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.

"He's sick," groaned the nurse.

Doorbal, whose bride-to-be had just become an accessory to a capital crime, said nothing.


On Sunday morning Griga's Lamborghini was found three miles west of the Florida Turnpike, just north of Okeechobee Road. The car was abandoned in a desolate, wooded area known to police as a weekend site for Santería rituals. The doors were left open, the windows down, and the key was still in the ignition. A state trooper at the scene found no clues in the nearby brush. Nor had the car been reported stolen. A tow truck was summoned from Opa-locka to haul the vehicle to a police impound facility.

That afternoon Lugo approached another Sun Gym member for recruitment into the gang. "Little Mario" Gray had been badgering him about a job for a couple of weeks, but he'd already turned down one opportunity to earn some quick money. All he'd been asked to do was stand still while Lugo shot him with a pneumatic tranquilizer gun. Lugo had wanted to see exactly how far the steel dart would penetrate into human flesh. It had been test-fired once already, in Doorbal's apartment, and the dart had penetrated all the way through a wall and stuck in the bedroom wall. Lugo offered Gray $500 in cash. Just to shoot him one time! But Gray had refused.

Now Lugo came back with a second offer, this one requiring actual work. It was a simple night job, transporting barrels from Lugo's warehouse. Sure, Gray said, and that night, he drove out to the warehouse. Waiting for him were three drums, welded shut. Together he, Lugo, and Doorbal lifted the barrels into a rented truck. Two of the drums were especially heavy. As Gray lifted one of them, acrid smoke snaked through a tiny opening. The three men drove to a drainage ditch in southwest Miami and heaved the barrels into the murky water. The drums settled next to a submerged refrigerator.


After getting married at the Delray Beach courthouse on Tuesday, May 30, Doorbal and Cindy returned to the Main Street townhouse to find the answering machine filled with messages from Attila Weiland, Beatriz's ex-husband. It was he who'd arranged their introduction to Frank Griga.

Doorbal called him back, full of good news: He and Cindy were now husband and wife. After the courthouse nuptials, the couple enjoyed a romantic lunch at Nick's Italian Fishery overlooking the Atlantic Ocean --

Weiland cut him off. "Adrian! Adrian! Hello? Are you crazy?" he shouted into the phone.

"What?"

"The police, Adrian! My messages? They've been around ... about Frank and Krisztina!"

"The police?"

"The police are everywhere! They want to talk to you! They consider Frank dead. Frank's sister, Zsuzsanna, she's calling from Hungary and threatening me and you. If you had anything to do with this, please, please say something, Adrian!"

"How the fuck am I supposed to know where those people are?"

"I told the police everything, Adrian! So did Beatriz."

"You know, Attila," said Doorbal in a voice heavy with disappointment, "you're supposed to be my friend. You should hope you stay my friend, Attila."

That afternoon Daniel Lugo stopped by Doorbal's townhouse. Cindy stayed out of their way; they were immersed in serious discussions. All their usual playfulness had vanished. She heard Doorbal say, "You're either going to be arrested or killed!" And she heard Lugo: "If they mention my name to the police, I'm going to have them and their families killed!"

Things were suddenly going very badly. Lloyd Alvarez had seen them on the road. Beatriz was talking to the cops, and so was Attila. And just count the people who'd been at Griga's house as they headed out to dinner that Wednesday: Alvarez, the housekeeper and her child, their neighbor Judi Bartusz, whose husband was Frank's business partner.


Frank Griga and Krisztina Furton had been missing for eight days by the time private investigator Ed Du Bois got a phone call from Capt. Al Harper, the 27-year Metro-Dade Police veteran who had tried to help him with the Marc Schiller kidnapping. It was 8:00 a.m., and Harper had just overheard at roll call that suspects were under surveillance in the possible abduction of the wealthy Hungarian businessman and his girlfriend. The suspects worked at a gym, and their names had a familiar ring. Could they be the same group Du Bois had identified back in April?

Du Bois ran down the facts of the Schiller case, and Harper felt a shot of adrenaline. Du Bois had to talk to the homicide team supervisor, Sgt. Felix Jimenez, he said. They arranged to meet at Du Bois's North Miami office. The private investigator showered, dressed, and headed off to the meeting in high spirits. This was his vindication; the Schiller investigation was coming back to life. If more cops had listened to him sooner, those deranged goons wouldn't have had the chance to strike again.

Jimenez sat riveted as he listened to Du Bois's story of Schiller's kidnapping; how the Sun Gym boys had nabbed Schiller at his franchise delicatessen near the airport, held him chained to a warehouse wall for a month, tortured him until he'd signed over all his assets. How they'd tried to kill him in a fiery crash and run him down twice for good measure. How he'd miraculously survived and was trying to get his life back in order in Colombia.

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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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