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Report: Suspect Identified in New Gardner Museum Heist Video Footage

Still from released security footage of the Isabella Stewart Gardner heist practice run on the evening of March 17, 1990.

Still from security footage at the Isabella Stewart Gardner in Boston on the evening of March 17, 1990.

COURTESY FBI

Last week, the Federal Bureau of Investigation released video footage shot at the Isabella Gardner Museum in Boston in 1990, the night before thieves made off with $500 million in paintings. Now, CBS News is reporting that a man has contacted the authorities with information regarding the identity of a figure who mysteriously appears to be entering the building after hours.

George Burke, a former Norfolk County District Attorney, received a call from one of his clients who claimed to recognize “a shadowy figure seen entering the museum the night before the heist, who may have been casing the establishment.”

Burke’s client has named the man as a friend of Myles Connor, a bank robber and art thief to whom the former prosecutor once offered a plea deal.

This information may be at odds with the FBI’s proposal, recently released to the public, that its two suspects in the theft are dead. Burke’s client says that the man in the video is alive, and that he masterminded the whole escapade. (It’s been speculated that the man in the video was doing a dry run of the theft.)

Burke suspects that his client may have been involved in the plot, telling CBS, “He doesn’t want to be known as the one identifying the person in the video, and he says to me, ‘I’m afraid they’d kill me.’ ” The tipster is open to working with federal agents as long as he can remain anonymous, however.

Is this a play for publicity? Part of a strategy in some other legal matter? The honest truth? Only time will tell.

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