Three Missing British Maps Still Missing
Forbes Smiley might not be out of the woods yet. Three maps that went missing from the British Library last year (and reported here last September) are still missing. They were not among the maps that Smiley confessed to taking (see previous entry), but British authorities are still wondering whether he was responsible for their disappearance. From the article by (who else?) Hartford Courant reporter Kim Martineau:
Even if Smiley is eventually linked to all four of the maps missing from the British Museum, it doesn’t appear that it would jeopardize his plea deal because the U.S. government is pleased with his cooperation. He faces up to six years in federal prison when sentenced this fall.
The U.S. Attorney for Connecticut, Kevin O’Connor, said Tuesday that investigators had found no evidence that Smiley was lying. In some instances, Smiley gave up more valuable maps than the ones the libraries had reported missing, he said. Smiley’s business records provided further detail. He recorded the sale of maps he acquired legitimately but also the maps he fenced to the trade. His cooperation led the FBI to nearly 80 stolen maps they could not otherwise have traced.
“We have no reason to believe he would have omitted those maps,” said O’Connor.
It’s important to remember that regardless of whether Smiley is responsible for the loss of these three maps, he is not — by a long shot — the only map thief out there. (If you haven’t already done so, go and read Miles Harvey’s Island of Lost Maps. Do it now.)