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 he learned quickly what being a prisoner of Lugo was like. For two hours he felt the electric lash of the taser guns, the explosions of punches, the pistol-whippings. The men took his Sharper Image all-weather lighter and burned him on his arms and chest. They played Russian roulette against his temple. Gagged and blindfolded, chained to a warehouse wall, he found it ironic that he'd moved his family to the United States to avoid the very thing that was happening.

The Sun Gym gang wasted no time that evening. They retrieved Schiller's car from the deli parking lot and drove it into the warehouse. Jamming a pistol to his ear, they presented him with a number of "scripts" and forced him to begin rehearsals, then to make calls over the warehouse telephone. That night he called his wife: Get the kids, get out of the house, don't call anyone -- especially the police! -- and go to your family in Colombia.

A terrified Diana obeyed; she took her children back to Colombia. At least the family was safe. Schiller's captors had threatened to bring Diana to the warehouse and rape her. But the relief was double-edged: Now these men had access to his empty house.

The deed to Schiller's home
The deed to Schiller's home

Schiller's calls to business associates over the next few days were different. Here the scripts called for a fantastic story: He'd fallen in love with a hot young Cuban named Lillian Torres. She drove him crazy, so loco he was going to convert his assets to cash and ride off into the sunset with her. Also in that time his captors began making dozens of requests for his autograph. Still blindfolded -- the duct tape cut so tightly into his head that blood seeped from the bridge of his nose -- he couldn't see the documents he signed. To him each seemed a death sentence.

As he contemplated his fate between signatures, Schiller slowly began to comprehend the genesis of his kidnapping. He recognized Lugo's distinctive voice, which had reminded him of Mike Tyson's lisp with a New York accent. And he knew only Delgado could be the source of information his captors already knew and were merely asking him to confirm: the house alarm codes, the money locations.

Schiller deduced he was being held by at least four men who guarded him in shifts. Lugo had limited daytime hours because he had to be seen at the gym, in case his parole officer checked up on him. The others referred to Lugo as Boss or Batman. Robin (Adrian Doorbal) was the late-afternoon/early evening baby sitter.

Schiller's favorites -- such was his lot to be rating captors -- were Sparrow (Carl Weekes) and Napoleon (Stevenson Pierre, who had rejoined the gang after Lugo and Doorbal threatened his son's life), who handled the graveyard shift. Whatever kindness he received -- a cigarette, a hamburger, a drink of water -- came from them. In fact Sparrow, the most loquacious of the group, had performed an act of supreme mercy. When Schiller complained of the excruciating pain where the duct tape gouged him, Sparrow had gingerly inserted a thin sanitary napkin between the tape and the messy bridge of his nose. Schiller was grateful, but the placement of the feminine hygiene product brought big laughs from Batman and Robin.

The only other female touch in the grim warehouse involved the curious visits of Lucretia Goodridge, Lugo's current wife. She now was pregnant with their second child and suspicious of her husband's long absences. Goodridge was a devout Buddhist, so involved in local Buddhism circles that jazz musicians George Tandy and Nestor Torres, fellow practitioners of the faith, attended her 1992 wedding. To silence her Lugo drove her to the warehouse to show her just how he'd been spending his long hours away from home. He showed her his prisoner -- chained, blindfolded, emaciated, filthy. Perhaps the scene left her terrified. Perhaps she thought the captive had some bad karma. Whatever the reason, Goodridge kept her silence after that.

Instead of the quick-strike, two-day abduction the Sun Gym gang had hoped for, it took weeks to convert Schiller's assets, weeks of torture and sight-deprivation. The big score eluded them until his accounts from Switzerland and the Cayman Islands finally were routed into his Miami bank account. Then they freed his right hand again, and he signed over $1.26 million.

On December 10, as the last money transfer was completed, Lugo, Doorbal, and Delgado reached a decision: It was time for Schiller to die. Pierre and Weekes tried to dissuade the others, but to no avail. There was, after all, his two-million-dollar MetLife insurance policy, and one of his signatures had designated Lugo's ex-wife Lillian Torres as the new beneficiary. They'd get him flaming drunk over the course of several days and send him out in his 4Runner to a fatal crash.

They tried vodka, tequila, and a chocolate liqueur. It all made Schiller retch, but what choice did he have except to keep guzzling? He couldn't stand the thought of more torture.

Sparrow tried to encourage him: This was the only exit from his shackles, he said, the only way he'd ever see his family again. Boss had a pal in Customs at Miami International Airport who would spirit Schiller on an airplane for Colombia, but Schiller must be so blitzed he'd never be able to ID the man.

« Previous Page
Next Page »
My Voice Nation Help

 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  


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.




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


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

Miami Concert Tickets