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July 10, 2023 30 mins

It’s the early 90s and a new eligible bachelor named Bob has arrived in Las Vegas.  Every local single Jewish lady wants to date him, but something’s off. It turns out Bob has a secret that he hoped he could leave behind in New York City.   

If you are affected by any of our topics please reach out to NO MORE at https://nomore.org/girlfriends, a domestic violence charity we’ve partnered with.  

The Girlfriends is produced by Novel for iHeartRadio.

For more from Novel visit novel.audio

Listen to our soundtrack on Spotify here or buy the album from Bandcamp. All proceeds go to our charity partner NoMore.

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:06):
Novel.

Speaker 2 (00:10):
Hey listener, I just wanted you to know what to
expect from this series before you dive in. At its core,
this is a story about solidarity and sisterhood, but it's
also a story about domestic violence. There's going to be
mentions of physical and emotional abuse, as well as murder
and suicide. But at the center of all of it,

(00:33):
there is a woman who I celebrate in life and death.
This is her story, my story, and the story of
lots of other inspiring and brave women who often choose
to laugh instead of cry. So you can expect some
humor and joy too. If you want to taste her

(00:54):
before we get into the deep stuff, then this first
episode is mostly just fun. Check it out and then decide.
If you do listen and are impacted by any of
our themes, you can reach out to No More, a
domestic violence charity we've partnered with. They have lots of
great resources to help you or your loved ones. You

(01:18):
can find them at no More dot org. That's no
Moore dot org. Oh, and just one final thing. I
happen to swear like a sailor, and so do some
of the other people in this show. That's just who
we are, so no problem if it's not for you.

Speaker 3 (01:42):
Did you find his old house? No, okay, so it's
around here, but I don't remember where I know the vicinity.
When I met him, he was already in this house that.

Speaker 2 (01:56):
Like never really.

Speaker 1 (01:59):
Like.

Speaker 3 (02:02):
I think you had an unfinished backyard and boxes that
never got unpacked, and it was kind of weird.

Speaker 4 (02:09):
Just because he never go around to it.

Speaker 1 (02:13):
You know.

Speaker 3 (02:14):
I just think that he never could settle his life.
I think he was always running from the truth and
it was all about the image. So the house from
the outside look good.

Speaker 1 (02:27):
You know.

Speaker 2 (02:27):
I'm Carol Fisher. I don't usually spend my time lurking
around my ex boyfriend's houses. I actually live a fairly
normal life. I work an end of life healthcare I'm
also a mother, a grandmother, and a wife. What I'm
not is a podcaster, So everything about this is so
new to me. But I have my producer, Anna, who's

(02:50):
here to help me with that. And it turns out
the first thing I need help with is time keeping.

Speaker 5 (02:57):
Sorry, oh, I'm like, I don't ever remember.

Speaker 4 (03:02):
You're not even light.

Speaker 3 (03:03):
Coming to my messy feet.

Speaker 6 (03:04):
Hup, car, you should see my car.

Speaker 2 (03:06):
The reason Anna's here is because I'm ready to talk
about my boyfriend, Bob, the one with all the boxes.
Everyone has exes that they think about after the breakup,
but this one it's unique. I've been thinking about Bob
for nearly thirty years, and it really did start with

(03:28):
that unfinished house of his in Piccoldi Ranch, Las Vegas, Nevada.
I remember finding it so odd because the house was
so nice downstairs, with the fancy kitchen and a comfortable
living room, but upstairs, most of the rooms were unfinished.
They were stacked high with moving boxes from when he

(03:50):
had arrived five years earlier, and sometimes, well, I'd go
into one of the rooms to get something, or just
to be nosey or both, and that's when I saw it.
Hiding amongst the boxes, a trunk with the luggage label
on it that read Gail, Kat, Beer and Balm. I

(04:14):
never asked Bob about that trunk. In fact, I didn't
ask Bob a lot of things. But now here we are,
twenty eight plus years later, and I am finally ready
to open that box.

Speaker 7 (04:29):
Everybody thought he was the greatest thing since slice bread.

Speaker 5 (04:33):
He spoke several languages, he did medical missionary work.

Speaker 2 (04:38):
He's a doctor. He's a doctor, That's all she talked about.

Speaker 1 (04:40):
He was a pilot, he had his own claim.

Speaker 5 (04:43):
He was Jewish, he was a shift How much better
could it get? She said, Oh, you obviously don't know
about the skeletons in his closet. And I go, what
skeletons in the closet?

