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It is a real-life mystery told solely in superlatives - the largest art theft in world history, more than a half-billion dollars worth of art ripped from the walls of New England’s most enduring museum. Two men dressed as police officers trick their way into Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum shortly after midnight, tie up the two-night watchmen and make off with 13 art pieces including masterpieces by Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Manet. Even though the FBI’s best evidence trail went through Hartford, more than three decades later the 1990 crime remains unsolved. And despite a record-setting reward offer of $10 million and a no-prosecution pledge by authorities, no one has ever been arrested and nothing ever recovered. Stephen Kurkjian, author of MASTER THIEVES: The Boston Gangsters Who Pulled Off The World’s Greatest Art Heist, which is considered the most authoritative account of the case will speak at the West Hartford Public Library.
A Boston native, Stephen Kurkjian spent nearly 40 years as an editor and reporter for The Boston Globe before retiring in 2007. He was a founding member of The Globe’s investigative Spotlight Team, and as a reporter and later editor of the team, he shared in three Pulitzer Prizes and won more than 20 regional and national reporting awards. He also served for six years as chief of The Globe's Washington Bureau where he oversaw the work of 10 reporters and covered the Justice Department and the White House.
Educated in the Boston public schools, Kurkjian graduated from Boston Latin School in 1962, as well as Boston University and Suffolk Law School. He now lives in Plymouth and South Boston.
Following his retirement from The Globe in 2007, Kurkjian researched and wrote the book, MASTER THIEVES: The Boston Gangs Who Pulled off The World’s Greatest Art Heist.