Whodunit?

By MIKE MILIARD  |  March 18, 2009

But on the other hand, you've got these other kind of police officers that I had the run-in with, and that's what really set off the impetus for me, I always had this incapacity to back down from a situation. I never really liked to back down from what I thought was right. And when you're faced with someone who's a forceful enemy, it's not really good, it's not really wise to confront someone like that. And that's what I did. And he was a cop. And it was that situation that created the first real division between myself and the police. Because he of course convinced all his friends that I had no respect for the police and I was a bad guy and that in return, my reaction to that was, y'know, "Screw him!" It's a lack of wisdom, it's a lack of common sense, but it's a trait I had back in my younger days.

Do you look at being an art thief as somehow more noble than just being a common crook?

MC: Well, it's a little above the average criminal. Y'know, robbing paintings and robbing museums and going down the side of museums, and going down windows and being able to convince museum that you're expert enough to become a curator, all of that is a stage above just going into a drugstore and robbing their pills or going into a bank and grabbing the cash from the stash. Y'know, it's not a matter of it being more noble. It's a matter of it being, in the criminal element, it's probably in the top echelon of the classy illicit activities you can be involved in.

And what's going on with this bio-pic? Is Jack Nicholson really going play you in a movie, like it says on your Web site?

MC: [Laughs] Jack Nicholson was an idea maybe about 15 years ago, actually. I think when the first concept came about of a movie, and that happened, I think, perhaps around 2000 . . .

JS: We're actually, we can't really say too much about it at this point. But we're in negotiations with someone over an option right now.

Cool! Well, before I let you go, maybe Jenny, say something from your perspective about Myles and his force of personality. He's quite an interesting guy.

JS: Myles is an incredible person. Obviously, we spend a lot of time and became very close over the course of writing this book. But I have to say the thing that's really stuck with me and struck me the most about Myles is his friends — the intense loyalty that his friends have for him. And, y'know, you were asking him about this code that he lives by: it's interesting, all his really, really good friendships, a lot of them were formed in prison. You sort of assume in the culture of prison, it's the really physically strong person, the bully, who can kind of gather people around them. And in Myles's case, that was so clearly not true. His friends love him. And they came to love him out of respect, and the mutual respect he showed them, and the kindness that he showed them. To me, that's the most incredible thing about Myles.

MC: Thank you very much, Jenny! You should write a book about me, you know that?

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