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.

During the week of his graduation from fighter-pilot training in 1968, just as Du Bois was about to start a tour in Vietnam, his father suffered a cranial aneurysm and died. Du Bois returned home and took over the agency, which he ran as an upscale, high-tech firm. Now age 51, he'd been married to his college sweetheart for 28 years; they had three children, all living at home.

Du Bois supervised hundreds of cases each year, and his firm maintained a close relationship with federal and local law enforcement. He frequently was retained as an outside contractor by police departments and state prosecutors. In Dade County, he'd worked for State Attorneys Richard Gerstein and Janet Reno. Katherine Fernandez Rundle, the current head prosecutor, had hired him, too.

On this morning he received a call from Miami attorney Gene Rosen. The lawyer was giving him a heads-up; he'd advised a hospitalized client, a man who had "a wild story," to call the investigator. The guy needed help with a problem. When Rosen's client phoned later that morning, he sounded drugged, thick-tongued, yet edgy with fright and desperation. His sordid story was a jarring contrast to the spectacle Du Bois was coordinating for the NFL.

Daniel Lugo was a sweetheart, at least with toddlers
Daniel Lugo was a sweetheart, at least with toddlers
Carl Weekes: Should have stayed in New York
Carl Weekes: Should have stayed in New York

Marc Schiller told Du Bois he was a local businessman, currently a patient at Jackson Memorial Hospital, recovering from an operation to remove his spleen and repair a shattered pelvis and ruptured bladder. When he'd come out of anesthesia, his surgeon told him he'd had an accident. But Schiller, whose credibility was undermined because he'd entered the hospital as a suspected DUI case, insisted he'd been kidnapped and tortured for a month. Whatever landed him in the hospital, he couldn't be sure, but he was certain his captors had tried to kill him and would come after him again. He begged for protection.

Du Bois thought Schiller sounded like a screwball. (He had some experience with potential clients making outrageous claims, such as the man who had complained about painful jolts of electricity surging through his body, administered by evil beings from outer space. Du Bois effected a quick cure. He pressed "electrical grounding tabs" -- thumbtacks -- into the heels of the man's shoes. The miracle devices worked.) But if Schiller's story were true, even if only partly true, it probably was a drug-related abduction, Du Bois reasoned. And he didn't want to get caught up in a doper payback scheme. On the other hand, drug dealers never settled matters through civil attorneys like Gene Rosen. And he said Schiller was legitimate. More curious, there'd been no ransom demand. And Schiller was alive. All were highly unusual factors.

So Du Bois gave Schiller his best advice: Scram. Anyone can walk into a hospital, he said. It would cost $60 per hour for an armed bodyguard, and if Schiller was telling the truth and this gang was determined to kill him, they'd also try to kill any hired protectors. Du Bois didn't want to sacrifice any of his guys based on a phone conversation. Schiller could take his complaints to the police, he added. But he should talk with his doctor, leave the hospital as quickly as possible, and hide in a safe place -- any place but Miami -- while he recuperated. Du Bois even offered to drive him to the airport, but Schiller didn't call him back.

Meanwhile that day the Sun Gym gang was anxiously scanning news reports on the slim chance the Miami media would cover a run-of-the-mill, single-fatality car crash. Nothing, not even an obituary. Could this guy be alive? How could he be alive? They'd run him over twice. They called the morgue. Nothing. Then they began calling area hospitals.

Schiller had been admitted with no ID and listed as a John Doe. When he regained consciousness after the operation, he told the staff his name. Finally the gang learned he was at JMH in critical but stable condition. Now they devised various plans to kill him at the hospital. Doorbal again volunteered to strangle him, while the others staged a diversionary fistfight in the hallway. They also talked of silencers, of sneaking up the stairwell and killing everyone in Schiller's room. The consensus was that suffocating Schiller with his pillow was the best idea. In the end they decided to wing it; whatever method worked was fine.

They visited the hospital but got lost in the maze of corridors while looking for intensive care. And what if a cop was stationed by his door? They needed a fresh plan. Later that day Lugo bought hospital garb at a uniform supply store. The next morning, as they prepared to suit up and return to JMH, they called to check on Schiller's condition. He was no longer a patient. Sorry, they were informed, no forwarding address.

Luckily Schiller had listened to Du Bois. He contacted his sister in New York, who hired an air ambulance. On the morning of December 17, Schiller checked out of the hospital against the advice of his attending doctors. At $6000 for a one-way flight, the trip was costly, but well worth it. Leaving the hospital saved his life.

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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 ....

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