Finally, after 35 years from the crime, the confession:“I opened the door of the plane and threw the body into the ocean.” Speaking is Robert Bierenbaum, a former plastic surgeon passionate about flying. He had not even confessed in 2000, when he was convicted of the murder of his wife, Gail Katz, who disappeared in 1985. Even then he had professed innocence. The confession came last December, during a probation hearing.
Confession after 35 years
According to what was reconstructed, the killer killed the woman, loaded her body onto the plane, a Cessna 172, and then threw it from the aircraft into the Atlantic Ocean. Has explained: “She was screaming at me and I wanted to shut her up.” Trying to justify his insane gesture: “I was immature. I didn’t know how to handle anger.” The corpse of the wife it has never been found, probably lost in the depths of the ocean. However, the murderer’s confession remains. It was the 20/20 broadcast of Abc News that revealed the details, obtained from the minutes of the December 2020 hearing, of one of the most followed thrillers in the United States. One of the prosecutors, Dan Bibb, commented:“I thought the day of admission would never come.”
The acquaintance between Katz and Bierenbaum took place in the early 1980s. Gail was a student and Robert a plastic surgeon with a passion for cooking and airplanes. The broadcaster recalled how he was known for his high-altitude romantic dates. The couple then began a relationship that, at least initially, seemed to go in the best way. Gail’s sister, Alayne Katz, a New York lawyer, of a different opinion, recalled how there was something strange about the man who on one occasion tried to drown the cat in the bathroom of his house in New York on the Upper East Side. Or when he found his wife secretly smoking on the balcony and squeezed his hands so tightly around her neck that she fainted. Gail had reported what happened to the police, but without success. The sister, interviewed by 20/20, pointed out that “it was 1983, had it happened today Robert would have been arrested”.
Husband: “I threw the body into the ocean”
It was July 7, 1985 when Gail suddenly disappeared into thin air. The husband told the officers that he had quarreled with his wife who eventually left. Investigators later discovered that on the day of the disappearance, at 4:30 the doctor had hired a Cessna and took off from Caldwell Airport in Fairfield, New Jersey, where he returned after an hour and 56 minutes. In 2000 the jury convicted the surgeon for homocide second degree. According to the indictment it was in fact possible to be able to fly the plane and at the same time get rid of the body by throwing it into the water. In the end, 20 years after the guilty sentence, Bierenbaum confessed to having committed the crime: “I took off, opened the plane door and threw the body into the ocean”.