Husband of victim Gorenberg
may have been target, sexual activities investigated (12/12/08)
By Marc Freeman |South Florida Sun-Sentinel
WEST DELRAY - The husband of murder victim Randi Gorenberg visited prostitutes for years in Broward County, and he may have been the killer's intended target for a possible robbery, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office announced today.
Stewart Gorenberg's sexual activities are central to the investigation into the March 23, 2007, killing of his wife, Sgt. William Springer told reporters at a news conference.
Gorenberg is not cooperating with authorities, and the Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help in providing information about his use of paid escorts in Deerfield Beach and Fort Lauderdale, and the areas he frequented.
Randi Gorenberg, 52, was found dead in a park west of Delray Beach, not far from the multi-million dollar home she shared with her husband and son west of Boca Raton.
She was last seen alive at Town Center at Boca Raton.
"We believe it may be possible he was the intended target that day," Springer said.
Stewart Gorenberg has not been ruled out as a suspect,
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The unknown gunman who killed a chiropractor's wife as she returned from a trip to an upscale mall was likely targeting the woman's husband because he frequented prostitutes in crime-ridden neighborhoods, authorities said Friday.
Randi Gorenberg, 52, was driving a pricey Mercedes SUV in March 2007 when she was shot in the head and pushed from the car after a shopping trip to the Town Center Mall in Boca Raton, Palm Beach Sheriff's Sgt. William Springer said at a news conference.
Gorenberg's husband, Stewart Gorenberg, typically drove the Mercedes, including on his twice-weekly trips to "escorts" in neighboring Broward County, and he put himself at high risk for a robbery and a homicide, Springer said.
"A high-end car would stick out in these crime-ridden neighborhoods," Springer said Friday. He added that the attacker also probably knew that Stewart Gorenberg, a Fort Lauderdale chiropractor who lived in a $2.2 million home in Boca Raton, was wealthy.
Gorenberg's attorney countered that his client was never involved with any prostitutes and the allegations are "totally false."
"It is unconscionable that PBSO detectives are treating a victim this way. Unfortunately, detectives have no leads and their statement is a desperate and misguided attempt to create a lead," attorney attorney Guy Fronstin said.
Randi Gorenberg was driving the Mercedes because the couple's other vehicle was leased and they switched cars to keep the leased vehicle's mileage down. Surveillance video shows her leaving the mall, about a half hour before she was shot in the head and pushed from the SUV in a nearby park.
The Mercedes was found a few minutes later abandoned behind a Home Depot. Her purse, cell phone and black and white Puma shoes were missing. Her credit cards were used as recently as August by two unidentified men in Connecticut and Massachusetts, authorities said. No suspects have been arrested.
Palm Beach sheriff's officials said they have identified two prostitutes who were regularly visited by Stewart Gorenberg, and they are seeking the public's assistance in identifying additional escorts and leads in the murder case.
Stewart Gorenberg went by the name "Mike" when he visited the women, Springer said. Gorenberg found one of the women in an online ad and typically paid $100 to $150 per visit. He had been seeing one of the women in Deerfield Beach on and off on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons since 2001 or 2002.
Springer said authorities also looked into Randi Gorenberg's lifestyle and past and found that she was not at high risk for a homicide or robbery.
"Randi is an unfortunate victim of this crime," Springer said. "Randi happened to be driving the Mercedes Benz that day."
Springer said they have approached Stewart Gorenberg with information about the escorts and he had "no response" and is not cooperating with the investigation.
Authorities also said they have not ruled a possible connection between Randi Gorenberg's murder and the December 2007 killings of 47-year-old Nancy Bochicchio and her 7-year-old daughter Joey, whose bodies were discovered in their car outside the Town Center Mall.
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By CHRISTINA DENARDO
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 12, 2008
WEST PALM BEACH — Randi Gorenberg, the Boca Raton mother who was brutally murdered and shoved from her Mercedes in March 2007, may have been killed because her husband was seeing prostitutes in high-crime areas of Broward County, according to deputies.
Stewart Gorenberg, a Broward chiropractor, may have been the intended target of the attack, said Sgt. William Springer. He was visiting at least two escorts since 2002. He met with one of the escorts, whose name was not released, as much as twice a week.
"It may be possible he was a target," said Springer at a press conference Friday morning. "He was visiting areas that are high crime areas and driving a high-end vehicle."
Stewart Gorenberg usually drove the black Mercedes sport utility vehicle that Randi Gorenberg was driving the day she was killed. Investigators suspect that someone who knew Gorenberg from his visits may have followed the Mercedes with the intention of robbing him.
Before she was killed Gorenberg was shopping at the Town Center at Boca Raton. Thirty-nine minutes later, she was shot in the head and her body was dumped from her Mercedes behind the South County Civic Center near Jog and Morikami Park roads.
