With all the mystic of a mystery novel, the Gentile case is intriguing to anyone who knows the story. The problem is that history is in the past, and the only ones who truly bear witness to it are those who lived it. Any story lives on in the mind of the storyteller, which is what is making the plea to begin investigating the heist charges set against Gentile, so urgent. The key to any witness is not only their trustworthiness but also their ability to remember, which due to aging, is beginning to fade.
slip and fall attorneys in Philadelphia and the Lawyer for Robert Gentile, the man, accused of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist, is stating fears that his memory is fading too quickly for him to reasonably stand trial in his own defense and to tell with any real memory the events what happened a quarter century ago. Investigators who have been on the hunt for over $500 million in artwork stolen from the museum located in Boston, are slowly losing any chance they have of recovering the masterpieces.
Gentile is one of the last persons who is presumed connected to the heist, and with a circle of gangsters aging or dying, he may be the last known key to the information needed to uncover what happened more than two decades ago.
Ryan McGuigan has asked the federal judge that Gentile be ordered to submit to a psychological test to determine his fitness for trial. Quickly approaching his 80th birthday, things, events, and memories are starting to become an issue. His defense lawyer believes that he should be evaluated to determine if he can mentally stand trial.
McGuigan insists that he is becoming increasingly fearful that his client doesn’t understand the charges levied against him, and if that is the case, then can not reasonably defend himself or his own interest. Noticing that Gentile’s competency has become an issue even in his private dealings with his client, there is a good chance that his memory may become confused and the information that he lends will do nothing to help anyone, certainly not his own defense.
Not only a viable witness in the heist, but Gentile has also been held on drug and gun charges in a federal prison located in Rhode Island since 2010. Left to deteriorate for the past six years, even the conversations that he has with his lawyer have become marred with inconsistencies and confusion. He was jailed in 2010 when the widow of one of his mafia associates told federal investigators that she was there when he personally took possession of two of the Gardner paintings in question.
Since that time, he has been pressured to give any information that he may have about the remaining 13 stolen pieces that include the masterpieces of Rembrandt, Vermeer, and other famous artists. Cooperating briefly with investigators, he was quickly dismissed when it was found that he was lying to a grand jury about the details of the heist among other mafia activities. Gentile has since insisted that the only reason he agreed to help is that he was being coerced by other “trumped up” charges against him.
Gentile claims that he knows nothing about the March 18th incident where priceless works of art were confiscated. His lawyer is asking not only that the charges be sped up if the trial is going to happen, but also that he be evaluated soon to find if he can defend himself against the two indictments that he has been charged with. The judge in the case has agreed that if you want to get to the truth, that can only happen with someone who not only possesses it but is capable of telling it. If he was being coerced or not, his information is of no value if it is fabricated, or clouded by time. If he is the remaining person to tell of what happened in the eighties, the mystery of what happened to the paintings may die with him and those who are in possession of the paintings. It is doubtful that they will ever come forward to return what they took.