Home Comics Art Frazetta Heist update: Notary drops bombshell

Frazetta Heist update: Notary drops bombshell


It seems safe to say that the Pocono Record knows that they have the story of, uh, a fortnight in the Great Frazetta Art Heist. As you may recall, Frank Frazetta Jr., son of the art legend Frank Sr. was arrested last week on charges that he and two other men broke into their father’s museum with a backhoe and were in the process of removing $20 million worth of art. Today’s preliminary hearing for the crime produced some bombshell revelations.

The bizarre incident has unearthed a family squabble among Frazetta’s four children. It seems that children Bill, Holly and Heidi are in favor of selling the world-famous and iconic paintings that made their father a legend and created an entire genre of fantasy art — one painting sold recently for $1 million and that could be just the start of the bidding. 

On the other side, we have Frank Jr., who seems to want to keep the paintings in the family — or at least out of his siblings’ hands. The paintings are currently displayed at the Frazetta Museum where, one assumes, they bring in some kind of modest income.

Today the Pocono Record catches Frank Jr. doing the perp walk to a preliminary hearing. Bail was reduced to $50,000 and Bill Frazetta states that he hopes things can be settled within the family and outside of the court.

The REAL bombshell, however, comes from a notary who says that Frank Frazetta Sr. came to her nine days before the aborted heist and asked her to notarize a power of attorney removing control of the art from Bill, Heidi and Holly and giving it to Frank Jr! “He was in the right frame of mind,” said the notary.

This backs up claims by Frank Jr., and in Beat comments and elsewhere on the web that he was only acting on his father’s wishes in removing the paintings to some other home.

Still, using a backhoe may not have been the way to go about it.

  1. From a personal standpoint, I’d prefer that they keep the paintings together and keep the museum going, but that’s just because I would like to go there and look at them. I am also a person who’d love to own a Frazetta original, but I will likely never make enough money in my lifetime to buy one.

    I hope this gets worked out under some sense of fairness. Glad I’m not one of the people charged with figuring it out, though. Best of luck to the Frazetta family.

  2. Oops, my comment got cut off. I meant to say…

    Interesting. Frank, Jr. the family vigilante. Or at least that’s how it’s being painted.
    Still Heidi (our Heidi here at the beat, that is) is right; the backhoe was not the best choice.

  3. I’m sure the Frazetta will/estate plan will come forth soon. That should clear up who has legal authority. Just because a POA was issued doesn’t mean the son had authority, especially if Frank Sr. had documented dementia (a notary is not a lawyer or doctor).

  4. This is such a sad story of what money and material things can do to a family. The whole family is in on this! They have all been taking art from there father as well as undisclosed amounts of cash since their mother passed away. If the press would just dig deeper they will find that this is just the tip of the iceberg! Wait til the IRS investigates this, then the house of cards they have all been hiding in will come crumbling down on them. Their greed and lies will come out eventually. Frank was just protecting what hadn’t already been taken by his brother and two sisters!

  5. The thing puzzling me is that Ellie told me a few years ago that Frank Jr. was running things as she was starting to wind down. Ellie nearly ran herself into the ground running the family business especially after Frank Sr. had that last big stroke. Last spring when I spoke to her she assured Frank Jr. was the guy running things.
    So how did it come to this?
    My best guess (please, note that) is that the buyers and collectors have been working on the family now that Ellie’s not there to run interference. Perhaps fissures are forming because the “kids” are now middle aged and the idea of selling off the legacy is more tempting. That’s not me placing blame on them. I can see the temptation to perhaps cull away at the collection.
    With that in mind I was very surprised when the Conan painting “The Berserker” (aka, Conan the Conqueror) was sold. Again, straight from Ellie’s mouth, “The Conan paintings will not be sold.. not ever”. That painting is a particularly iconic image placing #2 to Conan the Barbarian’s (..The Adventurer) #1 spot.
    I know nothing. Forgive my speculating. I know only that ‘never” is unrealistic and change is constant,

  6. Before everyone anoints Frank Jr. the good guy, let’s remember…HE USED A GODDAM BACKHOE.

    I’m investigating a few leads I’ve heard, but based on everything I’ve heard, there are NO good guys in this story.

  7. Much depends on Frank Sr.’s mental competence as declared by a doctor. Dementia often manifests itself as forgetfulness but does not mean you can’t make your own decisions.

    Power of Attorey can also be dealt for different reasons like making decisions in one’s absence. I’ve seen this taken advantage of when a parent is in a different state and offers a child power of attorney to sell or manage a property, suddenly the parent has a stroke and the child or children assume that power to make every decision not always in the best interest of the parent.

