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.

They unloaded the corpses onto Hefty bags spread out on the warehouse floor. Krisztina was stiff with rigor mortis, and Lugo used scissors to cut away her red leather miniskirt and vest. They removed Griga's clothes, except for his underwear and the ninja hood that covered the gaping wound on his crushed skull. Lugo sprayed both bodies with Windex, then scrubbed them clean with the heavy-duty towels to remove any fingerprints.

The fans were blowing, the warehouse television was on, everything was just right. But no one could put together the chain saw. They took turns going over the instruction manual, and finally assembled the tool. But when they cranked it up, it seized and stalled. They'd neglected to fill its small reservoir with motor oil! Delgado went out to buy some, as well as snacks at a Subway, but even when he returned with the oil, the chain saw still wouldn't start. Somehow they'd burned out the engine trying to start it.

This was a Gothic episode of Home Improvement. Lugo couldn't be more upset. Frustrated, he shoved the eighteen-inch chain saw back into its packing box. It was time for lunch anyway.

Krisztina loved animals  --  until she met Lugo and Doorbal
Krisztina loved animals -- until she met Lugo and Doorbal
Chain saws, snacks, and warehouse barbecues: Fans drove the netherworld fumes into the hot Miami night
Chain saws, snacks, and warehouse barbecues: Fans drove the netherworld fumes into the hot Miami night


Back at Frank Griga's house, Eszter Toth, the maid, arrived for work that Friday morning and stopped in her tracks on the doorstep. Chopin the dog was barking ferociously. Toth had been in and out of the house hundreds of times, but she suddenly was terrified to enter alone. She walked down the street to ask Judi Bartusz, one of Krisztina's best friends, to accompany her. They punched in the keypad numbers, opened the door, and Bartusz's heart sank. The place was a disaster. Chopin had torn it apart. There was just one island of undisturbed calm: the living-room coffee table upon which rested two glasses. She remembered Frank's new business partners had been sipping drinks the night they'd stopped by to take Frank and Krisztina to dinner.

Bartusz let Chopin out into the yard. Another bad sign: Her friends never would have left the dog unattended. He was like a child to them, and they felt guilty even putting him in a kennel. Whenever they left town, they asked her to watch him.

There still was one possible explanation: Frank had said they might fly to Freeport, and if so they would have left yesterday. Bartusz called Griga's Bahamas condo, but there was no answer. She checked the garage. The Lamborghini was missing. Upstairs in the bedroom, the women found two roundtrip airline tickets. Departure from Miami International Airport at 9:00 a.m. the previous day. Beside the tickets lay two passports, their birth certificates, and U.S. re-entry forms. The couple hadn't boarded any plane, and Bartusz realized that Frank and Krisztina had never come home from their Wednesday business dinner.

She told Toth to feed the dog and go home -- and not to touch the glasses on the coffee table. Then she raced back to her own house to tell her husband Gabor the disturbing news. While he began calling their network of Hungarian friends, she drove toward Miami Lakes, heading to Shula's Steak House, where Frank had said the group was going for dinner. She didn't spot the Lamborghini, but a parking attendant down the block remembered it ("Who could forget that car, lady?") parked right on Main Street late Wednesday. Bartusz drove slowly along Main. The car wasn't there, but she did see a gold Mercedes. She'd seen a gold Mercedes in Frank's driveway Wednesday night. She wrote down the license number and headed back home.

By now Judi and Gabor Bartusz were frantic. Their friends had been missing for more than 24 hours. They finally called the Golden Beach Police Department. Within minutes Chief Stanley Kramer met the Bartuszes in Griga's driveway. Judi punched in the numbers on the front-door keypad, took him inside, and explained the circumstances of their friends' disappearance. The people who lived here were in trouble, the chief said.

Meanwhile Lugo returned to Home Depot with the chain saw and demanded a refund. Then he strode over to the lawn-and-garden department. Taking no chances this time, he bought a fully assembled Remington Power Cutter. This electric chain saw came with a one-year guarantee to "handle all your cutting chores quickly and easily."

Back at the warehouse, he and Doorbal lifted the heavy window security grate over two 55-gallon drums. This iron platform would be Doorbal's surgery table. They'd lay the bodies atop the grate; the drums would catch the blood. Doorbal suited up for the work ahead -- sweatpants, rubber boots, leather gloves, clear goggles -- and plugged in the saw. He pulled the trigger, and the Remington started right up, its chain revolving quickly, snugly around the black blade.

Lugo and Delgado chose not to stay for the grisly dismemberment. They moved to the front of the warehouse while Doorbal went to work on the bodies. For five minutes they heard the whirring drone of the saw as it sliced through flesh and bones. They heard six, maybe seven prolonged cuts, and then silence. The saw spurted again and abruptly quit.

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17 comments
jossy.infante
jossy.infante

There is pure evil in this world !  Shiller survived because  he had a strong mind, that , and because the "dumb stupid fucks" are just dumb! and that's a good thing, because he'd probably be dead, like Griga and his girlfriend.  Im listening to the real pain and gain the untold story, by Marc Shiller himself, I bought the audio book. 

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

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?

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!!

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

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. 

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  


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. 

jpoppiti
jpoppiti

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

 
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