ROBERT Gentile was the last surviving person of interest in the infamous Gardner Museum art theft case of 1990.
It was announced on September 23, 2021 that he passed away at the age of 85.
Who was Robert Gentile?
Prior to his death, Gentile was known as a mobster who authorities suspected had information pertaining to the Gardner Museum art theft on March 18, 1990.
While authorities could never find any evidence that he was connected to the theft, Gentile was known for his lengthy criminal record that dated back to the 1950s and resulted in multiple convictions.
In 2013, a search of his home led to a conviction for illegally selling prescription drugs and possessing guns, silencers and ammunition.
He was later sentenced to 2 ½ years in prison.
Gentile was also featured in the Netflix documentary “This is a Robbery,” which talks about his possible involvement.
What was Robert Gentile's cause of death?
Gentile's attorney Ryan McGuigan confirmed the news of his clients death.
“For the past 11 years I represented Robert Gentile, allegedly the last known person to possess the stolen paintings,” McGuigan said. “I had once been told by the Government that he was a dangerous man. A bad man. And he deserved what was done to him. I never agreed. I only saw an elderly man that was being kicked while he was down. He was a friend. I am proud to have known him and proud to have defended him. Mr. Gentile’s family has requested privacy during this difficult time.”
McGuigan revealed that he had died on September 17 after having a stroke.
At this time, not much information is available on his surviving family members.
What was the 1990 Gardner Museum art theft?
As of 2021, the 1990 art theft case still remains unsolved but back in the day, two unidentified suspects had dressed as police officers and broke into the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston at night.
They were able to get away with 13 pieces worth an estimated $500 million.
Johannes Vermeer’s “The Concert” and Rembrandt’s “The Storm on the Sea of Galilee" were among those that were stolen.
Federal prosecutors believe that Gentile had information but in a 2019 interview with the Associated Press, Gentile denied all allegations.
"I had nothing to do with the paintings. It’s a big joke," Gentile said at the time.
Gentile became a person of interest due to his association with the late notorious Boston gangster Robert Guarente, a well-connected Boston bank robber and drug dealer who died in 2004 after a battle with cancer.
In 2010, authorities believed that the art might be hidden at Guarente's farmhouse in Maine but while the search revealed nothing, after returning the keys to his widow Elene Guarente, she unexpectedly told investigator that he had two of the paintings and had kept them in the house before moving them.
According to the Hartford Courant, she later told investigators that after Guarente was released from prison on a different crime, he had driven to Portland where he allegedly passed the two paintings over to Gentile.
Investigators had spent decades trying to convince Gentile to talk but he remained silent and often voiced his hatred for the FBI saying he didn't trust them.
“Everything is lies,” he told the media outlet. “They got no proof.”
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