    If Frank Sr. had been declared mentally incompetent at some point, regardless what his current state of mind may be as stroke victimes can become more lucid as time goes on, it can be very difficult to have that decision reversed.

    I hope the answers are in Ellie’s will, assuming that if a POA existed for Frank Sr., it was originally in her name.

  8. ““He was in the right frame of mind,” said the notary.”

    Though a Notary is required to make a general judgement on people involving them in signing off on a legal document, the declaration of their mental health FAAARRR exceeds their powers as Notary.

  9. Hmm. First, it seems that someone else is using the name “Al” and has already posted above. He is someone else, he is not me, previously known here for a few years as “Al”. How many Als are there, I wonder? Al Capp, Al Moore, Al Capone, Weird Al,

    Okay, that out of the way:

    The pity of the potential selling off of the Frazetta masterpieces, is that if they ARE sold, we, the adoring Frazetta fans, will never have a chance of ever seeing the originals. Or certainly never seeing so many assembled in one place.

    Okay, back to my first point, that of doppleganger, should I be changing my posting name?

  10. A documentary I watched several years ago showed the work Frank Sr. and his wife put into creating the museum – and showed how attached to the work Frank Sr, is (Mrs. Frazetta said she catches him taking paintings to his studio to keep working on them). Now, Frank Sr. is an elderly man, and though we all know how kids can manipulate their elderly parents, his wishes in the matter must be respected unless a court ascertains he assigned the power of attorney to Frank Jr. under duress or in a diminished capacity.

    My own faimily recently went through this kind of thing. It seems some children can’t wait until their parents are dead to inherit their life’s work – they want to take it as soon as the parents become the slightest bit dependent in their old age.

  11. Eric, how do you know the parents don’t have a plan (will, etc.) to parse out the property to their children? If the kids (the other three) do have a legal right to the work via will or something, they can do what they wish–even if Frank Jr. doesn’t like the thought. Personally, I love the museum–been there myself–and love that I can see the originals. But from their POV, someone has to manage the estate, pay premiums on the insurance for the art, etc. And no one is going to do it for free. Sometimes it’s easier to get rid of property that can cause family friction, as awful as that sounds. Just playing devil’s advocate here.

  12. Some may find the following story of interest:

    I own a sculpture company called Bowen Designs. Last summer I received a phone call from a bronze foundry in Texas, stating that they were working on a giant-sized bronze sculpture for the U.S. Army of Frazetta’s Death Dealer. Apparently, Frank Jr. presented the Death Dealer sculpture (that I had sculpted many years ago) as his creation to the army brass.

    In other words, Frank Jr. pitched the project, saying that my sculpture was his work. This was done without my permission. I don’t claim to own the copyright, but I did create many aspects of the image that were not depicted in the original Frazetta (Sr.) painting.

    The foundry called me, because they saw my name on the piece: (not Frank Jr). The giant bronze and (slightly smaller fiberglass replica) were sold to the army (as part of the Phantom Warrior project). These sculptures are exact replicas of the piece that I had sculpted. The projects cost the US tax payers hundreds of thousands of dollars, in a time of war, when our troops can’t afford flak-vests! To my knowledge, Frank Jr. is the sole recipient of the profits for these projects.

    The foundry notified Frank Jr. that I was now aware of his use of my sculpture. He then contacted me to offer me cash and or artwork (as settlement), that he said had been given to him by Frank Sr. (this was before the museum backhoe incident).

    I’ve not heard from Frank Jr. since.

  13. Amazing how often people of great artistic talent, business acumen, etc. have offspring that aspire to nothing greater than mooching off the fruit of their parents’ legacy. This whole episode is a sad capstone on the life of an extraordinarily gifted man, but unfortunately it happens all too often.

    Wonder if anyone’s done a longterm study comparing the lives of successful people to those of their children? I have a feeling it would make for interesting, if depressing, reading.

  14. So Bill was planning to break up the collection all along? He recently sold one Conan painting for $1 MM, which was a shock as Ellie’s stated their plans of never selling the Conan paintings before her passing.

    Perhaps Frank Jr. was acting of the wished of his father and mother afterall.

  15. “let’s remember…HE USED A GODDAMN BACKHOE.”

    Ms. Beat,

    You know I distinctively remember O.J. Simpson having a entire casino on lock down complete with thugs with guns in a effort to retrieve stuff that was allegedly reported “stolen” from him by greedy sports memorabilia dealers.

