Pain & Gain

They were local bodybuilders with a penchant for steroids, strippers, and quick cash. And they became expert in the use of a peculiar motivational tool: Torture.

Now, in the fall of 1994, Delgado's wife had a baby on the way. What kind of scumbag, Lugo asked, would take food out of a baby's mouth? So forget the measly $200,000 Schiller has "stolen" from Delgado. They were going after everything Schiller owned: his $300,000 house and all its furnishings; the million dollars he'd invested offshore; more than $100,000 in his personal bank account; his cars; his investment in La Gorce Palace, a luxury condominium being built on Miami Beach; his Schlotzsky's Deli franchise near Miami International Airport; even his credit cards.

The Sun Gym gang hurried over to The Spy Shop on Biscayne Boulevard, owned by John Demeter, a born-again Christian. Beneath large banners reading "Jesus Saves" and "God Is Love," they examined merchandise designed to shock, incapacitate, imprison, and eavesdrop on their fellow man. Pretending to be a security crew for a rock band, the gang bought shock-inducing taser guns, stainless-steel handcuffs, and small Motorola walkie-talkies featuring privacy-enhancing point-to-point communication settings, just like the cops use.

Lugo rented a burgundy Ford Astrovan from which they could watch Schiller's movements, tail him, then grab him. And when they had him, they would use the van to carry him to Delgado's Speed Racer's warehouse. Weekes and Pierre agreed to ride in the back of the van on these scouting expeditions; two black men circling Schiller's upscale Old Cutler Cove neighborhood in South Dade surely would get pulled over.

Jorge Delgado gained Schiller's confidence and used it well
Jorge Delgado gained Schiller's confidence and used it well
All "Big Mario" Sanchez had to do was look mean
All "Big Mario" Sanchez had to do was look mean

But despite the new hardware and high spirits, the gang's first attempts to kidnap Schiller failed. To be kind, they were not smart plans -- not in their conception, especially not in their execution. For Halloween they planned to don ninja outfits and trick-or-treat in Schiller's neighborhood. They'd knock on his door and nab him when he answered. But instead they opted to spend the night at a strip club. They thought of another scheme: kidnapping him as he drove along the Palmetto Expressway during rush hour. But as they tried to catch up to his car, Schiller took an unexpected exit ramp.

The most complicated tactical operation took place early one November morning, right in Schiller's front yard. Although he lived in a gated community, access to the home was simple: A perimeter road next to a canal allowed anyone entry. Schiller's house was the closest to this road.

Adrian Doorbal, Stevenson Pierre, and Carl Weekes waited for Schiller to open his door and walk outside to pick up the morning paper. The three men were dressed all in black and wore gloves and military camouflage makeup. (Weekes remembered this application technique from his Marine Corps training.) They crawled across the lawn and huddled under movers' blankets in a chilly predawn rain, preparing to storm the house and hold the family hostage. But a passing car spooked them, and they radioed the now-familiar "mission abort" message to Lugo, who was in a nearby park with the van. The group ran all the way back to the vehicle.

When morale was down after yet another failed abduction (there had been six by now) Lugo would take the crew to the Solid Gold Club on 163rd Street, Miami's premier strip palace, and hand his colleagues money for the dancers. He would buy the guys drinks and tried to buoy their confidence. If the gang pulled off this Schiller caper, he'd say, these voluptuous naked centerfold fantasies could be theirs!

At 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 14, the Sun Gym gang made its seventh abduction attempt. Lugo sat in his Toyota Camry, blocking Schiller in his 4Runner in an alleyway next to his Schlotzsky's Deli franchise. Parked around a corner, the Astrovan -- with Doorbal, Weekes, and Pierre -- was to close in, blocking Schiller from behind. They would pluck him from the 4Runner, subdue him, and kidnap him. But while Schiller blasted his horn for an agonizing minute at the heavily tinted Camry, the guys in the van radioed that they couldn't start their vehicle. Mission aborted! Again!

When the gang regrouped at the Miami Lakes business office he shared with John Mese, Lugo was livid. This was it, he told them; the scheme was off. He'd had it with their bungling. No more cocktails and naked babes for these losers. He had his Medicare scheme to rely on. If the rest of them wanted a merry Christmas, they'd have to snag Schiller.

Adrian Doorbal and Carl Weekes responded to Lugo's challenge like football players who've been reamed by the coach at halftime. In fact they'd already decided Pierre wasn't sufficiently gung-ho for the assignment. So after the three left Lugo's office, they dropped off Pierre at his house, essentially benching him for the game. They now pinned their hopes on another player: Mario Sanchez, "Big Mario," a former Sun Gym weight-lifting instructor and licensed Florida private eye. The detective business had soured, and Sanchez, at six feet four and 270 pounds, now worked as a bouncer at Hooligan's Pub & Oyster Bar in Miami Lakes. He appeared to be in a financial jam, driving his Volkswagen Jetta on a doughnut spare tire. But he still possessed several assets, notably, a concealed-weapon permit and a .357-Magnum revolver.

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My Voice Nation Help
6 comments
opps411
opps411

 what about the wives and girlfriends ( Lucretia Goodridge
 , are you honestly going to act like you didn't know your husband and father of your kids  was  sleeping with strippers and a murderer and your own cousin  Doorbal is living in your house, even after you see a guy getting tortured for days, and calling yourself a Buddhist and not reporting that .. i guess you enjoyed the finer things in life alil too much ,, some things never change .......       horrible to make a movie to desensitize the reality of these victims pain and their kids really do not deserve this.. i hope someone gets hit with a lawsuit.. and the actors    dont you guys know how to thk for yourself ..   or are just acting like mindless assholes did you read the court docs? smh  


josy_infante
josy_infante

wow....unbelievable true story, these guys who did this have frontal lobe brain damage! they must have because nobody with a conscious would ever dream of this scheme, and its a pure miracle schiller survived, but death for them is too easy, they should not die, they should be tortured every single day with huge "real" sex toys, dying would be too easy, too nice for them.

MARITZAE76
MARITZAE76

I SAW THE MOVIE 2-DAY AND I CANT BELIEVE HOW STUPID THESE FUCKING IDIOTS ARE/WERE. OMG I HOPE THEY GET WHAT THEIR DUMB ASSES DESERVE. THEY ARE WORSE THAN SCUM. I FEEL SORRY 4 THEIR KIDS

patti89
patti89

Mese was one of my patients years ago when I worked in the Prison as a nurse. Since I left, Mese died in prison.

jkorn_jk
jkorn_jk

i hope they get the needle before the movie comes out , sun gym and its employees were scum ....

 
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