Interview: Ulrich Boser

By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  March 24, 2009

It did.
The other thing I wanted to make clear, I think I said at the beginning of the interview that I don't want to say that I have solved this case, and perhaps the promotional material would indicate that and some stories have indicated that, and what I would like to contribute to this and say is, I think that we have a lot of strong evidence that David Turner was involved. That does not mean that we should stop running down other leads in the book. I indicate that I continue to run down other leads. I started a Web site that's just like, "Hey, everybody, give more information." This case is unsolved, it remains unsolved, it is a mystery. The information relies on the public. I certainly could be wrong, but I think that there is a lot of evidence that David Turner was one of the people who robbed the museum that night. And if we know that, I think tightening the circle, reaching out to people he knew in Braintree — I've gotten a few leads from people who've been like, "Oh, David Turner, I knew him in high school," and they've reached out, and that's been exciting. I'm not getting any huge number of leads. I don't want to give you that impression, but one or two e-mails have come in that are very exciting in that regard, so that's what I sort of hope to do. But this case remains unsolved.

The second thief, the one who wasn't in the driver's seat, has been described as being six feet tall or a little over. Could that be George?
That generally fits his description. I should double-check to see that. I mean, what is remarkable about George is, he does fit the composites remarkably well. There is this lining to his cheeks, the set of his eyes.

But would George have been a big enough fish to have the Manet in his apartment? His brother Richard now remembers having seenChez Tortoni there.
He did have those connections to John Kerry. The thieves were thinking about using these paintings as kind of a political bargaining chip, a way to get out of prison, and it may be the case that George was one of the people who was to keep them because of those connections. That is one theory that has been floated around.

Let's turn to Myles Connor and his story that he and Bobby Donati cased the Gardner and that whereas Bobby had no interest in Titian'sEuropa, which the thieves passed up, he did have a thing about the Napoleonic finial that the thieves did snag.
I've seen that story floating around.

It's a good story.
It is. But before you knew about the Gardner, were you familiar with the term finial?

I was. But I'm the editor of an arts section and a sometime art critic.
Well, I was not, as a specific term, and to imagine a man who's been arrested for counterfeiting and other crimes sort of tossing around the term finial is sort of surprising to me. It's just not a term that — uh, doodad, knickknack, maybe. But clearly Myles Connor and Bobby Donati operated with a number of people that they were quite close with. Bobby Donati would be the type of gangster who could commit a crime like this, so . . .

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