A superb bird of paradise.
How an Obsession With Rare Bird Feathers Turned Criminal
In a bizarre heist, a young musician broke into the British Natural History Museum at Tring to steal exotic birds.
“This is a very unusual crime,” Detective Inspector Fraser Wylie of the Hertfordshire Constabulary, in southern England, said at the time.
It happened one night in November 2009, when Edwin Rist, a 20-year-old American, broke into the British Natural History Museum at Tring, one of the world’s greatest repositories of exotic birds. He stuffed a suitcase with nearly 300 of the rarest, most dazzling species—the magnificent riflebird, the resplendent quetzal, the superb bird of paradise, among others—and vanished.
Rist, a gifted flautist, was in London attending the Royal Academy of Music. He was also a champion salmon flytier. Avocation had become obsession, locking him in a kind of fly-tying arms race with other practitioners of the art. The more exotic and spectacular