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The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum's Dutch Room, where thieves stole three Rembrandts, a Vermeer, a painting by Govaert Flinck and an ancient Chinese beaker. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

'Last Seen': Season 1

Last Seen: Season 1 is a true-crime podcast about the most valuable — and confounding — art heist in history: the theft of 13 irreplaceable artworks from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

WBUR and The Boston Globe have joined forces to ask why, 28 years later, this still unsolved crime exerts its irresistible pull. With a $10 million reward on offer, how is it that not even a single piece in a haul estimated to be worth half a billion dollars has surfaced? Gone in 81 minutes, the Gardner loot — and the thieves who made off with it — remain at large.

With first-ever interviews, unprecedented access and over a year of investigative reporting, Last Seen takes us inside the ongoing effort to bring back the jewels of the Gardner collection.

Explore the missing artwork, learn more about the main characters in this story, join our Facebook group to discuss threads in the story, and listen to the 10-episode season below:

Meet the producers of this podcast:

Stephen Kurkjian, Kelly Horan and Jack Rodolico. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Stephen Kurkjian, Kelly Horan and Jack Rodolico. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Kelly Horan is the senior producer and a senior reporter of Last Seen. A longtime WBUR editor and producer, Kelly's work has been recognized with awards from the Associated Press and the Radio Television Digital News Association. She is the author, with Pakistani human rights activist Humaira Awais Shahid, of the critically acclaimed memoir, "Devotion and Defiance," from W. W. Norton & Co. Kelly has written for The Boston Globe, Yankee Magazine, Gastronomica, The Boston Phoenix and others. Kelly was a 2004 Japan Society of New York Fellow in Japan and a 2007 Wellesley College Stevens Fellow in Paris. She is writing a book about Second Empire Paris and the scandalously unrepentant seductress and political schemer who became its reigning siren.

Jack Rodolico is a senior reporter of Last Seen. Prior to joining WBUR, he was the Health and Science Reporter for New Hampshire Public Radio. Jack was the lead reporter documenting systemic abuse and corruption at a now-shuttered institution that warehoused people with disabilities. He has received four Edward R. Murrow Awards, including one National Murrow, and his investigative documentaries have been finalists for a Scripps Howard Award and a Dart Award. You may have heard his voice on Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting, National Public Radio or 99% Invisible. Jack lives in New Hampshire with his wife and son.

Stephen Kurkjian is the consulting producer of Last Seen. Stephen spent nearly 40 years as an editor and reporter for The Boston Globe before retiring in 2007. During his career, he shared in three Pulitzer Prizes and won more than 20 regional and national reporting awards. Kurkjian was a founding member of The Globe’s investigative Spotlight Team, and its editor for 1979-1986. In 1986, he was named chief of The Globe's Washington Bureau for six years. Returning to Boston in the early 1990s, he completed numerous investigative projects including the clergy abuse scandal inside the Boston Archdiocese and the devastating fire at a Rhode Island nightclub. His book on the theft of 13 pieces of artwork from the Isabella Stewart, “Master Thieves: The Boston Gangsters Who Pulled Off the World’s Greatest Art Heist,” was published to critical acclaim in 2015.

John Perotti produces and designs our sound. Eve Zuckoff is our production assistant. Katherine Brewer is our coordinating producer. Our digital team includes Tiffany Campbell, Daigo Fujiwara and Amy Gorel. Editing by Jessica Alpert and Ben Brock Johnson. Our executive producer is Iris Adler. Digital content was produced in partnership with The ARTery, WBUR's arts and culture team.

We had help from The Boston Globe's Shelley Murphy, Brendan McCarthyJohn Tlumacki and Jeremiah Manion, with digital help from Heather Ciras, Jason Tuohey and Ryan Huddle.

The producers wish to thank the artist Sophie Calle for allowing them the use of her title "Last Seen." Calle's "Last Seen" is a series of nine color photographs and texts created in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1991, weeks after the theft. "Last Seen" was exhibited at the Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburgh), the Boymans van Beuningen Museum (Rotterdam), the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris) and other international venues, including a recent exhibition at the Gardner Museum (2013) which comprised new works on this theme.


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