UPDATE: This is a serious, sad story that obviously has a lot of personal grief to it. However, we are hearing unconfirmed reports on the identity of the backhoe driving accomplice which, if true, will really make this the Tiger Woods story for nerds. We won’t post until we have confirmation, but…DEVELOPING.

The headline is funny…but the story is not. Frank Frazetta Jr,. son of the famed fantasy artist, was arrested last night and accused of stealing over $20 million in paintings from the family museum that housed them.

Alfonso Frank Frazetta, 52, of Marshalls Creek was arrested by state police at Swiftwater and charged with burglary, theft by unlawful taking and criminal trespass.

According to the police report, Frazetta, with the help of an accomplice on a backhoe, broke through the museum door and took about 90 paintings on Wednesday afternoon.

Frazetta Jr. and his accomplice were loading the paintings into a truck when they were apprehended. The younger Frazetta is being held on $500,000 bail while charges are pending on the still unnamed accomplice.

While we are not privy to the family dynamics that created this sad episode, Ellie Frazetta, who managed the museum and most Frazetta Sr. business, passed away in the summer. It isn’t hard to draw a line between that event and evident sprawling family turmoil.


  1. It has also been a dream of mine to make a pilgrimage to the Frazetta Museum. Now I just feel sympathy for the family. Nothing is ever as clear-cut as it seems when it comes to death, family, money and stress.

  2. “It isn’t hard to draw a line between that event and evident sprawling family turmoil.”

    Well, no. Not when Frank Jr.’s wife is saying in the article that there’s been family infighting since she passed.

  3. This is so sad.

    Let’s look at this practically. Frank Jr breaks in, tries to steal $20 million worth of his dad’s paintings… and then planned to what with them?

    Like this stuff was all totally liquid? Where’s the huge underground railroad for Frazetta originals? And if there is one, shame on anyone for taking part in it because that is stealing, too.

    Somehow I suspect Frank Jr is a few paint colors short of a full palette…

  4. @Joe Field, I suspect he was trying to hold them hostage so that whichever side of the family is against him right now would give into whatever he wants out of the estate. But apparently Frank Sr’s on the other side, so IDK what he thought would do.

    Or maybe he’s trying to exercise some claim he thinks he has/he may have on Ellie’s job. If he can’t afford to litigate that directly, stealing the paintings and forcing a pro bono defense attorney to do the research for his “defense” may be his best option. That said, it’s still crazy.

  5. It’s like a mighty-thew’d “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead”!

    As for your Tiger reference, Heidi, remember: Ho’ing and backhoeing are two entirely different things.

  6. Never bring a backhoe to a museum fight. Epic fail. Absolutely no good is going to come from this. And I didn’t realize that Frank Sr. suffers from dementia, which makes this story doubly sad.

  7. money makes everyone greedy bastards.

    Also with most talent also comes the turmoil that helped forge such talent in the first place.

  8. Frank jr was already disinherited by Frank from the work of Holly Heidi and Billy. They are greedy theives and have stole millions of dollars worth of paintings as well. Frank jr Im sure was just trying to get his share after what his horrible siblings did. They stole unreported cash out of the museum and have original paintings on their home walls. These people are nuts! Do not deal with them they will end up selling you a print. Good job Metallica band member, probably purchased a million dollar painting that is actually in one of their homes hanging on a wall. They will all rot in hell.

  9. … A backhoe? Really? How did *that* work?

    I admit to being curious as to the mechanics of the thing, not to mention how anyone could have thought this would work well.

  10. The Frazetta comics just got screwed cause of all this.

    And Frazetta Jr. was supposed to write one himself.

    Absolutely horrible. He should be ashamed of himself. As apparently all the children should be.

  11. You Tube video link at bottom:

    Lori Frazetta, wife of Alfonso Frank Frazetta, discusses her husbands side of the story after he was arrested on charges of stealing approximately $20 million in paintings from the family-run art museum on Wednesday evening, Dec. 9, 2009. He is the son of prominent Pocono artist Frank Frazetta, 81, whose work has been featured in books, posters and album covers. Lori Frazetta said the incident was the result of family infighting that began after the death of Frank Sr.’s wife a few months ago.

  12. This is really sad. But not surprising. I was JUST there a couple of weeks ago. Had the whole museum to myself for an afternoon and it was simply staggering to finally see the art that I grew up gazing at and imagining. Even got to see Mr. Frazetta. It was a wonderful trip.
    Alas, the infighting that occurs during family tragedy – especially when there’s money to be had! – is an unfortunate part of human nature. I’ll keep an eye on this story but will try not to let this color my enjoyment of Frazetta’s work.

  13. I’m heartbroken to hear all this after getting to know this family over the years.
    I just sent a card for Ellie. Very sad.
    I believe Lori that Frank Jr. was trying to secure the work and avoid a sell-off by mounting greed. Some of them are seeing dollars instead of history and art.
    I hope this resolves and the family and work stay put.
    Steve Ferris

  14. Obviously your friends with the darkside Mr.Klein and dont know what your talking about…making accusations about the other 3 siblings will eventually get you a cell right next to jr so I would advise you to realize one thing…the proof is in the mugshot..looks like someone needed a quick fix to me.

