|Mr. Alan Turning, second row center.|
US wants to return codebreaker Alan Turing’s seized items to UK schoolThere is a major issue here, and it's not being discussed in this article. The woman, who changed her name to Turning, was a thief of significant historical material. They belong to the boarding school, or Mr. Turning's estate. And she needs to be investigated, charged, and upon conviction, serve time.
By COLLEEN SLEVIN | Associated Press | Published: February 2, 2020
DENVER — A U.S. woman who said she was visiting England to do a study of the late World War II codebreaker and computing pioneer Alan Turing walked into the prestigious boys’ boarding school he attended and asked to see a collection of his memorabilia.
She was given a wooden box with items that once belonged to Turing, who helped crack Nazi Germany’s secret codes and whose story inspired 2014’s Oscar-winning film “The Imitation Game.” Inside the box was his Ph.D. from Princeton University, his Order of the British Empire medal and other mementos.
When she left that day in 1984, the box was empty. The only thing left inside was a note asking for forgiveness and promising to return the items someday, according to a recent court filing by government lawyers.
More than 30 years later, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in Denver has the items that were seized from the Colorado home of the woman, who later changed her name to Julia Turing.
The Princeton degree was found behind a dresser in 2018. The medal, given for contributions to a field, and a letter from King George VI awarding the honor to Alan Turing was found in a briefcase behind a wall in a bathroom.
Her offer to donate the items to the University of Colorado had launched a lengthy international investigation to sort out the rightful owner of the items, according to a forfeiture action filed Jan. 17 and first reported by BizWest. The action is the first of two legal steps to return the memorabilia to the Sherborne School in England.
Julia Turing had letters from Sherborne’s treasurer, Col. A.W. Gallon, thanking her for previously returning most of the memorabilia and saying she could keep the diploma, according to court documents. They suggested she could show the correspondence to police if she was questioned.
But school officials told investigators that giving away any school property would require the permission of its board of governors, which did not consider the matter, according to Sherborne documents...
...The U.S. government is asking a judge to give it permanent custody of the items so it can begin another legal process to return them to the school.
Julia Turing has until March to file an objection to the forfeiture. Her attorney, Katryna Spearman, did not return messages seeking comment. She has not been charged with a crime...