Gail Katz-Bierenbaum was the attractive wife of a successful young surgeon when she disappeared in 1985. Her husband, Dr. Robert Bierenbaum, had a very promising future. Charming but awkward, Bob Bierenbaum was a surgical resident who spoke several languages and piloted his own plane.
Trouble in the Bierenbaum marriage began even before there was a wedding. Bob was possessive and controlling. Gail was creative and more free in her life. Gail was raised with the goal of marrying a doctor, so she married Bob to please her parents. Her mother believed her financial insecurity and tendency to move from one thing to another would be fixed after she became a doctor’s wife.
Before her disappearance, Gail and Bob were planning a divorce. Bob didn’t want Gail to leave him. Gail had told a friend that she had proof Bob was committing Medicaid fraud and she was going to threaten to turn him in in order to get a divorce.
Then, Bob called Gail’s mother saying he couldn’t find Gail. When her mother arrived at the Bierenbaum apartment, she was disturbed to find Gail’s purse with her keys and cigarettes. Bob said she had left in a huff the day before and he hadn’t seen her since. At the quiet end today, we’re telling the story of a couple who seemed to have life all figured out. But the reality of their lives, and Gail’s death, were far from ideal. Without a body, it would take years to put together what happened to Gail and to bring Bob Bierenbaum to trial. But did they get it right?