Her blood-stained Mercedes was later found abandoned behind a Home Depot at Jog Road and West Atlantic Avenue. Several items were taken: Gorenberg's beige $600 Kooba purse, wallet, cellphone, shopping bags and black-and-white Puma sneakers.
The idea that Stuart Gorenberg was the intended target because of his liaisons with prostitutes is "only a theory," Springer said and investigators have not ruled out Stewart Gorenberg involvement in his wife's murder.
"He has not been totally eliminated as a suspect," Springer said.
Stewart Gorenberg kept his relationships with escorts secret from investigators. Detectives only found out about the prostitutes about four months ago, though they would not say how. When Stewart Gorenberg was told investigators found evidence that he was seeing prostitutes, Gorenberg said nothing, according to Springer.
When asked if Randi Gorenberg had known about her husband's meetings with prostitutes, Springer declined to comment.
In the early days of the investigation, detectives criticized Stewart Gorenberg for being less than cooperative. After the murder, detectives said his lack of cooperation - he went weeks without sitting for a formal interview with authorities - was harming the case.
Following his wife's murder, Stewart Gorenberg was still talking to the prostitutes, Springer said. He also had a mistress and took a road trip with a Fort Lauderdale divorcée, according to his wife's family.
The relationship, the family added, has been a source of consternation. Gorenberg became estranged from his mother-in-law and brother-in-law. He was later charged with insurance fraud. Gorenberg later plead no contest to one of the charges in exchange for prosecutors dropping one of the felony counts and downgrading the other to a misdemeanor. Gorenberg's attorney, Guy Fronstin, said the charges stemmed from homicide detectives' efforts to pressure Stewart Gorenberg after his wife's murder, a claim the sheriff's office has denied.
After Nancy Bochicchio, 47, and her 7-year-old daughter were shot to death outside the Town Center mall in December, the sheriff's office joined with Boca Raton police to investigate the slayings side by side. Authorities had left open the possibility that Gorenberg's murder might have been the first in a sequence of killings and abductions, but earlier this month Boca Raton police said there was no connection between the Gorenberg and Bochicchio murders.
In April, Stewart Gorenberg sued the Town Center at Boca Raton and its owner, Simon Property Group, alleging Randi Gorenberg, 52, was kidnapped from the mall. Palm Beach County sheriff's investigators say they have no evidence of that and said that it's possible Randi Gorenberg was abducted from the couple's $2.2 million home in Boniello Acres.
Investigators said they have spoken to two of the escorts that Stewart Gorenberg was seeing, including one that he has been seeing since 2002. They suspect Stewart Gorenberg was seeing other escorts and want the public's help in identifying those escorts.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers at (800) 458-TIPS.
SUBURBAN WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- "These were prostitutes okay? He was going there for sexual favors," said Sgt. William Springer with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.
Investigators say Stuart Gorenberg's mug shot from charges of insurance fraud in 2005 is also a picture of a man who's visited prostitutes in Broward since as early as 2000 under the alias "Mike." But in the months before Randi's murder, his visits became more frequent.
"We know that he played Tennis at the Boca Club, usually on Tuesday and Thursday and that's the two days that he was seeing this one escort," Sgt. Springer said.
Authorities say those visits took him into crime ridden neighborhoods, mostly in Deerfield Beach, making his luxury SUV appear to be an opportunity.
It was the same vehicle Randi was driving the day she shopped at the Town Center Mall and was later found murdered.
"It may be possible that he was a target, that somebody may have followed him, knew where he lived and that maybe he was the intended victim that day but Randi happened to have been driving that Mercedes Benz," said Sgt. Springer.
Even while investigators are looking into new possibilities, they haven't ruled out any old theories.
"In any investigation you don't want to close any doors. We'd be foolish to say it's not connected," he said.
Investigators said this new information doesn't change the possibility that Gorenberg's case could be related to the murders of Joey and Nancy Bochicchio, who were also last seen leaving the Town Center Mall and were later found dead in their SUV one year ago.
Investigators have ruled out, however, that Stuart owed someone money. They also say he was still in contact with the prostitutes following Randi's murder.
Detectives said they've spoken to Stuart Gorenberg about their latest findings. He had no comment.
Investigators also say he has not been ruled out as a suspect.
Their main concern now is getting in contact with more women he may have been doing business with. They hope those contacts can help them figure out who may have killed Randi.
While PBSO says they haven't ruled in out, Boca Raton
Police insist that Gorenberg's murder and the killing of Nancy and Joey
Bochicchio are not connected.
