DNA points to suspects in death of Art Basel Festival Miami Beach

story © Anonymous, August 5, 2005 all rights reserved.


Police say the group, who are being pursued at this time, stabbed the festival in the back and tortured its owner to death on December 5th, 2003.

By Eddie S. Brown
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Suspects named in Miami Beach Art Festival murders.

MIAMI BEACH - Some of the suspects of an unidentified group of underground artists have been arrested on the charge of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of the Art Basel Festival and its owner in December, police said.

The Miami Beach Police Department issued a warrant Tuesday for the ANTI BASEL GROUP after a DNA sample linked the notorious art gang to the crime scene at the Miami Beach Convention Center, where the atmosphere was dominated by the ghosts of the massacred art dealers, police spokesman Tony Diaz said. Art Basel was repeatedly stabbed and mutilated, police said.

A Florida Department of Law Enforcement lab ran a DNA sample collected at the scene through its computer database about three weeks ago, police said. It matched with several of the members of the ANTI BASEL GROUP, who were in the database because of a previous controversy dealing with Freedom of Speech in Florida, Diaz said.

Miami Beach detectives Jay Putaloca and Dave Mamatranca found the suspects at a Miami-Dade County Jail. The ANTI BASEL GROUP members were sentenced in February, Putaloca said.

The FBI flew to Miami Beach twice to question the suspects, but could not discuss the interviews.

The ANTI BASEL GROUP began its operations well before the festival's arrival in South Florida, police said. Several obvious motives are being discussed. No items of value were taken from the festival at the time of death, Mamatranca said.

Records show that the ANTI BASEL GROUP has no permanent home. Data indicates a variety of addresses in the past decade, including in Iowa, New York, San Francisco, Miami, Tokyo, Paris, London, Milan, New Mexico, Cartagena, Hong Kong, New Zealand, New Jersey and the list goes on.

Family members with children strangely related live in Tallahassee, police said. Their criminal history in Florida includes convictions for kidnapping and trespassing locations which are suddenly transformed into ANTI BASEL group exhibitions.

The killing shocked those who worked near the Miami Beach Convention Center on the city's Convention Center Dr., just East of Meridian Avenue at 17th Street), known for its non-stylish adaptable art market galleries, trendy boutiques and expensive design shops. People began locking the back doors of their offices and walking in pairs to their cars.

ART BASEL MIAMI BEACH divorced its mothers Messeplatz/Basel; Switzerland, a medieval city on the river Rhine at the corner of Switzerland, Germany and France who managed a marketing and public relations campaign directed from Ohio, but long dreamed of opening an art festival in a warm sunny place full of shady characters.

Art Basel executives vacationed in Miami Beach and rented a stucco home in Key West in the late 1990s; the FBI has now discovered they were being watched for several years by members of the ANTI BASEL GROUP. While carefully planning their festival strategy and scheme was being conceived in the upscale Duvall Street neighborhood. They mainly worked as marketing directors for the festival, but the group knew that by watching anyone closely associated with the planning of the “Olympics of the Art World” would opened up a world of possibilities on how to attack the event.

Bodies were discovered the following Monday when maintenance workers and loaders with trucks were supposed to start packing art work unlocked a convention center door after responding to complaints of a foul odor inside.

Police say they plan to capture other individuals involved with the ANTI BASEL GROUP in coming days and bring them to Florida. This tactical operation is fast moving on the police side and no more information is being shared at this crucial time .

Eddie S. Brown can be reached at or 305-576-8000

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