Boston mob associate David Turner was released from prison this week about 12 years early. The 52-year old Turner did two decades in federal prison for plotting to rob the Loomis-Fargo vault and is considered a suspect in the infamous Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist, the biggest art-theft in world history. He is the second Gardner Museum suspect to get out of prison this year. Infirmed New England gangster Robert (Bobby the Cook) Gentile, 82, was let loose from a weapons charge back in March. On the morning of March 18, 1990, two armed men dressed as police officers fleeced the private museum for a half-billion dollars in precious artwork – 13 pieces, including classic paintings from Rembrant, Manet and Vermeer. According to people familiar with the investigation, Turner matched the description of one of the perpetrators. The art has never been recovered and no arrests have ever been made in the case, yet the investigation remains open and very active to this day. Investigators believe it’s possible that one or both of the stick-up men could be dead and the rare art most likely was never sold (instead, sits somewhere hidden). The museum keeps the original frames empty awaiting the eventual return of the historic paintings. In the 1990s, Gentile and Turner were part of the same East Boston mob crew that headquartered out of TRC Auto Electric in gritty Dorchester. Turner, a former star football player in high school, was a protégé of Gentile’s longtime partner-in-crime, Robert (Bobby Boost) Guarente, who died of cancer in 2004. Guarante is alleged to have given pieces of the stolen art to Gentile before he passed away, according to Guarente’s widow. The FBI recovered a hand-written list of the paintings and accompanying black-market values in a search of Gentile’s Connecticut residence in 2012.
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