Former Truman Library Worker Reflects On 1978 Heist

The doors of the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum are again open to the public after a $29 million renovation, but there are national treasures you won’t see on the newly reopened museum.

That’s as a result of they had been stolen more than forty years in the past.

The I-Group first reported on the mystery of the missing swords and daggers in May.

Carol Burnett, a lifelong Independence resident, noticed our forty one Action Information investigation.

“I used to be like, ‘Oh my gosh! Look, it’s on Television,’ as a result of no one remembers anymore,” she said.

Nonetheless, Burnett does remember, as a result of she worked on the museum in 1978.

On March 24, 1978, she confirmed up to work and found detectives looking for clues amid shards of glass on the flooring.

“My favorite objects had been gone, and it was sad,” Burnett said.

Her sales desk was just throughout the room from the swords and daggers, which have been gifts to President Truman from foreign heads of state. Burnett said. Laughed.

Till that March day when, in 45 seconds, the thieves smashed the glass by the front door of the library and shattered the show case holding the artifacts.

After hearing an alarm go off, a museum safety guard ran down a long corridor from the north to the south aspect of the library.

When he bought to the double doorways resulting in the exhibit, he heard a chain rattling. The thieves had locked the doors from the other aspect.

“That gave them a few further seconds to pilfer things out of the case and then return out the window,” Clay Bauske, the museum’s curator, said in an interview in May.

Related | Can you find President Harry Truman’s stolen treasures?

Somewhere in storage, Burnett nonetheless has among the items of glass found on the floor the day of the heist.

“Just a little souvenir to say, ‘Yeah, I was there,'” she mentioned.

In the days following the break-in, the FBI interviewed Burnett. Brokers confirmed her “books” of mugshots to see if any of the faces seemed acquainted, but Burnett stated nobody stood out.

“I believe they’d a couple concepts, however they had been just type of grasping at straws because it was one thing that happened so randomly, so shortly, no proof. Where do you go?” she stated.

There are some theories about what happened.

As an illustration, the thieves could have melted down the swords and daggers so they could remove and sell the precious stones.

Or, in an outdated newspaper clipping, Kansas Metropolis Star reporter James Kindall urged something else.

“Somewhere within the United States or presumably abroad, a collector, clad in a smoking jacket and sipping an costly liqueur, sits in a vault deep in the bowels of his mansion and smiles. On a wall in entrance of him is the item of his satisfaction. It’s an exclusive array of three swords and two daggers price almost $1 million” Kindall wrote.

Learn | Kindall’s full article in regards to the heist

“I would like to suppose that a collector has them someplace squirreled away,” Burnett mentioned.

If that is the case, she has a message for the person holding on to the treasures.

“Disgrace on you. Those are ours. They’re not yours, and also you need to present them back,” Burnett stated.