Solved: Portrait of mystery high court justice identified

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Solved: Portrait of mystery high court justice identified
This February 2018 photo released by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court shows an oil painting of an unidentified former court justice painted by an unknown artist, which hangs in the court's collection of images of retired justices in Boston. Seven weeks after Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants sought the help of the public to identify the unnamed justice in a portrait hanging outside of his chambers, the court has announced that it has received credible information that the unidentified justice is the Honorable Lemuel Shaw (b. 1781 - d. 1861), who was appointed to the Supreme Judicial Court as Chief Justice on Aug. 31, 1830, retiring on Aug. 21, 1860. (Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court via AP)

BOSTON (AP) — The mystery of the unknown justice has been solved.

The man whose portrait has hung for years outside the chamber of the highest court in Massachusetts without anyone actually knowing who he was now has a name: Lemuel Shaw, who served as chief justice of the Supreme Judicial Court from 1830 until 1860.

In February, current Chief Justice Ralph Gants sought the public’s help in identifying the man and received more than 40 educated guesses.

Gants credits two court employees, assistant chief court officer Keith Downer and Director of Education and Public Programs Cliff Allen, with nailing down the identity through some nifty detective work.

Gants says Downer used his experience in forensic science and knowledge of fine art.

Shaw’s name will be attached to the portrait next month.