The Sideshow

JFK portrait found hidden in old frame

The Sideshow

A $5 garage-sale find turned out to contain a hidden treasure worth thousands. Here's what happened.

Pam Dwyer of Glendale, Ariz., picked up a picture of a horse at a garage sale in Sun City. Dwyer's husband had a hunch they were getting something more. Dwyer told CBS 5, "He says, 'I just have this gut feeling that there's something behind that.'"

There was. An amazingly detailed and deftly drawn original portrait of John F. Kennedy, signed and dated from 1961.

The story gets odder. Dwyer did some research on the artist. Carmelo Soraci, she learned, was an infamous forger who did time for passing false checks, spending 21 years locked up in Dannemora Prison in New York, where he turned to a creative outlet of stained-glass making, which he discovered while "in college" inside.

The former forger redeemed himself by eventually building and installing stained-glass windows in the chapel at the prison, and was asked to do the same at Sing Sing Prison. He also apparently drew.

Dwyer took the portrait to an appraiser, who valued the piece at $2,500 to $5,000. "I'm happy with how much she was impressed by it," Dwyer said.

Dwyer added she would probably sell it—we're guessing not at a garage sale.

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