‘Hotel California’ Conspiracy: 3 Men Charged in Eagles Lyrics Heist

The band’s catchy drug ballad and “Life in the Fast Lane” were among the handwritten manuscripts initially stolen from Don Henley in the late 1970s

Three men have been indicted by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office for allegedly conspiring to sell stolen handwritten lyrics from the Eagles’ Hotel California album, which are estimated to be worth about $1 million.

It’s the most recent development in a four-decade investigation, beginning in the late ’70s when the manuscripts were originally stolen from Eagles drummer and singer Don Henley by an author hired to write a biography about the rock band.

Prosecutors allege the biographer sold the manuscripts to defendant Glenn Horowitz, a 66-year-old rare books dealer based in New York City, back in 2005, and Horowitz then sold the documents to fellow defendants Craig Inciardi, 58, and Edward Kosinski, 59. While allegedly trying to coerce Henley into buying back his stolen property between 2012 and 2017, they simultaneously sought to sell the manuscripts through Christie’s and Sotheby’s auction houses.

“These defendants attempted to keep and sell these unique and valuable manuscripts, despite knowing they had no right to do so,” Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg said in statement on Tuesday. “They made up stories about the origin of the documents and their right to possess them so they could turn a profit.”

When Henley learned the two men were trying to sell portions of the 100 pages of lyrics and notes stolen from him, he filed police reports, told the defendants that the materials were stolen, and demanded the return of his property. But it wasn’t until the D.A.’s office executed a series of search warrants in late 2016 that they retrieved Henley’s stolen manuscripts, including 84 pages of songs from the album Hotel California, from Sotheby’s and from Kosinki’s New Jersey residence.

Horowitz claimed in an email that he obtained the property from deceased Eagles member Glenn Frey, who died in 2016. “[Frey] alas, is dead and identifying him as the source would make this go away once and for all.”

Horowitz, Inciardo, and Kosinski are all charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with one count of Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree. Inciardi and Kosinski are also charged with Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the First Degree. Horowitz, meanwhile, is also charged with Attempted Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the First Degree and two counts of Hindering Prosecution in the Second Degree.

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