The Mind-Boggling Mystery at the Museum

Everyone loves a good mystery, right? The type of mystery that is so perplexing that you have to stop and ask yourself: how in the world did this possibly occur? Well, Netflix’s new miniseries may just be the perfect mystery to bend your mind.

This Is A Robbery: The World’s Greatest Art Heist chronicles the confounding, real-life event of the 1990 art heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. 

Watching unsolved mysteries is so captivating to me (probably because I can live out my fantasy of being a detective for a few hours), so I was thrilled when this show popped up on my Netflix lineup. 

The first episode focused around how the robbery was perpetrated. It detailed how the robbers entered the building (due to a fallacious assumption made by a night guard), how the robbers navigated around the museum, and precisely how long it took them to steal the paintings (81 minutes! Can you believe that?). 

The next few episodes were quite divergent compared to the first one. The whole rest of the story was centered around the possible overarching theory of how this whole heist was carried out by mobs. However, the way the show detailed these mob connections was in such a muddling and flat way that it was difficult to follow. I feel as if all of their theories and assumptions were contradictory to one another.

With the presence of such concrete evidence, including surveillance footage later found depicting a security guard letting an unidentified man into the museum the night before the robbery, I believe this proof should have been expanded upon. I am not pointing fingers or making any theories, I just would have enjoyed hearing more about this pivotal incident and the beliefs surrounding them. Richard Abath, one of the night guards that night, only was briefly interviewed in the show, not revealing his face. 

In the first two episodes, I was on the edge of my seat. The way the suspense was portrayed through the daunting music, intricate interrogations, and ominous acting recreations was intriguing. However, by the end of the show, I just wanted a definitive conclusion on what investigators presume truly happened. I never got that. Again, I know the case remains unsolved, but I was still waiting for that “aha” moment.

However, one significant aspect that this documentary achieved was the commentary and interviews from people who were involved in the matter. Whether it be an eye witness, a museum worker, or a detective, that added that layer of tension and suspense that I crave when I watch mystery shows.

I also will applaud the fact that this show put a unique twist on modern mystery shows. The show still found a way to intrigue viewers even though most of this case remains unknown.

Overall, I would give this miniseries a 3/5.

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