Police: Husband Was Likely Target
Of Boca Murder
Police on Friday said there is another clue they are pursuing: Her husband who drove the same SUV, visited prostitutes for years in Broward, and may have been the killer's intended target for a possible robbery.
"We have developed new information on Stewart Gorenberg," said Sgt. William Springer of the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. "He has been frequenting escorts in Broward County."
Palm Beach County investigators said chiropractor Gorenberg had visited one prostitute twice a week in Deerfield Beach for years, and that it's possible because he drove the family's luxury SUV Mercedes; he may have been targeted for his money.
"At this point, we are seeking the public's assistance in identifying other escorts he may be frequenting in Broward County," Sgt. Springer added.
"We believe it may be possible he was a target...someone knew where he lived….maybe he was the intended victim that day but Randi happened to be driving the Mercedes Benz", Sgt. Springer said.
Gorenberg was shot and pushed out of her black 2007 Mercedes Benz GL450 SUV after leaving the mall in March of 2007. A witness saw Gorenberg being pushed from the passenger side into the parking lot of the South County Civic Center in Delray Beach, located about 5 miles from the Town Center Mall. It was discovered that she had been shot and killed. The SUV was abandoned less than two miles away in a Home Depot parking lot.
One year ago today, December 12, 2007, the bodies of 47-year-old Nancy Bochicchio and her 7-year-old daughter Joey were discovered in their SUV outside the mall. Another mother and child were also kidnapped at the same mall earlier in the year, but they were not hurt.
Police still have not ruled out a connection between Gorenberg's murder and these other crimes. No one has been charged.
As recently as September of this year, Palm Beach County investigators revealed surveillance pictures of two men using Gorenberg's credit cards in Massachusetts and Connecticut.
At the time, investigators said they didn't know if the men on the surveillance video were involved in the murder or if they were just in possession of her credit card or a cloned credit card.
(© MMVIII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)
December 12, 2008 - 8:59 PM
On Friday night, a lawyer representing Stewart Gorenberg reacted to statements made earlier in the day by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. Attorney Guy Fronstin said his client had nothing to do with his wife's murder and said Gorenberg denied going to prostitutes.
The murder of Randi Gorenberg in March of 2007 remains unsolved. The Boca Raton woman was last seen alive on surveillance video at the Town Center Mall. Her body turned up outside the South County Civic Center near Delray Beach. Deputies located the black Mercedes SUV she was driving not far away. The SUV was her husband's.
Releasing new information about the case Friday, Sheriff's detectives said Randi's husband Stewart, a Broward County chiropractor, was having sex with several prostitutes in Broward starting in 2001. Detectives asked people to come forward with information on Mr. Gorenberg's relationships and said he had not been ruled out as a suspect.
In response, attorney Fronstin said the Gorengerg family appreciates how detectives are working hard on the case, but they are also frustrated by detectives' statements. "Dr. Gorenberg denies going to prostitutes," said Fronstin. The lawyer added he himself has seen no evidence of that either.
Fronstin also read a prepared statement. In it he said, "Dr. Gorenberg had absolutely nothing to do with his wife's murder and he is a victim of this crime. It is unconscionable that PBSO detectives are treating a victim this way."
Fronstin's statement described detectives as desperate
for leads in the case. "The Gorenberg family and our community
would be much better served if detectives were searching for the true
murderer as opposed to spending their time and our taxpayer dollars
investigating Dr. Gorenberg," Fronstin said in his statement.
December 12, 2008 - 11:08 PM
Randi's Gorenberg's mother speaks out about the latest twist into the investigation of her daughter's murder.
"I'm just very shocked and very upset," said Randi Gorenberg's mother, Idey Elias.
In a press conference Friday, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office announced Randi's husband, Stewart Gorenberg, could have been the target of the murder - because he was having sex with several Broward County prostitutes.
"I did not know any of this. None of it. So, it came as a shock," said Elias.
The sheriff's office says Stewart Gorenberg started having sexual encounters with call girls in 2001 and it was still going on, twice weekly around the time of his wife's murder.
Randi Gorenberg was shot and killed March 2007 after leaving the Boca Town Center Mall. She was driving her husband's black Mercedes Benz SUV that day.
"He very well could have been targeted by someone who knew he was going there visiting these ladies and may have followed him," said Sgt. William Springer, with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.
The new revelations prompted Guy Fronstin - attorney for Stewart Gorenberg - to respond with this -
"The statement released by PBSO regarding Dr. Gorenberg is totally false. Dr. Gorenberg had absolutely nothing to do with his wife's murder and HE is a victim of this crime."
Now , as Elias copes with the news - she still searches for answers.
"We need closure and badly. It's a very tough time and if anyone knows anything, contact the detectives." said Elias.
