Interview: Ulrich Boser

By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  March 24, 2009

One problem with Myles's story is that the person he named as Bobby's accomplice, David Houghton, weighed 300 pounds and doesn't fit anyone's description of either thief.
When we look at David, there's a Boston Globe article that did just a great reporting job, I think it was written by Daniel Golden [Daniel Golden and Ric Kahn wrote the article, which appeared on September 23, 1997], who's now at the Boston bureau of the Wall Street Journal. Anyway, it pointed out that he was enormously overweight, an auto mechanic, and everyone who knew him was amazed that he could be involved. I would just point you to that article. So they were looking at Bobby Donati. Now, occasionally we've seen some evidence that Bobby Donati did go past TRC, which is the auto-body shop owned by Carmello Merlino and was kind of the headquarters or informal headquarters of this David Turner–Reissfelder crew. So we do see a connection there, so when you ask the question, is it possible — what's remarkable about this case is, I have to say yes. But in the same breath — you lived here in 1990, is it possible that you robbed the museum? I would also have to say that you do not fit the description of the thieves. You have glasses and you are too short, but is it possible? Actually, yes, and I think that what's fascinating about this case is that we don't have the paintings back and many things seem possible.

In what might have been an attempt to backtrack after realizing that David Houghton didn't fit anyone's description of the thieves, Myles Connor suggested that Bobby Donati and David Houghton didn't actually enter the museum but rather hired two mugs to do the robbery. Could David Turner and George Reissfelder have been those mugs?
It is not out of the question. Could Bobby Donati have been one of the drivers? That certainly seems possible. He was an experienced thief. Could he have helped them figure out where they should go next or suggested the idea because he knew Myles? I think that certainly seems possible.

You've suggested there were more than two persons involved — in your book you say that the thieves "almost certainly have a van or truck waiting for them in the street."
I'd say "must have." We have evidence that suggests that's highly likely. One, that the car that they used was so small. Could you have put a five-foot painting in there? It seems unlikely. And that they were in the museum for so long again suggests that there must have been someone on the outside, keeping a lookout. And we've occasionally heard rumors and whispers of a van being out there. I was never able to confirm those. But I think it seems highly likely that there would have been someone else out there.

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