Report: Ex-Prof Robs Bank for Own Film

Joseph Gibbons allegedly recorded robbery on camcorder
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2015 3:20 PM CST
Updated Jan 10, 2015 3:30 PM CST
This Manhattan bank thief appears to be Joseph Gibbons.   (NYPD)

(Newser) – An offbeat former professor allegedly robbed a Manhattan bank on New Year's Eve and filmed it as part of an "art" project, the New York Post reports. Joseph Gibbons, 61, was charged yesterday with robbing a Capital One branch in Manhattan of $1,000 while holding a camcorder. "He was doing research for a film," says a cell-mate who claims Gibbons told him the whole story. "It’s not a crime; it’s artwork. … He’s an intellectual." Gibbons has already shot heroin, shoplifted at bookstores, and toyed with killing himself in his short film, Confessions of a Sociopath, Part 1, according to a film description in the Chicago Reader. (See an excerpt here.)

"I started out making more abstract films or structural films and it wasn't until I discovered using myself as material that I thought I had something," Gibbons tells the online art journal Big, Red & Shiny, reports Gawker. "But I had to keep making more—I needed content. By finding flaws and working on those—that was a goldmine." Gibbons is also accused of making off with $3,000 in a similar robbery in Rhode Island last November. Unemployed for four years, Gibbons has held artistic fellowships and teaching jobs with well-respected organizations, including MIT and Bard College, according to a LinkedIn profile in his name.

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