As many of you know, this area of the Hudson has no shortage of inspiration for the Wyvern Falls series and in this particular case, literally in my back yard. This beautiful 1930s stone Colonial turned out to be the site of some nefarious activities. Not long ago it was purchased – in cash – by an art thief who posed as a chauffeur for an aging (and senile) Manhattan art collector . This enterprising con-artist not only siphoned his employers bank accounts (to the tune of over 3 million) but smuggled out many rare paintings including a Warhol and a Marcel Duchampt. The house was outfitted with all manner of false walls and hidden places where the artwork was hidden before being smuggled to France and into the black market.
The con went up in smoke in 2009 when the FBI showed up with a whole bunch of questions. Here more of the story on the FBI website.