It’s August 2017, and an antiques dealer has just discovered a notorious stolen painting in a deceased couple’s New Mexico home. But when investigators try to trace the story of Jerry and Rita Alter, they find more questions than answers – and they come across a quiet family who are somehow connected to one of the 20th century’s boldest heists.
Jerry and Rita arrived in the small town of Cliff, NM, at some point towards the end of the 1970s or the beginning of the 1980s. Apparently, Jerry had been employed as a teacher in New York City before moving west to start his retirement. He was also a self-published author and professed a love of adventure travel.
Indeed, according to the profile in one of his books, Jerry was a voracious traveler. He’d reportedly set foot in more than 140 countries and all seven continents by the time he turned 80. Meanwhile, his wife, Rita, also had an educational background. She’d found work in local schools as a speech pathologist after the pair relocated to New Mexico.