Murph the Surf

NYT | How a Band of Surfer Dudes Pulled Off the Biggest Jewel Heist in N.Y. History

NYT | How a Band of Surfer Dudes Pulled Off the Biggest Jewel Heist in N.Y. History

Into NYC folklore? Check out this NYT piece.

For a few months in 1964, “Murph the Surf” and his crew became folk heroes when they looted the Hall of Gems from the American Museum of Natural History.

This excerpt is from a piece originally published By Corey Kilgannon | Oct. 17, 2019 | Updated Oct. 18, 2019, 3:47 a.m. ET

For its 150th anniversary, the American Museum of Natural History is celebrating its many historic moments, from its 1869 founding, to the 1902 discovery of the first T-Rex skeleton, to the creation of the Teddy Roosevelt statue erected out front in 1940.

One milestone not on that list: the biggest jewel heist in New York history, when the Star of India, a 563-carat sapphire the size of a golf ball, was snatched from its display case, along with the rare Eagle Diamond, the DeLong Star Ruby and some 20 other precious gems from a collection donated to the museum by J.P. Morgan.

For several months beginning in October 1964, the city was transfixed by the brazen robbery that the tabloids immediately labeled the heist of the century.