The True Story Behind the Hulu Documentary The Jewel Thief – by Mariah Espada (Time Magazine – July 13, 2023)

The Jewel Thief, a documentary out July 13 on Hulu, details the life of Gerald Blanchard, once called the “world’s most ingenious thief.” The film goes beyond the details of Blanchard’s notable crown jewel robbery, uncovering his complex, world-spanning decades of crimes and the story of the detectives who finally caught him.

Filmmaker Landon Van Soest first learned about Blanchard around 2007, when he made national headlines for returning an Austrian crown jewel known as the Sisi Star that he had stolen in 1998. In making the documentary, Van Soest aspired to dig deeper than what meets the eye about Blanchard and his crimes.

“Delving into it I realized that that [the jewel] was just the tip of the iceberg and that there was a lifetime of criminal obsession and ambition for him,” he tells TIME. “He constantly graduated to these larger, more complex, more involved series of heists.”

Blanchard, who appears in the documentary, takes pride in his controversial rise. “My story is probably very fascinating because everyone wishes they could do the things I’ve done,” he says in the film. “When you’re a kid, people dream about robbing banks. I think it’s a fantasy that most people have but they actually never executed it like I did.”

For the rest of this article: