I'm sure when I was out in Lompoc and visited by David, he had told me who it was, and the name that came up was Novio. And Novio had been a partner of Bobby Donati.

JS: Yeah, David Houghton actually flew out to visit Myles very shortly after the robbery, and he told Myles that they had taken the paintings and they were gonna use at least some of what they had taken to get Myles out of jail. Because at that time, it was a very long sentence . . . what was your sentence?

MC: At that time, it was a 20-year federal sentence. It was later reduced to 10 years. But in the feds, you do every day. So if they give you a 10-year sentence you do 10 years. If they give you a 20-year sentence you do 20 years.

JS: And, unfortunately, David and Bobby died very shortly after the Gardner heist. David had a heart attack, and Bobby was killed in a mob hit.

Now, when you say that they used your plan, does that mean that they did this of their own volition, or is it fair to say that you were the mastermind of this?

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  Topics: Books , Myles Connor, David Houghton, Ulrich Boser,  More more >
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