A A new discovery may have solved the long-standing mystery of who stole a Willem de Kooning painting worth more than $100 million. The theft in 1985 was a brazen crime by a man and a woman who cut out “Woman-Ochre” from its frame in November 1985. The painting was found a year ago at a home in New Mexico belonging to Jerry and Rita Alter. A newly discovered picture not only puts the couple in Tucson the day before the heist but it shows a striking resemblance to the suspects.
The two thieves fled in a red sports car. The painting was later found behind a bedroom door in the home of the Alters in Tucson. It also turns out that the couple preferred red cars their entire lives.
The couple died at 81 when they passed in 2012 and 2017. The estate was sold to an antique shop owner, David Van Auker, who discovered the painting in the master bedroom. Later Auker was told that the painting may be an original and contacted the FBI.