Bob Bierenbaum almost got away with murdering his wife. His ex-girlfriends had other ideas.

“What did you do, murder your wife?” Carole Fisher joked on her first date with Bob Bierenbaum in 1995. 

The question arose after Bob became irritated when Carole asked her date about his past during a date at an Indian Restaurant in Las Vegas. 

"When I asked him if he had ever been married before, he was very, very hesitant to admit it," she recalled to

"He then proceeded to tell me a very elaborate story, designed to make me feel sorry for him, all about his wife who had a drug problem, who had affairs, who left the home for good one day and probably either committed suicide or was out living with another guy."

The wife Bierenbaum was talking about was Gail Katz, who went missing in 1985. Bob disclosed to Carole that he had been 'falsely' accused of her murder at the time. 

Up until that moment, Carole thought she had met the city's most eligible bachelor.

Bob was a renowned plastic surgeon. 

Bob was wealthy and owned a plane. 

Bob spoke five languages. 

Bob treated children with cleft palates – free of charge.

But Bob had a dark secret.

It's this secret that is at the forefront of The Girlfriends, a new podcast that has the whole world talking. Carole is the host of the podcast, which was created in partnership with the charity No More, to raise awareness about justice for domestic abuse survivors.

On the podcast, Gail’s sister Alayne shared that, from the moment her sister went missing, she knew Bierenbaum had killed her. Before they got married, he had tried to drown Gail's cat in their toilet, she said. And when Bierenbaum caught Gail smoking, Alayne said he choked her until she lost consciousness.


The night before she disappeared, Gail told her best friend, Denise Kastenbaum, that she was planning to ask for a divorce over dinner.

Quick! Listen to the latest episode of The Spill. Post continues after podcast.

A decade later, Carole dated Bob for six months, but they ended their relationship in 1996 following a series of incidents: the surgeon exploded at her when she broke a glass, accused Carole of having an affair and giving him syphilis, and threatened to kill Carole’s dog.

After the relationship ended, Fisher got in contact with Bob's exes – aka 'The Girlfriends' – to discover that the surgeon had behaved violently and erratically in his prior relationships, too.

Carole, along with Mindy Shapiro and eventually Stephanie Youngblood, began meeting up at their favourite restaurant, The Mayflower, to swap notes. It was here that they discovered that Bierenbaum had a pattern of bad behaviour.

Stephanie said that her first year with the surgeon was “perfect”, but a few incidents when he lost his temper had left her terrified of him.

The women also discovered that he had spun all sorts of different stories about what happened to his wife, Gail Katz.

“Mindy was like a dog with a bone,” Carole told The Sun. “It was 1996, and back then you couldn’t just Google things, so Mindy meticulously went through library archives, eventually finding a newspaper article about Gail’s disappearance."


The women continued their meetings under the name 'The Harriet The Spy Club', named after Mindy's favourite book. 

At the same time, Detective Andy Rosenzweig from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, started dredging up cold cases from the past, and his focus landed on Gail. He had long suspected that Bierenbaum had thrown Gail’s body from his plane into the Atlantic Ocean.

After Rosenzweig retired, prosecutors Steve Saracco and Daniel Bibb took over and breathed new life into the case. While Gail's body was never found, the investigators decided to re-interview everyone involved... including the Harriet The Spy Club ladies, who spoke openly about Bierenbaum’s history of rage.

Thanks in part to the women's testimonies, Bierenbaum was arrested in 1999. In October 2000, a jury found him guilty of Katz’s murder and he was sentenced to life in prison.

At a parole hearing in December 2020, Bob finally confessed to the murder of his wife. 

“I wanted her to stop yelling at me and I attacked her," he said, revealing he had strangled Gail to death.

He also admitted he had thrown her body out of his plane and into the ocean, as detective Andy Rosenzweig had originally theorised. 

"I went flying," he confessed. "I opened the door and then took her body out of the airplane over the ocean."

To this day, Bierenbaum is still serving his prison sentence at Otisville Correctional Facility in New York.

Feature image: iHeart True Crime + Stephanie Youngblood/The Sun.