National Archives Stolen Documents Case Makes History | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

National Archives Stolen Documents Case Makes History

Play associated audio

When investigators seeking stolen historical documents from the National Archives showed up to search the apartment of a New York presidential memorabilia collector, they brought just a few boxes — they had no idea what they were in for.

The documents are being called "priceless," and they include handwritten letters and manuscripts from famous individuals like John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson, Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Dickens, and Benjamin Franklin.

Mitch Yockelson, an investigative archivist with the National Archives, helped look into the case of collector Barry Landau, and says items were found throughout the home.

"We found what appeared to be documents of historic value all over the place — in his bedroom, in his kitchen area, in his living room," says Yockelson.

He says a letter written by Benjamin Franklin was lying on an ottoman.

"Not only did we have to rent a truck, but we had to go across the street to the office supply store, and we literally bought them out of file boxes."

Yockelson says when he walked into the apartment, he had no idea that thousands of documents would be uncovered.

"This ultimately turned out to be what we believe is what largest theft of historical documents, literally in history."

Landau and his assistant, Jason Savedoff, are both serving prison sentences.

NPR

In This Test Kitchen, The Secret To A Great Cookbook Is Try, Try Again

Yotam Ottolenghi and his partner have a thriving food empire that includes wildly successful cookbooks. We go inside their London test kitchen as recipes are put through their paces.
NPR

Bugs: Not What's For Dinner — Until They're Tastier, Maybe

A U.K. researcher says the environmental argument for eating bugs isn't working on its own. She says chefs and policymakers must "make insect dishes appeal as food, not just a way to save the planet."
NPR

Fact Check: 3 Questions Answered About Bill Clinton's LLC

Does Bill Clinton have a secret corporation that he is using to hide money? Is it intended to pay a lower tax rate? Or is it something else entirely?
NPR

Questions Remain About How To Use Data From License Plate Scanners

The scanners are standard equipment for police, but what's not settled is what happens to all the data collected. That data can link people to certain addresses and flag unusual activity.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.