The latest Netflix docuseries to sweep viewers' attention is This Is a Robbery, the real-life story of the 1990s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum robberies. Through watching, viewers are taken on a journey detailing the remarkable tale of some of the most precious artworks in Boston being stolen one by one, and police's unending search to find the culprits.
Aside from the works that were stolen, the only other known detail of the heist is that perpetrators allegedly bound and gagged night security guard Richard Abath to gain access to the museum. Over the years, Richard has been a person of interest in the case, with many speculating that he even helped the criminals gain access and then played innocent. However, none of these claims have ever been corroborated, and Richard was cleared of all potential charges shortly after the crimes took place.
So, where is Richard nowadays, and does he still have any ties to the fateful night that made his name infamous in art theft history? Here's what we know about his current whereabouts.
Where is Richard Abath now? He leads a relatively normal life.
When the heists occurred in 1990, Richard "Rick" Abath was just a 23-year-old part-time night security guard at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. A self-described "hippie" and member of a rock band called Ukiah, Richard was working in Boston after dropping out of Berklee School of Music and just trying to make ends meet. However, his part-time guard job led him to become entangled in one of the most famous art heists ever.
For years, Richard was assumed to have been complicit in the robbery despite being bound and gagged by the assailants, but his connection to the heists was never proven in court. The former security worker has vehemently denied his involvement in the crimes on numerous occasions over time and claims his reluctance to help solve the case derives from the fact that he's just happy to have made it out of it all alive.
Nowadays, Richard is a Vermont resident, a move he made in 1999. Circling back to his past educational troubles, he also finally graduated college in 2010 and decided to pursue a career in teaching. He is now in his 50s, works as a teacher's aid in Brattleboro, Vt., and is happily married with two children.
In one of the only post-heist interviews he gave, Richard explained to NPR in 2015 his feelings about the robbery and how the event shaped his adult life.
"Even if they get the paintings back they’ll never be the same, and I feel horrible about that," he said. "I don’t want to be remembered for this alone… I’d like to be remembered for the good things I’ve done. I’m a husband, a father of two really cool kids. But they’re saying it’s half a billion worth of artwork. And ultimately I’m the one who made the decision to buzz them in. It’s the kind of thing most people don’t have to learn to cope with. It’s like doing penance. It’s always there."
This Is a Robbery is available to stream on Netflix now.