Robert Bierenbaum Today: Where Is the Surgeon Now in 2021?

robert bierenbaum today

The Charley Project Gail Katz Bierenbaum./Robert Bierenbaum.

Robert Bierenbaum is in prison today in the murder of his wife, Gail Katz Bierenbaum. He is now eligible for parole and faces a hearing in November 2021, according to his prison records. He is 66 years old and jailed in New York.

Bierenbaum was convicted of second-degree murder in 2000 and sentenced to 20 years to life in prison. His upcoming parole hearing will determine whether he will be released. Bierenbaum has been eligible for parole since October 2020. At a parole hearing in December 2020, he confessed to killing his wife and dumping her body from a plane, according to the New York Daily News.

ABC 20/20 is revealing new details in the case in its episode tonight. The two-hour special describes Bierenbaum, a multilinguistic surgeon, skier, chef and pilot, as a “Jekyl and Hyde” figure. The episode premieres Friday, October 22, 2021, at 9 p.m. Eastern time.

Here’s what you need to know:


Bierenbaum Is Imprisoned in the Otisville Correctional Facility, a Medium-Security Prison, & Faces a Parole Hearing in November 2021

Bierenbaum has served more than 20 years of his sentence of 20 years to life in prison, according to his prison records. Bierenbaum became eligible for parole in October 2020. Although he was denied parole at his last hearing, he will face the parole board again in November 2021 to see if he will be released.

Here is his prison record:

robert bierenbaum prison record

New York Department of CorrectionsRobert Bierenbaum’s prison record.

Bierenbaum was first incarcerated in the New York Department of Corrections December 22, 2000, following his second-degree murder conviction.

Here is the second page of his prison record:

robert bierenbaum jail record

New York Department of CorrectionsRobert Bierenbaum’s prison record.

The Otisville Correctional Facility is a medium-security prison for males in Otisville, New York, according to the prison’s website. The prison allows an unlimited number of visitors per day with visitations allowed seven days per week, the facility’s website says. Visitation resumed at the prison in May 2021.

At a December 2020 parole hearing, Bierenbaum said that he strangled his wife to death during a fight, and investigators said he altered his flight logs when he dumped her body, according to the New York Daily News. He said he killed her because he was “immature” and did not know “how to deal with his anger,” according to transcripts reported in the article.

“I wanted her to stop yelling at me and I attacked her,” he said, according to the article.


A Conclusion Filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Bierenbaum’s Case Said His Trial Counsel ‘Left a Lot to Be Desired’

Attorneys representing Bierenbaum filed an appeal to the United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, in 2010, which claimed he was denied his 6th Amendment rights and effective counsel at his trial. You can read the full court filing here. His petition for writ of habeas corpus was denied, the court decision says.

However, the court filing concludes with a note saying that while the court’s decision should stand, the appeal left questions as to the effectiveness of Bierenbaum’s trial attorneys. The conclusion said that while these concerns did not rise to the level of a denial of Bierenbaum’s constitutional rights, the counsel “left a lot to be desired” and the “evidence of guilt is very thin.”

It said:

The district court’s denial of petitioner’s application for a writ of habeas corpus is affirmed.

I join Judge Sessions’s opinion fully because I believe it to be correct on the law. I add a few words because this case troubles me. I believe the representation given to Appellant by his trial counsel left a lot to be desired, though, for the reasons stated in Judge Sessions’s opinion, it does not ultimately amount to constitutionally inadequate representation. I also believe that the evidence of guilt is very thin. The sufficiency of the evidence, however, is not before us. All this means that the decision of the district court is properly affirmed.

READ NEXT: Robert Bierenbaum’s Second Wife, Dr. Janet Chollet, Supported Him at His Murder Trial


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