Interview: Ulrich Boser

By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  March 24, 2009

In an interview that one of our staff writers, Mike Miliard, did with Myles Connor last week, he stated that after undergoing hypnosis in 2003 he remembered that Novio Tourquet was also in on the job. We'd never heard that name before. Have you?
I have heard this name. I have Novio's name, and I can send you my files on Novio. I can sort of talk about him informally, but I have not prepared what I would say publicly about him. I've definitely heard the name, and I can tell you that it's a long line, there's Novio Tourquet the third, the fourth. They certainly seemed to be a part of Bobby's crew. They did also do other armed robberies, and I just also get confused between the son and the father. And one was in prison in Florida, and I have actually an image of him that I've shown people. And so that is a name that has been floated around before. I think I also heard it from [private detective] Charlie Moore, who is a friend of mine.

What about William Youngworth and his story that he was going to rob the Gardner on behalf of a Japanese yakuza, but then they put him in jail, and his friends did the job, and after they damaged the art, the yakuza reneged?
Yeah, I mean, you know the story, I think most investigators today believe he was pushing some sort of hoax, but at the same time it seems likely that he had some connection to the thief. It have been quite loose, he may have seen the art at one point in time somewhere, but we don't know exactly.

And if we were to believe him, we would have to believe that his crew were clueless and undisciplined and didn't appreciate the care they'd have to take to sell the art to a Doctor No type.
Yes, a Doctor No type. I think, looking at press accounts, certainly Tom [Boston Herald reporter Tom Mashberg] has written about this at length. His [Youngworth's] story appears to change a great great deal. I basically went to see a surrogate of his, when he sent me to see someone else. You know, what Tom saw that evening is kind of a big question.

I was going to ask about that. Do you think what he saw really was Rembrandt'sThe Storm on the Sea of Galilee?
Tom today says that he's not sure what he saw, but he went to go see the museum the next day, and they said it was the real thing or a very good fake. The one thing that I saw and that I point out in the book is that in Tom's story he describes the painting as being unfurled. That's the verb I think he uses. And that seems to imply that it was like a bedsheet or a flag, but a curator of the work at the museum said to me that there had been a wax backing applied to the back of the Rembrandt that would actually make it sort of as stiff as cardboard. It's possible if you really sort of did it right to fold something like that, but "unfurl" is not what would have happened to something that had a wax backing like that. But I wasn't there with Tom; I don't know what Tom saw.

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