Thursday, June 23, 2011

Finding Vermeer?

The FBI arrested the murderous 81-year-old Boston mob boss Whitey Bulger this morning at his condo in Santa Monica, where he had been living with his girlfriend in broad daylight despite being on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List for the past sixteen years. This is fantstic news!

Why do I care? Because I am among those who believe that he may hold some key information about the unsolved Gardner Museum heist, which is central to the plot in my 1999 novel The Music Lesson (just reissued this year from Broadway in an attractive new paperback edition). Does the Gardner get Vermeer's "The Concert" back on its wall where the blank space has been maintained ever since it was stolen in 1990? Fingers crossed.


  1. wow cool! It would be great if the museum could fill that space again after all these years.

  2. Bulger's folk-hero (or folk-baddie) Boston notoriety doesn't reach to New York, but I did know the name from reporting (and a novel or so) about the Gardner theft. It's great that the FBI came up with a strategy that got Bulger found in a day, but it's a provocative contrast with sixteen years in which he remained invisible. There's more story there.

    If Bulger doesn't know anything about the Gardner paintings, then where does that investigation turn, I wonder?

  3. I'm guessing: doubt it. It's probably in a collector's vault. Most folks are more interested in death than art. The art heist will probably take a very much backseat, the nineteen murders will be more interesting. I was listening to a radio show today and the best sentence I heard was the thief claimed that he had not taken the Rembrandt he had cleverly stolen out of its frame because it was a Rembrandt. Humans are such strange creatures. Man, you do write. I have a sinking feeling I'm going to have time to catch up with you, as a writer. I'm not sad at all. Hey! Hay! People! What would we do without them!