Pain & Gain, Part 3

A wealthy couple disappears, the slumbering Metro-Dade Police Department awakens, and the ghastly deeds of Miami's Sun Gym gang at last come to an end.

Raimondo was in his black Ford pickup when the cell call came from Doorbal. He had a problem, he explained, namely two bodies in his apartment. He'd pay well be get rid of them. Raimondo turned to talk it over with his passenger, Santiago Gonzalez, another regular at the gym. The two men kicked around the offer as they drove. Doorbal patiently waited on the line. Raimondo said he'd do it for $50,000. Doorbal conferred with Lugo, then countered with an offer of his own: They didn't have 50 grand but could pay $9000 in cash plus a Presidential Rolex and a $250,000 Lamborghini Diablo.

To Gonzalez the conversation was just too surreal. Push eject on those clowns, he said. Get me out of here. Raimondo dropped him off and proceeded to Doorbal's alone. Griga was still in the tub and Krisztina lay in a heap on the living room. Raimondo leaned over the girl and, in a show of strength for the guys, picked her up with one hand by her slender ankles. He looked like a proud angler displaying his catch. But she wasn't dead yet. She began to moan Frank's name. Raimondo lowered her until her shoulders touched the rug, then he stepped on her head. Shut up, he snarled. Then he dropped her altogether.

You ll have to take care of the girl, he said as he surveyed the crime scene. Once she was dead, he'd be back to do the disposal. He looked at the men on his way out. You know, he added, you guys are amateurs.

Krisztina was writhing again. Doorbal swung the hypodermic into action once more, and she stopped moving. He and Delgado sat down to play video games on the large-screen TV that once had belonged to Marc Schiller. Krisztina lay on the floor next to the black leather couch they'd also appropriated from Schiller's home.

Now that he had the keypad numbers to Griga's front door, Lugo decided to check out the house. If he could just get to Griga's safe and financial records, and into the computer, the mission might not be a total failure. He crossed the street to the apartment he'd rented a few months earlier for his mistress, former stripper Sabina Petrescu. She was waiting anxiously for news, knowing only that something awful had happened last night with the bad Hungarian man and his girlfriend, something that had reduced her CIA agent-boyfriend to drunken tears in the dark. The government-approved plan to capture Griga had failed somehow, but Lugo had made one thing clear: She didn't want to know more. When he came back to the apartment to take her out for a drive, she didn't ask why.

Lugo pulled his Mercedes into Griga's Golden Beach driveway and walked up to the front door. Consulting his notes, he punched in the numbers on the keypad. They didn't work. Krisztina had gotten them wrong! And Chopin, that goddamn dog of theirs, wouldn't stop barking through the window. Lugo punched in more numbers, useless numbers, guesses. Nothing. The dog kept barking in the empty foyer.

Lugo returned to his car and called the townhouse. Wake her up, he ordered Doorbal. Do anything. But get the damn door code. Doorbal checked on Krisztina, then raced back to the phone. Oh, man, Danny, the bitch is cold! The words chilled Sabina as she heard them over the speaker phone.

Lugo was furious. But he had to salvage something from the miserable, misbegotten mission. He grabbed the contents of Griga's mailbox and drove back to Miami Lakes, dropped Sabina at her apartment, then crossed the street to confer with Doorbal and Delgado. The trio waited all afternoon for Raimondo to show, until it became clear they were wasting precious hours. They'd have to take care of the bodies themselves. Doorbal was getting the creeps. He'd set the thermostat as low as it could go, but they could smell Griga's corpse, and it was too late to ditch the bodies that day. They needed a coherent plan; they needed to sleep on it. Delgado offered to return the next morning, and drove home to his wife. Lugo went back to Sabina's. Doorbal fell asleep with two dead guests in the house. The place was way too cold.

On Friday morning, May 26, the plan was set. Jorge Delgado drove to a U-Haul franchise just off the Palmetto Expressway and rented a white Ford van. Lugo and Doorbal, meanwhile, went to the Home Depot in Miami Lakes. Their purchases filled two lumber carts. They bought red plastic cleaning buckets; ten-gallon containers of Ready Road repair tar; floor fans; industrial-strength towels; a 100-foot roll of Hefty bags; propane gas tanks; face goggles and gardening gloves; a black iron security grate, the kind that fits over a window; a fire extinguisher; and an eighteen-inch gas-powered chain saw. The total, which they put on Doorbal's American Express card, came to $666 with tax.

