No deathbed confession expected from Manchester man linked to Gardner Museum art heist: Lawyer

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HARTFORD — The lawyer for a Connecticut mobster suspected to have ties to the notorious 1990 Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum art heist says he doesn’t expect a deathbed confession from his client.

Hartford attorney A. Ryan McGuigan tells the Boston Globe he visited the hospital where 80-year-old Robert Gentile is in failing health on Friday to see if he’d talk about the artwork.

But Gentile, who has steadfastly insisted he has no knowledge of the heist, responded tearfully that “there’s no paintings,” McGuigan said.

Gentile is in federal custody for unrelated weapons charges. He’s been identified by the FBI as the last surviving person of interest in the theft.

Gentile remains hospitalized “in bad shape” after he fell in August at the Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, Rhode Island.

Thirteen paintings and other artwork by Rembrandt van Rijn, Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas and Johannes Vermeer worth an estimated $500 million were stolen in the brazen heist.

Prosecutors believe Gentile knows something about the still-unsolved theft since another gangster’s widow claimed her husband gave Gentile two of the paintings.