Unsolved murder could shed new light on art theft from Gardner Museum – ARTnews.com
A murder that hasn’t been solved for decades could offer the last lead for investigators trying to recover works stolen from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum more than 30 years ago, according to a report by Boston 25.
During this famous heist, 13 works of art, including major paintings by Vermeer and Rembrandt, were taken in the early hours of March 18, 1990. Collectively valued at $500 million, the works have never been found. Many names have been floated over the years as to who might have taken the works and who might have taken possession of them shortly after the theft.
Now a new name has been added to the mix: Jimmy Marks, who was shot twice on February 20, 1991, outside his apartment in Lynn, Massachusetts, about 25 minutes northeast of Boston. Marks’ murder is currently unsolved and no arrests have been made in connection with the case.
Marks was a convicted bank robber and an associate of Robert Guarente, who was a long-time person of interest in the case and died in 2004. Guarente had been with Marks earlier in the day of his death and is suspected for being the one to pull the trigger on Marks.
“[Marks] had ties to subjects believed to be involved in the Gardner Museum robbery,” Lynn Deputy Police Chief Mark O’Toole said. Recount the boston globe. “We don’t know what role he played, if any. But most likely, it was related” to his death.
Investigators believe that Guarente was at one time in possession of two of the stolen works, which he later turned over to another person named Robert Gentile. Gentile, who died in 2021, continually denied involvement in the theft or possession of any of the works until his death.
A recent tip to investigators said that before his death, Marks “bragged that he was not only in possession of some of Gardner’s stolen artwork, he bragged that he hid it,” according to Boston 25. Police recently searched Lynn’s apartment where Marks once lived, but found nothing.
“At the time when [Marks] was killed, the main suspect in this homicide [Guarente] is someone who we believe owned two of Gardner’s paintings,” said Gardner museum security chief Anthony Amore. Boston 25. “It certainly sets off flashing lights that this needs to be investigated further.”
Shortly after Marks’ death, investigators were first able to place Guarente and Gentile in the same location. love said Boston 25“The fact that these people are converging here around the time of Marks’ homicide certainly makes anyone looking for Gardner’s paintings sit up and pay attention.”