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Talented fly tier turns thief

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This Green Highlander by Edwin Rist shows the mix of brightly-coloured feathers used in fly tying This Green Highlander by Edwin Rist shows the mix of brightly-coloured feathers used in fly tying

22 year old built-wing Salmon fly tying prodigy Edwin Rist has been arrested and charged with breaking into the Natural History Museum in Tring inJune 2009 and stealing 299 rare bird skins.

On June 24 last year (2009) it is alleged there was a break-in at the museum, which is on Akeman Street in Tring. It was subsequently discovered that 299 brightly-coloured bird skins were missing, believed stolen, from a collections’ area.

The Hertfordshire constabulary website reports that "Detectives investigating the theft of 299 rare bird skins from the Natural History Museum in Tring have charged a man in connection with the incident. Edwin Rist, aged 22, from the USA, has been charged with burglary and money laundering offences.  Police have recovered the majority of the bird skins."

The skins largely included rare and brightly-coloured tropical species like male trogons and quetzals from South America as well as birds of paradise from New Guinea presumably destined for use in Rist's award winning built-wing Salmon flies.

The public part of the Natural History Museum at Tring, in Hertfordshire, opened in the late 1800s to house the collections of Lionel Walter, second Baron Rothschild and offers outstanding examples of nineteenth-century taxidermy at its very best. The Museum was bequeathed to the nation and became part of the Natural History Museum in 1938.

The Bird Group and ornithological research collections were moved out to Tring in the 1970s into a purpose-built building, which is separate from the public museum. The ornithological specimens are used in studies of comparative anatomy, osteology, zoogeography, ecology, conservation, art, archaeology, taxonomy, evolution and a variety of other subjects. For example, much of our knowledge of bird distributions in Africa is derived from these specimens. 

Rist, a USA citizen was studying music in London. He is due to appear at Hemel Hempstead Magistrates court on November 26.

 







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Comments (13 posted):

MoscaPescador on 18/11/2010 16:11:54
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That is a fly tyer who is really passionate about his work. True story. At the shop, there is a stuffed Whiting rooster. It is there to show where different hackles come from. The feathers on it are beautiful. We noticed people plucking feathers off of it. So we put a glass case over it. People still plucked feathers from it. Finally the rooster was placed on a high shelf. Problem solved. MP
mcnerney on 18/11/2010 17:56:14
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Sad to see a young kid ruin his life like that! Larry
Jimmie on 18/11/2010 21:04:53
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I apologize in advance, but I've got to get it off my chest. Proof that a guy will finally snap if he tries to tie that much material on a hook :D
mcnerney on 18/11/2010 22:19:02
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I apologize in advance, but I've got to get it off my chest. Proof that a guy will finally snap if he tries to tie that much material on a hook :D LMAO! That was good! Larry
racine on 20/11/2010 01:22:14
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What an absolute ARSE. Now this fellow makes Americans look bad and soils flytiers!:icon_redf
Guest1 on 20/11/2010 07:05:13
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I'm sure all of us have at one time or another looked at a friends pet bird, or maybe the dog with less than honest thoughts running through our little brains. What seperate us from this guy is we keep it just our naughty little thoughts. Oh, and he ties better than us. I would like to see the skins he got though, wouldn't you?
fredaevans on 20/11/2010 13:53:22
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Interesting to Google the young fellow (and his younger Brother). Without question, both are waaaaaaay beyond my simple skills. fae
laurie on 11/12/2010 13:19:03
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This story hit our national news papers big time. What the guy did is not excusable, he really must have had a passion for dressing fully dressed patterns. My feelings on this is we are all allowed to make a mistake in life and boy did he do that good and proper. the funny thing is he is going to be famous from now on,maybe not for the right reasons but i bet his flies will command good money in years to come. What he now needs is someone to mentor him and encourage him to stay on the right path and develop his talent in a useful way. lets hope he has learned his lesson Laurie
joshuanoerr on 14/12/2010 01:11:27
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What an absolute ARSE. Now this fellow makes Americans look bad and soils flytiers!:icon_redf People already have a distrust of us when we go abroad, now we are going to get funny looks in museums!
fredaevans on 14/12/2010 03:44:45
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Take a deeeeep breath Fellows. 90++% of the world doesn't look at you that way in the least tiny bit. "Our Government?" Perhaps another question......:rolleyes: A large percentage of 'Europeans' are very scoped in on 'Politics,' and think 'we' are too. It comes as a cool bath to find out that the bulk of us couldn't name our two US Senators, let alone whose in Congress 'representing' us. (Can you?):rolleyes: Are we becoming more so? Without question. I'll spare you the rest of my thoughts.:popcorn: fae
sixweight on 20/01/2011 02:05:10
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Who`s going to play him in the movie?
nerka on 20/01/2011 08:48:34
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To me, as a salmon fisherman who depends on the resource as a primary source of food and enjoyment... the flies look nice but I dont think they would catch any more fish that the stuff I tied for about 30cents a piece from the local fly shop. Tying flies for art is one thing but the practicality of the whole thing makes me think this whole scenario is a waste.
h dot verseman on 27/03/2011 23:47:49
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have to compliment his drive to tie amazing flies....
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