  15. “the proof is in the mugshot..looks like someone needed a quick fix to me.”

    Right, because normal people look fantastic in mug shots.

    How exactly does one get a “quick fix” by trying to sell a million dollar fantasy painting? It’s not like he can just go down to the pawn shop.

  16. You know nothing mr Gnome…I wouldn’t look like a drug addict in my mug shot but of course I don’t have one because if I had permission to remove paintings out of a museum I would use a key.

  17. On the dark side? Lynette, you must be on the “bright” side is that what you are insinuating? I wasn’t aware that this blog was a war of sides. What are we in fifth grade here? Come on, we are all adults here and can speak freely of what has been said from sources. You have yours, I have mine. Threatening me to be in a cell? Please lady, let’s not turn a news story into a feud on a blog.

  18. Frazetta passe par beaucoup et vous pouvez le voir aux voies. Comme je le vois, la famille est censée être plus forte que n’importe quoi. Le fait de laisser votre propre chair et pourriture de sang dans la prison est une chose étonnante. Regards to Frank Frazetta sr. J’ai été un fan de frazetta depuis que j’étais un petit garçon mais maintenant je penserai même pas à l’achat du travail d’art. Il y a trop de risques. Regards to Frank Frazetta sr. Although I musn’t purchase from you no longer you will always be my favorite. God Bless

  19. That’s pretty crazy… I guess this is the son that was writing and running the official frazetta website? I always liked those reminiscent “My dad is the greatest” quarterly-ish blogs… That’s almost a story in itself, because he wrote probably 50 pages of rememberences, art techniques, and I think he even started a 20 page very detailed biography within the website. I read earlier today that Conan the destroyer painting (from the museum) sold last month for a million dollars? I wonder if that had anything to do with it, I always assumed the paintings were put aside to not be sold. From what I understand Frank SR. has practically everything, except for concept sketches or preliminary paintings, and now that conan painting :D. Very crazy!

  20. 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!

  21. Rare Footage:

    This is how the children viewed the death of their mother. Now the Tin Man with no heart (Frank jr) Cowardly Lion (Billy) ScareCrow without a brain (Holly) and the kiss ass Lead soldier (Heidi) who pretended to be on the witch’s side all along ,but then surprisingly hailed to the rest of her posse when she died. Frank sr, he’s Oz. He “GIVES ALL” so of course they were all on a quest to find these vital organs. Im in shock they are reliving the wizard of oz. I knew they loved fantasy, but this is out of hand.

    After this clip, you will understand the comment.

  22. Yikes!
    The comments have gotten loud in here.
    The analogies of the players to OZ characters is even funny but hardly true. Frank Jr. is no cowardly Lion. His dedication to his father is very noble. His website and control would mean that everything would stay safe and has recently been proven by the fact that the Notary just produced a letter wherein the power of attorney has been given to Frank Frazetta Jr. He will be vindicated and things will subside to a degree for the press. I just hope that the other sibs come to their senses about why Frank and Ellie built that Museum in the first place. To keep those treasures right where they are.
    Steve Ferris

  23. I heard the notarized letter wasn’t dated November 30th in fact it was dated December 9th…. When sr was in Florida …. I also read that jr was equally in the will as the other 3…and maybe just maybe they sold the painting because they have bills!!!!! Probably lots of lawyer bills thanks to jr…wasn’t it jr that took his father to court in December saying he was incompitent?? Time will tell who’s telling the truth.

  24. A few thoughts to ponder…. If Frank JR’s ‘dedication to his father is noble’, why would he move priceless works of art out of an alarmed (and nice, warm and dry) museum, unprotected from a sleet and rain storm and toss them into a u-haul? That has to be the most disrespectful act I’ve ever heard of! Imagine the potential damage that could have occurred on the way to wherever he was taking the art. In the bizarre frame of mind that someone who would remove doors with a back hoe must have been in, he might have been headed to some leaky, moldy, discount storage unit!! Oh yeah, Frank JR didn’t protect the paintings from the weather, but did protect himself and his accomplices – in freakin black ski masks!!!
    I was honored to have been given a tour of the museum by Ellie, and privleged to learn that she had painstakingly hand selected each and every frame, as well as the antiques and artifacts that decorated the museum. With Ellie’s passing, imagine if Frank JR’s joy ride in the u-haul had damaged the frames she had left as her legacy. The perfection of her choices displayed her husbands masterpieces brilliantly and are, of course, irreplaceable. I know frames are not priceless works of art, but to have known Ellie and respected her as the artistic soul she was, JR’s foolhardyness and thoughtlessness for everything except his own desperate sad needs could have damaged and/or destroyed both his parents works.
    As for the ‘family infighting’ – oh please. Dont you all fight with your siblings? Even the freakin Waltons and Bradys fight.
    And what the heck is wrong with Frank SR selling his art? He is an artist by profession, and needs to have some bucks to pay some bills and relax in Florida with his children- the ones who truly care for him as a person, not just a bunch of money. BTW, He is fine and does not suffer from dimentia as Frank JR would like to (have everyone) believe.
    I can’t freakin wait for the court date – when Frank JR has to prove he was acting on his father’s behalf.

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