Boston Globe publishes pictures taken by lawyer of suspect in famous art heist

The Boston Globe, whose Pulitzer-winning work behind the Oscar-honored movie “Spotlight” earned it a shout-out from President Obama this weekend, today is relying upon the photographic skills of a mobster’s attorney to illustrate a breaking news story about the FBI’s latest attempt to solve the famous Gardner Museum art heist.

The photos, credited to attorney A. Ryan McGuigan, show FBI vehicles and work tents in front of the Connecticut home of McGuigan’s client. And while it is my opinion that a screen capture would represent fair use in this instance … did I mention that the photos were taken by an attorney?

From the Globe story, which is behind a pay wall:

For the third time, the FBI is searching the Manchester, Conn., property of aging mobster Robert Gentile, who has remained at the center of the investigation into the notorious 1990 theft of $500 million worth of paintings from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

In a telephone interview, Gentile’s attorney, A. Ryan McGuigan, said he was watching while a detachment of FBI agents with two evidence-sniffing dogs and other equipment arrived and set up a tent on Gentile’s front lawn around noon Monday.

McGuigan said he had not been given a copy of any search warrant and has not been explicitly told by law enforcement what they are looking for. But he noted that the volume of the agents involved and the support equipment they brought with them suggested they were looking for Gardner paintings.

Two pictures accompany the story, credited to A. Ryan McGuigan.

[MORE: Working Robots at your service.]

One way to look at the lawyer’s photos is that they represent quick thinking by the Globe staffers who wrote the story, two of whom – Shelley Murphy and John Ellement – are long-ago college classmates of yours truly. They’ve got the lawyer on the line: “You say the FBI is camped out in front of your client’s house? Pics or it didn’t happen.”

Another way to look at McGuigan’s camera work is that it’s just another example of more free content finding its way onto news sites (I’m assuming the attorney isn’t freelancing).

Such is journalism in 2016.

(Update: McGuigan's pictures have been replaced by what appear to be genuine freelance photographs, meaning attorney McGuigan will have to keep the day job.)

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