Do Your Know The People Around You?
Do you think that you really know the people around you? Do you know everything about your friends, family members, or your neighbors? You may think that you know everything about them, but they could have a deep, dark secret that you don’t know anything about.
The New Mexico Couple
Rita and Jerry Adler seemed like ordinary, middle-class people. They both worked as teachers and have lived in Cliff, New Mexico since the late ’70s. Everyone thought that they were a typical couple who lived normal lives. It wasn’t until investigators found a strange asset in their home that made them believe that this couple pulled off one of the biggest crimes of the ’80s.
Jerry and Rita
Jerry has three passions, adventure, art, and traveling. He has written and published several books about his adventures and experiences in over 140 countries. Rita was always a kind and loving wife who supported Jerry in everything that he did. She worked as a speech pathologist for the local public school, and she was known for being patient and positive. Their neighbors didn’t know much about them. They usually kept to themselves, but when the neighbors did see them, they thought that they were a lovely couple. Keeping to themselves is how they were able to keep their secret for so long.
In 2011, Jerry passed away due to age-related issues. Rita died five years later. The couple left behind their adult children, Barbara and Joseph. They were also very close to their favorite nephew, Ron Roseman. Ron lived closer to the couple’s home in Cliff, so he was in charge of their estate and assets. He put their home up for sale, and he invited antique dealers to assess the possessions inside the house.
David Van Auker
David Van Auker is an art dealer from Silver City. He was one of the dealers who was invited to the couple’s home. During the walk-through, he was drawn to one piece of art in particular. It was a mid-20th-century painting that featured an abstract interpretation of a nude woman. The couple had the painting hanging in their master bedroom so that nobody could see it. The stolen $160M painting was uncovered in couple’s home before even weirder details begin to emerge.
Eye On the Prize
When David saw the painting, he thought that it was unique, so he made an offer right away. He didn’t want someone else to get it. He bid $2,000, and although Ron was hoping for more, he took the offer, and the painting belonged to David. He took it back to Silver City, and he couldn’t get over the nagging feeling that there was something extraordinary in his car. Fortunately, David had access to many artists. Silver City is home to many, and they often went into his store to add to their collections that he was selling.
Recognizing the Work
A few days after David displayed the work in his store, an artist with a good eye came in and recognized the piece. It was created by a famous artist named Willem De Kooning. He was a Dutch expressionist who moved to the United States in the ’60s and became the highest paid Dutch painter of all time. Because De Kooning’s works ranged from tens of millions to hundreds of millions of dollar, David knew that if the painting was authentic, he was sitting on a goldmine.
Questioning the Authenticity
David wasn’t sure if the painting was authentic. How could two schoolteachers have something so expensive and so extraordinary in their home in a small town in New Mexico? While he questioned the authenticity, he hoped that it was real. More and more artists were coming into his store, and they recognized the piece as well. Finally, he decided to find out once and for all if it was real.
The Painting Was Real
David did some research, and he found out that the painting was stolen back in 1985. On the day of the theft, a couple arrived at the museum right when it opened. When a security guard opened the door to let an employee in, the woman chatted him up while the man disappeared into the museum. Shortly after, the man came out, and the couple was gone. Soon after, they discovered that the painting was gone. There were no fingerprints, and the museum didn’t have security cameras. The only piece of evidence was a rusty red sports car that may or may not have been used in the theft.
Were the Adlers Criminals?
The painting was stolen around Thanksgiving 1985. The couple just happened to be at Ron’s house in Tucson celebrating Thanksgiving that year, and there is a photo of the two in Tucson the day that the museum was robbed. Also, people wondered how the couple was able to afford to travel so often on teachers’ salaries. They had a million dollars in their bank account when Rita died. Their children say that they saved their money, but many people believe that they were professional thieves. Also, the sketch of the two thieves resembled the couple’s son, Jerry Jr. and Jerry dressed as a woman. Finally, Jerry wrote a book about a man who steals a precious jewel from a museum and puts it on display in their bedroom away from prying eyes.
Some people lead very private lives. Many people harbor secrets. Your own neighbors could be harboring a huge, life-changing secret and you may not even know about it.
A typical New Mexico couple passed away of natural causes, and when their home and belongings were open to the public for sale, a painting was found in their bedroom that was worth millions. Where did the couple get the money to buy such an expensive painting? The answer to that question is simple. They didn’t pay for it. Most of the evidence proves that they stole the painting. This story is incredible, and it is absolutely true. You have to see this video to believe it.