BOSTON (CBS) – More than 30 years after the infamous heist involving 13 pieces of art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner collection, the Boston museum is eager and optimistic for the return of the precious works to their frames.

“There are definitely people out there we believe have information that would help us,” said museum head of security Anthony Amore.

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Hope for that help remains resolute after Connecticut mobster Robert Gentile died last week after a stroke. The widow of another organized crime associate pointed investigators to him in 2010.

An empty frame at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. (WBZ-TV)

“We know he knows something about our paintings – whether it be who did it, where they went, where they are now, or that he had them. He never would tell us,” Amore said.

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And now he never can share what he knew. But Robert Gentile couldn’t take the paintings with him in his passing, and that means someone still has them.

“When masterpieces are stolen, they are often recovered either right away or a generation later. That generation later part is because people pass on and others are less inhibited about speaking,” Amore added.

Throughout a decade of interviews, polygraphs, and searches of his home, Gentile denied any involvement. There is a $10 million reward for the clues or cooperation that bring these treasures home.

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“We will get these paintings back and the public will enjoy them as intended,” Amore said.

Juli McDonald