    And somehow that situation didn’t bode well for him

    And now whenever I’m on a Greyhound bus ride to Vegas – I wave hello to his new home located a good long distance from the back of the Primm’s Terrible’s Casino – which just happens to be the Nevada State Penitentiary.

    So, at least be grateful that Frank Jr. only used a “backhoe”. His situation could have been worse if weapons were involved in the theft.



  16. The other children Bill, Holly and Heidi are interested in selling their father’s paintings.

    Isn’t this exactly against the wishes of their mother Ellie when she was still alive?

  17. Its funny to me that NOBODY not the judge or the DA have seen this notarized paper signed by Frank sr stating he want the paintings removed by ANYMEANS …thats because there isnt one…I heard that the notary showed up with an appointment book as evidence…I beleive Jr promised the notary lady an original!!!!

  18. Wow, I never would have guessed that this kind of thing was going on in the family. Now I see exactly why Ellie had the keys to the museum. All the kids where trying to get rich off of their dad’s success.
    And what a shock that one of the Conan paintings was sold? Was that because of Frank Jr’s scheming?

    I’m just now learning about Ellie passing away? And with Frazetta getting older I can only guess what kind of health he is in at 81yrs old. What will happen when he passes? Is the daughter or Frank Sr. still sane enough to carry on the family legacy? I can only hope so. I would love to visit the museum some day and be able to see his beautiful paintings with my eyes instead of from photos.

    It’s really sad to have to hear this kind of news about Frazetta’s sons. I wish the sons would have become artists themselves and kept practicing but Frank Jr. seems to have gotten too discouraged being an artist. After all, who can measure up to Frank Frazetta – the man is a legend.

  19. Watch this video.

    Frank sr’s offspring— reliving the wizard of oz. Notice their surroundings (the museum that the witch is guarding) They sneakily enter and are approached by the witch, flying monkeys, and two faced guards. The witch dies protecting her fortress and the scarecrow, lion and tinman (Holly, BIlly, Frank jr ) kill her. Two faced soldier then solutes them—THEY ARE ON THEIR WAY TO OZ with no hurdles because now the witch is dead

    The cast:

    The Oz-Frank sr.
    Wicked Witch- Ellie (RIP) my apologies.
    Tin Man (Frank jr)
    Cowardly Lion (Billy) They even have the same face.
    Scarecrow (Holly)
    Main Souldier who looks like witch (Heidi)

  20. I don’t think Heidi looks like a witch!! And I don’t think Billy is cowardly considering he was face to face with jr the day of the breakin laughing at jrs punching, kicking , and snowballs thrown at him!!! And holly is very intelligent so with that said… Have a great day!!!

  21. Lynette,

    you are the saddest thing on this Earth. Lets rehash those rebuttal statements you made…Heidi is a spittin image of the mother and I know that everyone who came in contact with Ellie sang the song “ding dong the witch is dead” as each word came out of her mouth. Heidi may be worse…so far she’s progressing more quickly to the highest level of evil. Billy, hmm…”he’s not cowardly because he was face to face with jr who was throwing snowballs?” What the hell kind of defense is that? Are you insinuating that dodging the snowballs was an act of courage? The dumbest comment that you made was obviously saved till last.. very entertaining. “Holly is intelligent” Holly is illiterate, dropped out of highschool in 10th grade, has no idea of how many continents there are, and cannot pronunciate a word even if she sat in a hooked on phonics witha bunch of 2nd graders for weeks. Shes a blatant moron just like the rest. Lynette, ponder those thoughts and thank you, I am having a GREAT day :)

  22. IF Frank Sr. is suffering from dementia then you’d hope the family would do the right thing and ensure he keeps his art until he passes. Frank always made it clear he didn’t want to sell his masterworks. People change their minds of course but what Frank jr is doing by protecting the work seems to go in line with statements Frank SR has made over the years. If he is not suffering Dementia and some of the family is making a move to legally “liberate” Frank’s work from him in hopes of cashing in, I do hope somebody stops them. I’ve seen this sort of thing happen to elderly relatives and it’s so hard to stop it from happening. So sad.

  23. Frank Frazetta emerged from the work of H. Foster, J. Allen St.John, and Hannes Bok. He surpassed them all. His acheivments are transendential, seperate from material greed. Family business is family business. Their conflict can never detract from the real truth of Frank Frazetta’s art. I own one small print with an authentic Frazetta’s signature and it has the intrinsic value of his most priceless painting. Ingmar Bergman said it best -“I could always live in my art but never in my life” Autumn Sonata.

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