The Boston Globe and the New Fabulism
This flatly contradicts what they said back in 2013, at their press conference, which was
that around 2003 some of the stolen Gardner art was offered for sale by those responsible for the theft."
When Kowenhoven first said this, he also described the thieves as "lower-ranking members of the mob that carried this [Gardner heist] out, or mob associates (a very broad category), and they were trying to keep that information from the leadership."This contradicts the theory presented as the best one, in the Boston Globe's Netflix documentary, "This Is A Robbery," which was based on the work of Stephen Kurkjian in his book Master Thieves. The Boston Globe's Shelley Murphy reported in 2021, that "in his 2015 book, Kurkjian wrote that former New England Mafia capo Vincent Ferrara claimed, that in 1990 Donati confessed to him that he robbed the museum, buried the artwork, and planned to use it to try to broker Ferrara’s release from prison. Actually, it was anonymous intermediary, who claimed Ferrara claimed that, and since Ferrara was "a 'Capo' — a captain in the local Mafia — and an up-and-comer, according to WBUR, this theory of Kurkjian, contradicts the FBI's public statement on who did it. The FBI says the thieves were trying to keep the theft a secret from the leadership. In Kurkjian's account, Robert Donati visited a member of the mob leadership in prison, and told him he was going to rob the Gardner Museum, and after he did it, he went into the prison again and told him that he had done so. At the end of 2015, the Boston Globe finally reported that the FBI had said the thieves are dead months and months earlier, but then they back dated the timing of it, when the FBI said that to two years earlier. It appeared in a story by Stephen Kurkjian, who wrote: "The Gardner thieves have never been publicly identified, although in 2013 the head of the FBI's Boston office said at a press conference that the agency knew who had pulled off the robbery and that both men were dead," the Boston Globe published. https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/12/27/search-suffolk-downs-for-gardner-museum-masterpieces-came-empty/H1iiRlZopLFfxOkM9Nm41J/story.html Kurkjian's chronology was completely and utterly false. Could he have made an honest mistake? In his book, which devotes a full five pages to this 2013 FBI press conference, he recalled, "the night before I couldn't sleep. I tossed and turned, trying to figure out what was going to be said, and wondering if a recovery was about to be announced. What startling development were the FBI and the museum going to share that I had missed in my reporting on the case for the Boston Globe for more than a decade?" The next day, Kurkjian was one of the news reporters, who attended the historic press conference, and in an article he co-wrote, for the Boston Globe website, that day, Kurkjian quoted the FBI SAIC Richard DesLauriers as having said: "The FBI believes with a high degree of confidence in the years after the theft the art was transported to Connecticut and the Philadelphia region and some of the art was taken to Philadelphia where it was offered for sale by those responsible for the theft. https://www.boston.com/uncategorized/noprimarytagmatch/2013/03/18/fbi-says-it-has-identified-the-thieves-in-gardner-museum-heist-paintings-location-still-unknown/ Furthermore, the thieves are dead statement by Kowenhoven came within weeks of the release of Kurkjian's book. Kurkjian then made dozens of personal appearances, did numerous interviews about the case, and about the Gardner heist eve video, which was released in early August. He made presentations at local libraries, and answered hundreds of questions about the case, while promoting his book, between the time that Kowenhoven stated the thieves were dead, in March of 2015 (and again in August of 2015) and at the end of December of that year, when Kurkjian falsely reported what was said at the press conference, contradicting the FBI and his own past coverage of the event.
Three weeks later, without making a correction to the December 27th story, Shelley Murphy and Stephen Kurkjian reported (akconwledged?) that "in 2013, the FBI announced it was confident it had identified the thieves, but declined to name them. Later, the FBI said it believed the two thieves were dead." They did not say they believed the thieves were dead, they said in March "the two individuals that took them and committed this crime are currently dead." And in August said: "We have, through the great investigative work, identified who did this heist, and both those individuals are deceased.” https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/01/13/longtime-suspect-gardner-art-theft-had-his-sentence-reduced-records-show/1aJ79PcuEbckNjCVk2w5FM/story.html
After that, Kurkjian and Murphy went back to reporting that the FBI said they were dead at the press conference, using some imprecise wording to conceal the fact that the FBI had bizarely changed their story: "Four years ago, the FBI announced it was confident it had identified the thieves — local criminals who have since diedThe FBI did not characterize them as either local criminals or as people who have since died the 2013 press conference. The FBI said "we have identified the thieves, who are members of a criminal organization with a base in the Mid-Atlantic states and New England.” The organization they are members is based in a base in the Mid-Atlantic states and New England.” That's not local when you're mentioning Connecticut by name, and Boston and Massachusetts not at all, for a crime that occurred in Boston, MA.
The fact that Kurkjian has changed his story three times and settled on this strangely worded by still false wording, over time, is one more reason to question how interested Kurkjian is to inform the public that the FBI had changed their story about the thieves. If the public deserves more transparency about the investigation than this, it is unlikely they will be getting from the Boston Globe, or its new media side projects. In 2021 in of the Boston Globe's "new media" projects, the Netflix streaming documentary "This Is A Robbery," Shelly Murphy says: Murphy: "It was really stunning. The FBI announces on the anniversary that they are very confident that they know who committed the robbery, and the thieves are dead."Yet even though the news that the thieves were dead was "stunning," according to Murphy, her employer, the Boston Globe did not even report it, and then when they did report it, they reported it wrong. The Boston Globe is still unwilling to honestly report on this point, that the FBI changed their story about the thieves, whom, even nine years later, they still refuse to identify. Kurkjian writes about his anticipation the press conference, he attends the press conference he covers the press conference, and swims in the Gardner heist case for nine months, from the time Kowenhoven said the thieves are dead TWICE, and Kurkjian falsely reports that the FBI had been saying this all along since 2013.
Conclusion: Stephen Kurkjian and Shelley Murphy and the Globe are knowingly tailoring their reporting to a desired narrative that does not conform to the history and reality of the FBI's engagement with public on details of the case and their investigation.
by Kerry JoyceCopyright © 2022 All Rights Reserved