They met Delgado back at the townhouse. Frank Griga, wrapped in a shroud of linen sheets, was stuffed into Mark Schiller's stolen couch, sandwiched under the black leather cushions. They deposited Krisztina Furton in a U-Haul clothing box amid Styrofoam popcorn. Lugo and Doorbal carried the sofa outside and hoisted it into the van. Krisztina's box followed. Then everyone hopped in for the ride to Lugo's leased warehouse in Hialeah. When they pulled inside, Delgado's face lit up at the one welcome sight before him: Frank Griga's sunshine-yellow Lamborghini. It had been the one detail they'd managed to take care of the day before.

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My Voice Nation Help
16 comments
antoinj2010
antoinj2010

lugo and his crew were beasts,they had a dream and went for it full force with no holds bard 

opps411
opps411

opps41117 minutes ago

 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  


amyamyamyamy
amyamyamyamy like.author.displayName 1 Like

Wow, fascinating article!  I have a few questions, does anyone know any answers?

What happened to the women? Daniel Lugo's ex-wife was the beneficiary on Schiller's life insurance policy - was she charged with anything? Daniel Lugo's current wife witnessed Schiller being held in the warehouse - was she charged with anything? Daniel Lugo's mistress Sabina was charged with theft of a motor vehicle - what was her sentence? Cindy Eldridge was charged as an accessory after the fact for her removal of the bloodstains from Doorbal's townhouse wall and pleaded guilty to criminal mischief - what was her sentence?

The article is curiously vague about John Mese.  Until the very end when he was sentenced to 56 years, I pictured him as a lazy notary who just signed some papers he shouldn't have.  Was he really in on the murders?  For as much detail as there is on many other areas, there is very little comment on the evidence against him.  Any explanation for the omission?

I see that Pete Collins just put out a 78-page book about this subject.  Is it just a reprinting of this article, or is there anything additional that would make it a worthwhile read?

opps411
opps411

@amyamyamyamyopps411

17 minutes ago

 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  


Popcorn
Popcorn

I was really looking for an insight on how the events really happened, thanks for posting this article again. Just need to see the film now & see if it does any justice or if it's just too over the top like all the usual "Based on real events" Hollywood films.

Matthew_in_PB
Matthew_in_PB

That's so Miami. Great movie, and not at all sympathetic to Lugo and his gang.

melvinhermille
melvinhermille

Not one comment from the "officers" who mocked a kidnap and torture victim and whose stunning ineptitude and childish comportment led to the completely avoidable brutal deaths of two innocent people? 

iceberg3o5
iceberg3o5

Unfortunately i doubt that Michael Bay's movie will do this story any kind of justice. Imagine what real directors such as Scorcese, Nolan or Fincher could do with this?  Forget about it!!

builder.b
builder.b

@iceberg3o5  The whole story is just too complex to put into a mere 2 1/2 hour format.  I saw it, and loved it. 

mariomendoza666
mariomendoza666

~


I've never been a fan of Michael Bey... 

But, I can definitely understand why he would want to turn this story into a film...

It's a Miami myth... from way back in the day,

It's something you'd heard of through the grape vine... but never actually believed in... 

Until you saw it first hand, on the big screen....with your own eyes ?


~

charmcity7
charmcity7

Holy Crap! And then to top it off, you have a celebrity appearance by Judge Alex :-)

Brasco
Brasco

You can't even make this up if you tried. Just a beyond belief story.

mikeniner5
mikeniner5

Interesting twist there at the end with Schiller and the plea deal for medical billing fraud.  I'd like to know if he ended up ever recouping any of his stolen money, assets, belongs?

mpefun2
mpefun2 like.author.displayName 1 Like

only in miami... and only in miami is no one reading the whole thing on its republishing 13 years later.

Mike
Mike

I can't even believe this story is real.  I just spent two hours reading the whole thing.  There are human beings on this planet that would do this to other human beings?  It just boggles the mind.  This story will stay with me for a long, long time. 

jpoppiti
jpoppiti

@Mike I was absolutely riveted and horrified by the story. Lugo and his crew should all be killed.

 
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