Frank Frazetta’s son breaks into father’s museum using backhoe, attempts to take $20 million in paintings
This may be one of the strangest stories in comics of the year– and potentially very sad.
Pennsylvania state police charged Frank Frazetta Jr. with theft, burglary and trespass after he and two other men used a backhoe to pull the door off the hinges of the Frank Frazetta Art Museum. Police said once inside, Frazetta stole about 90 paintings and was loading them into a truck when he was caught by police.
The elder Frazetta is known for his work on characters including Conan the Barbarian, Tarzan and Vampirella. He was in Florida at the time of the theft.
His son’s motive stems from a family feud over assets. Frank’s wife and Alfonso’s mother, Ellie, died earlier this year. According to Frank Jr.’s wife, Lori Frazetta, Frank Jr. and Ellie ran the family business until Ellie’s death, when the infighting over Frank Sr.’s paintings began. Frank Sr. is said to be suffering from dementia.
Frazetta Jr. was arraigned and sent to the Monroe County jail. Bail was set at $500,000. Officials didn’t know whether he had a lawyer yet.
A trooper who responded said Frazetta claimed he had been instructed by his father “to enter the museum by any means necessary to move all the paintings to a storage facility,” according a police affidavit.
The elder Frazetta told police that his son did not have permission to enter the museum or to remove any artwork. Frank Frazetta’s attorney, Gerard Geiger, said the stolen paintings were insured for $20 million, according to court documents.
Here’s the news story from WNEP:
Damn, this is so sad. Just recently I saw a documentary on HBO, I believe, about Frazetta and his career. And Frazetta is suffering from dementia? Damn.
"Said to be"? "Said to be" by whom? People who want to do something he doesn't want to do, perhaps?
Lets put some sense into this situation people. We have three siblings against one. The odd man out is obviously Frank jr. Billy Heidi and Holly have been stealing Frank Frazetta's paintings since the night of their mother Eleanor's death. They ravaged through the home manipulating their father that it was Frank jr who in fact stole the artwork. Holly, Heidi and Billy are the biggest liars, and cheats. Contact any of them to see how unreasonable it is for them to even think they are capable of running a business, let alone one that is worth the amount Frazettas is. What have Holly, Heidi and Billy done to contribute to this family business besides take take take then steal money that was to be passed down from brother Frank jr. Frank jr was the one running the website, selling the products and keeping in contact with future clients. Billy, Heidi and Holly should be put behind bars. FOREVER
Let's indeed talk sense without rushing to conclusions. Frank Frazetta's wife Ellie ran the poster business since the 1970s, and handled the occasional sale of his drawings (some FAMOUS FUNNIES covers featuring Buck Rogers, for example, as well as THUN'DA and the odd painting or two). Frank Jr. ran the website. When Ellie took ill, Frank Jr. was running the museum, along with the Chiller gent (who was also arrested with him). HOWEVER…why didn't Frank Jr. have the key to the museum following Ellie's passing? And why was it that Bill Frazetta was handling the museum (I know this, because I called his costume shop last month, inquiring about the museum hours). Frank Jr.'s photo doesn't paint him in the best light, either. I DO feel sympathy for him, and do hope everything truly, justly gets sorted out. If Jr. were still running the museum, then he could have easily opened the door with a key, turned off the alarm, and QUIETLY moved the paintings without any ruckus. You may draw your own conclusions from these facts.
Right. It's not remotely possible that the other siblings jointly decided to push him out in the cold and cash in on their father's legacy. (Not that i'm saying they did, mind you – but it's Very Possible.)An example from personal experience – here in Atlanta we used to have a neat little boutique cinema called The Film Forum. 170 seats, one broken. Run by George Ellis (for those with Atlanta backgrounds, George was "Bestoink Dooley") and his son Mike, on a 50/50 profit share on a handshake deal with the owner of the property.VERY popular with film fans.Theatre gets sold. New owner assures Ellises that the old deal still stands.Until the night, two months later, while George is in NYC for a friend's Off-Broadway play's premiere, and the new owner shows up in the middle of the evening, informs Mike that he and George are out as of Right Then and a locksmith begins changing the locks.For the next week or so, whoever was managing the place for the new owner and answering the phone would tell people who asked to speak to them that George and Mike weren't there right then – not that they'd been pushed out.Community support eventually led to the Ellises being re-instated, but it was the beginning of the end.The point?If you don't have a signed contract, it's very easy to be pushed out by people who have less honourable, more profit-oriented intentions than you. (The new owner's original intent for the Film Forum was to convert it to a porn house…)Another (recent) case from Atlanta – even more like this one – was the recent suit/counter-suit he said/she said among MLK's offspring.(Gotta say that, based on the local news, none of them came off sounding very good.)As to Frank Jrs photo – it's pretty obviously a jail photo (note orange jumpsuit collar), taken after his arrest, ride in the back of a squad car, booking, etc. – i doubt you'd look very good in such a shot, either.(I know i didn't – and i was just there overnight because i couldn't post $1000 bond for "driving with a revoked license", which wasn't even my fault…)
Ummm hello? Dad is still ALIVE!!! The paintings and everything else are still his!!! Anyone with permission to remove his paintings certainly wouldn't need to do it with a freaking backhoe! This is GREED. Pure and simple. Heidi, Holly & Billy…. take good care of your father, because I think Jr. is trying to break his heart.
Uh huh.And, of course, it's not possible that the three are effectively holding their father (if he is suffering dementia) hostage and planning to cash in on his legacy, and forcing out the one sibling who, quite possibly (based on his having run the Frazetta website and taking over running the museum when his mother no longer could), was interested in preservation rather than quick cash?We don't know.And there's enough historical precedent for family feuds and backstabbing over such things that we won't know for some time – if ever, for that matter – exactly what is going on here.
A recent update says Jr. has provided a notarized statement from Sr. that he had permission to move the paintings. Proving this to be true or false will be pivotal in the fate of the paintings. If only the family weren't divided over all this.
This is heat braking news. I send my prayer and empathy to the family
I spoke with Elie two years ago, who told me that the paintings I have are worth $10 million dollars, while her son said maybe half a million. I'd like to know if Frazetta Sr. would like these paintings to be part of his museum collection/legacy, rather than be auctioned to a private collector, now that I know he is still alive. I am glad I didn't sell them then, only to have had them stolen, and caught up in this family dispute. Any advice from loyal Frazetta collectors/fans? What did Ellie and Frank want? I would insist on Sr.'s wishes to be respected, his and Ellie's wills consulted, and possibly court ordered guardians for the person, and the estate, under the courts supervision, until this whole mess can be straightened out.
Sadly, Frank Sr. passed away earlier this month. But the family had reconciled before his death. I would recommend you contact them about their wishes.
SO,…WHERE DO I START? HOW,WHERE, WITH WHOM, AND FOR WHAT PRICE?,..AM I TO SELL MY 2 F.F. PAINTINGS? ANY ANSWERS?
Debra, contact Ellie. Or whoever brokered the sale at ComicCon. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll send you the info ASAP.
look at how ignorant the world is…frank frazetta was one of the most talented artists that ever lived. just research his life and work. yet this hack newsfeed speaks of him like it was a run-of-the-mill rinky dink operation. poo on you.
Look at ho ignorant you are – the story is written for an audience that the writer knows will be familiar with Frazetta and his work. No need to explain who he was, why he was important (overly-so in some people's eyes) or anything else along those lines.It's obvious you know nothing of the blog on which you arrived with guns blazing spouting ignorant insults.Now go away, or i shall taunt you some more.