In 2000, former plastic surgeon Robert Bierenbaum was convicted of the 1985 murder of his wife Gail Katz. Until December 2020 of last year, Robert claimed that he was innocent. Now, he had confessed that he strangled Gail, then dropped her body out over the ocean. He calls these actions “immature.”
Even though Robert Bierenbaum admitted to the killing and discarding of his wife’s body almost a year ago at his parole hearing, it has not been reported on until now. ABC’s 20/20 broke the story and will air a full report tonight at 9/8 c. The show includes an interview with Gail’s sister Alayne Katz.
“Gail Katz was a strong, smart young woman who, had she lived, would have been a psychologist helping people,” Alayne says about her sister. Gail’s former house is now the space for the Pace Women’s Justice Center, an organization that Alayne started in honor of her sister to help other women who are victims of domestic violence.
“I wanted her to stop yelling at me and I attacked her,” Robert Bierenbaum said in a transcript from his parole hearing. His account shocked everyone because it was exactly what prosecutors accused him of doing. He said that he strangled her and then went flying. “I opened the door and then took her body out of the airplane over the ocean.” He said he did it because he was immature and didn’t know how to deal with anger.
Gail had met Robert in Manhattan when she was still in college and he was a surgical resident. At first, their relationship was “magical.” Robert was quite a catch who spoke multiple languages, cooked gourmet food, and was even a pilot.
Alayne started noticing red flags with Robert’s behavior, however. She went on a double date with him and Gail where she witnessed him shoving sushi in her mouth. He even tried to do that to Alayne too, but she declined. In another incident, Gail was distraught because Robert had tried to drown her cat in the toilet. After that, Gail thought everything would be ok if she got rid of the cat because she saw the cat as the problem. Her sister, however, implored her to get rid of Bob instead.
When he moved to Las Vegas in 1990 and started dating Stephanie Youngblood, he still didn’t know how to deal with his anger. She says he exploded with rage at her. Thankfully, she was able to leave the relationship with her life.