Interview: Ulrich Boser

By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  March 24, 2009

I had some concern about the ages of David Turner and George Reissfelder, the two men you've suggested were the thieves. The guards described the men as being in their late 20s or early 30s, In 1990, David Turner was 22, and George Reissfelder was 50.
David was born August 7, 1967, and then George is, I don't actually have his birth date with me.

He's supposed to have been 42 when he got out of jail in 1982.
Well, we're told that the thieves are in their 20s and 30s, so David does fit into that, though at the younger end, and George is clearly a lot older. In this case, I think there is good evidence that David Turner was involved, I think that's not a problem. I think there's less evidence that George was involved, but if David Turner was involved, then you ask, in this major robbery, who's in his crew that fits the overall profile of the thieves, meets the composites, and whose name has also come up in other investigations. And that would be George Reissfelder. And again, this is where I want to say, here's where we have evidence, and here's where we have less evidence. I did not write the book as a legal brief, and someone could certainly take pot shots at that.

So you think George could still be in the ballpark.
I think he could still be in the ballpark, but no doubt his age is a suggestion that he wasn't involved. And the problem with the David Turner angle, I think the main one is, he hasn't returned the art. I think the counter-argument to that is, why should we think that he does have the art. But that David Turner hasn't come forward . . .

Could he be adhering to the code ofomertà? Is he waiting for an offer that makes it worth his while to come forward? Or is it possible he simply doesn't know where the art is?
My gut feeling, and this is much more of a gut feeling, is that he does not know where the paintings are. Most of the bigger people in his criminal life are dead, Carmello Merlino being the top of that, and these paintings are a get-out-of-jail-free card. And I'm not well versed in the lexicon or the rules and regulations of the criminal code. But my feeling is, returning paintings would not constitute him being, you know, a rat or a stooge. So that he could return these paintings, but here's the point that I think I want to make: it shouldn't be surprising that he does not have these paintings. It has been nearly 20 years. We have seen a lot of art-theft cases where the paintings simply move on. And a number of the other names who've come up — now on those other names, we don't have great evidence that they were involved. I think, though, that when people and investigators have looked at David Turner, names like Lenny DiMuzio, George Reissfelder, Charlie Pappas, and Bobby Donati sort of appear. And they're dead, and one can link a dotted line, not a strong line, to David Turner's name. Investigators can link his name to their deaths, and so within that picture it doesn't come as surprising to me that these paintings have become sort of lost. Again, we don't have strong evidence of that, but my sense is that. And another thing you want to keep in mind: is it in David Turner's best interest? His argument right now is that he was entrapped. So for him to now change his story, even to say, "I have two names for you" — that actually doesn't necessarily work in his best interest. But again this relies on guessing and suppositions. Did that answer your question?

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