“Come, Watson, come!" he cried. The game is afoot.” (Arthur Conan Doyle/The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes)
The game is definitely afoot in the case of the purloined Rahmfather.
There is a new development. A note, with words and letters made from cut pieces of printed materials was found on the floor of Mr. Kass office.
One letter included the iconic Tribune 'C' that appears on the paper's masthead. It appears the note was slipped under the door.
It is apparent these artnappers read or watched too many old crime stories. It is a poor comedic excuse of life imitating art or art imitating life.
As reported exclusively here, the famed Rahmfather, a priceless piece of art, was purloined on or about May 30. The piece is owned by Tribune columnist, John Kass. It was stolen while Mr. Kass was moving to a new office in the Tribune Tower.
A note scrawled in red crayon was left behind. "DO YOU WANT TO SEE YOUR RAHMFATHER AGAIN?"
Mr. Kass took to social media via Facebook to report the theft and his outrage over it. He threatened to "go Jack Bauer" if the piece was not returned. Supposedly eyeballs were rolling all over Tribune Tower when he announced this, just like when Mr. Kass mentions Benghazi.
As time passed, Mr. Kass outrage and vengeance is being taken seriously by some. There is fear that mackerel wrapped in the Sun-Times will start appearing on desks. Most are worried about what could be worse, receiving a dead fish, a copy of the Sun-Times, or both.
It appears the theft is an act of puerile behavior. A prank. Pulling John Kass chain or as one of the boys from Grand Avenue rasped, "Bustin his b@#$s".
Their childishness could have serious consequences. This is Chicago. Mr. Kass is a Chicago guy steeped in the old school traditions of the street, the Chicago Way.
The Chicago Way is not just a mere political tradition. It is a street tradition. A way of life. A code of ethics. People steeped in the Chicago Way should not be taunted or messed with. There is a heavy price to pay for such silliness.
Comments on Facebook made various recommendations. One of the best, Mr. Kass should turn the tables and put a price on the heads of the Artnappers. Though that is a good tactic, it appears Mr. Kass is has more "sophisticated" methods planned.
Mr. Kass is making it very clear he will find the thieves. There will be no pity or mercy for the artnappers or anyone aiding, abetting, or holding back information about them.
Rumors Mayor Emanuel was negotiating a trade of five fired Sun Times photographers for the painting have been debunked. So have rumors the Feds would release Jon Burge in exchange for solving the case.
So far there is no reported news media, law enforcement or political interest in the case of the missing Rahmfather. This is unusual. When famous or priceless artwork is missing there is usually major interest on an international scale.
There is a major problem with pranks like this. Others may want to copy them. This could have serious consequences for valuable works of art or other items. They could be irreparably damaged or even destroyed, especially if they require special storage such as humidity or temperature control.
This is also Chicago, where people know "people". Serious "people." These "people" are very good at tracking others down, better than the police or F.B.I. These are not the type of people pranksters want to meet. There could be serious health or fatal consequences for the copycats.
It would be in the best interests of all to just return the Rahmfather or negotiate with a third party for its return. Enough is enough. There can be no good ending to this saga if it goes on much longer.
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