Boston Mobster Says FBI Harassed Him for Info on Gardner Museum Heist

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Courtesy of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Robert “Bobby the Cook” Gentile says the FBI has entrapped him twice in an effort to squeeze information out of him about the 1990 Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist—information he says he doesn’t even have.

Gentile is suspected of having had possession of two of the stolen paintings. In a court filing, he says the FBI has twice induced him to commit crimes so that they can offer leniency in return for telling them what he knows about the Gardner thieves, according to the Hartford Courant.

He accuses law enforcement of “outrageous government misconduct.” He seeks dismissal of weapons charges against him, reports the Boston Globe.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
Photo via The Boston Calendar.


Gentile, 79 and in jail, insists he never had custody of any of the stolen artworks and has no inside information to offer. Witnesses relate a different story, however. The widow of another mobster says she saw her late husband hand Gentile two of the canvases. Gentile counters that she fabricated the story because was hard up for money and wanted the reward, according to the Courant.

The haul included Rembrandt’s sole seascape, Storm on the Sea of Galilee (1633), along with two other works by the artist; Jan Vermeer’s The Concert (1658-60); and Edouard Manet’s Chez Tortoni (1878-80), among a group of 13 works in total.

Hartford attorney A. Ryan McGuigan told the Boston Globe that even with the enticement of immunity and a $5 million reward, Gentile is unable to assist the feds.

Gentile pled not guilty in the guns case and awaits trial this October.

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