Elias says she does not know whether her daughter knew about these alleged sexual encounters.
Meanwhile, investigators are asking anyone who may have had a sexual relationship with Stewart Gorenberg or who may have seen the black Mercedes in high crime areas in Broward County, to come forward.
By CHRISTINA DeNARDO
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Saturday, December 13, 2008
An attorney for Stewart Gorenberg today accused Palm Beach County sheriff's investigators of wasting taxpayer money investigating the Broward chiropractor and said his client had never seen prostitutes as the investigators alleged a day earlier.
Sheriff's Sgt. William Springer said Friday that because Gorenberg was seeing prostitutes in a high-crime area of Broward County, he may have been the target instead of his wife, Randi Gorenberg, when the Boca Raton woman was fatally shot and shoved from the couple's black Mercedes sport utility vehicle behind the South County Civic Center west of Delray Beach in March 2007. Stewart Gorenberg, not his wife, usually drove the vehicle.
But Springer also said Stewart Gorenberg had not been eliminated as a suspect in his wife's death.
Guy Frostin, a West Palm Beach attorney, responded today, "Dr. Gorenberg had absolutely nothing to do with his wife's murder. Unfortunately detectives have no leads and their statements are a desperate and misguided attempt to create a lead. As long as detectives continue in this direction this heinous crime will never be solved."
Frostin said Gorenberg had never consorted with prostitutes.
Investigators said Friday that Gorenberg had been seeing prostitutes in high crime areas since 2002 and someone who knew his black Mercedes from his visits may have followed the vehicle with the intention of robbing him.
Before she was killed, Randi Gorenberg was shopping
at the Town Center at Boca Raton. Several items including her $600 purse,
Puma sneakers and wallet were missing from the Mercedes when it was
By Marc Freeman |South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Randi Gorenberg's killer may have been targeting her husband, who investigators think frequented crime-ridden areas of Broward County to meet prostitutes, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office revealed Friday.
Stewart Gorenberg's activities are at the forefront of the high-profile investigation into the abduction and slaying of his wife nearly 19 months ago, Sgt. William Springer said at a news conference. Gorenberg has not been charged with any crimes related to the new information. But he "has not been totally eliminated as a suspect," Springer said.
Randi Gorenberg, 52, was last seen alive as she left the Town Center at Boca Raton mall in her black Mercedes SUV at 1:16 p.m. March 23, 2007. She was found about 40 minutes later, shot in the head and dumped at a park west of Delray Beach.
The mother of two, who lived with her husband and son in a $2.2 million home in the Boniello Acres community west of Boca Raton, was robbed of her purse, phone and shoes.
Springer said Stewart Gorenberg, a chiropractor with offices in Fort Lauderdale, usually drove the Mercedes.
"We believe it may be possible he was the intended target that day," he said.
But Gorenberg's attorney, Guy Fronstin, said the authorities are wrong.
"He did not frequent prostitutes," Fronstin said. "It's that simple."
The crime has remained unsolved despite the efforts of more than a dozen detectives and national and local media attention.
Gorenberg, who is not cooperating with authorities, was seeing a prostitute twice a week up to his wife's murder and "had contact" with a prostitute after his wife's death, Springer said.
When reached by phone Friday, Gorenberg referred all questions to Fronstin.
"Dr. Gorenberg had absolutely nothing to do with his wife's murder and he is a victim of this crime," Fronstin said. "It is unconscionable that Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office detectives are treating a victim this way. Unfortunately detectives have no leads and their statement is a desperate and misguided attempt to create a lead."
Investigators have also looked into whether Gorenberg's killer had a role in the carjacking, robbery and murder of Nancy Bochicchio, 47, and her daughter, Joey Bochicchio-Hauser, 7. They were shopping at the same mall hours before they were found bound and shot to death in their SUV in the mall's parking lot on Dec. 12, 2007.
But Boca Raton Police Chief Dan Alexander said last week there was no forensic evidence linking the crimes.
On Friday, Springer said the Sheriff's Office needs the public's help for information about Stewart Gorenberg's alleged use of prostitutes in Deerfield Beach and Fort Lauderdale and the areas he's thought to have visited since 2001.
Detectives have been focusing on Gorenberg for the last four to five months, Springer said. They revealed these new details from the investigation:
Gorenberg, 53, was the primary driver of the Mercedes his wife was using the day she died. He had been seen driving the SUV often in neighborhoods in Broward County where "high-end" vehicles stand out. Springer did not name the specific areas.
As a john, he used the name "Mike" and paid $100 to $150 for each sexual encounter with women he met through escort services. Detectives have interviewed some of the women, whom Springer did not identify.
Marc Freeman can be reached at mjfreeman@SunSentinel.com or 561-243-6642.