Speaker 4 (05:00):
Run?

Speaker 1 (05:01):
Run, girlfriend, Run, Now ship's getting real.

Speaker 8 (05:04):
My mother said to me, have you spoken to Gail?
Do you know where Gail is?

Speaker 4 (05:09):
I'll be honest with you.

Speaker 8 (05:10):
If I saw him right now, I'd spit on him.
We very quickly began to realize what a sick fuck
Bob was.

Speaker 2 (05:23):
From the teams at Novel and iHeartRadio, you're listening to
The Girlfriends episode one, The Good Jewish Doctor.

Speaker 1 (05:35):
You.

Speaker 2 (06:07):
Our story starts in nineteen eighty nine in my small
hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada. And it's New Year's Eve
and the entire city was celebrating the start of a
new decade. Gina Perry's throwing one of her famous parties
over in Spanish Oaks, which is this new Mediterranean inspired

(06:30):
townhouse complex just off Sahara Avenue in the middle of
Las Vegas. Think terra cotta tiles, swimming pools and heavy
iron doors. Now Gina's real Las Vegas old stock. Her
grandfather came over from Italy in the nineteen twenties, when

(06:52):
the town's population was just less than five thousand. He
wound up in Vegas, founding our first luxury hotel, the
Hotel Apache. Then there's Gina's mother. She was an original
Las Vegas showgirl. It's the kind of heritage that really
teaches you how to always buy one champagne bottle too many,

(07:13):
and how to turn the music up just loud enough.
Here's Gina.

Speaker 7 (07:18):
There was a lot of people in the house in
the living room. It was very convivial. People were laughing
and drinking.

Speaker 2 (07:25):
But like any party in Las Vegas, it wasn't all social.
Gina's brother worked in real estate and had invited some
of his commercial investors over to schmooze, many of which
were physicians from around the city.

Speaker 7 (07:39):
My brother's friend invited Bob Berenbaum.

Speaker 2 (07:44):
Bob's been brought here by his childhood friend, Scott Behrenoff,
a urologist who really made it big in Las Vegas.
He'd recently managed to convince Bob to move over from
New York to take up a new residency as a
plastic surgeon.

Speaker 7 (08:00):
I had no idea that Bob was going to be there.
I didn't know who Bob was. I remember that he
was dressed really nice. I think he had on like
a tux or something, and everybody was dressed sharp. But
it was not necessarily a tuxtite situation.

Speaker 2 (08:18):
Bob was tall and he had cropped, dark, curly hair,
but the thing everyone seemed to notice about Bob was
his piercing dark eyes.

Speaker 7 (08:28):
You know, he was just the town's newest, most eligible bachelor.

Speaker 2 (08:33):
Gina starts introducing him to her friends, including her neighbor,
a local chiropractor named Stephanie Youngblood.

Speaker 7 (08:41):
Her look was, you know, cool, and she that's kind
of how I think of her, as like a European
model type. But she came in looking good and Bob
was already there.

Speaker 2 (08:55):
They seemed to really hit it off, and throughout the
evening Gina would pass by them sitting on her big
white couch.

Speaker 5 (09:12):
No no, no, no, no.

Speaker 7 (09:16):
After the party, I went to see Stephanie for chiropractic
and she said, you remember that guy Bob you introduced
me to, And I said, the one that came to
the party was Scott and she said, yeah, he's unbelievable.
He's too good to be true. He speaks five languages,

(09:37):
he's a Gorman. He's got a plane. He asked me
if I wanted to get high, and I didn't understand
what he meant, but he meant go flying. I had
never saw Stephanie excited like this, but she was like,
when you fall in love with whoever you happen to
fall in love with them, you go through that little
giddy phase where it's just like, oh my god, this
person's so fantastic.

Speaker 2 (09:59):
It wasn't just Stephanie that noticed him. We all did.

Speaker 6 (10:03):
Well.

Speaker 2 (10:03):
Anybody listening to the description of this guy would think
he was incredible. For us single Jewish ladies in Las
Vegas in the nineties, he was the holy Grail. And
it wasn't just us. Our mothers also wanted us to
find that rare gem a good Jewish doctor.

Speaker 5 (10:21):
Which is like, not the easiest thing in the world,
because we all know all the same We.

Speaker 2 (10:27):
Know people, this is my friend Mindy Shapiro. We were
all on this hunt for love together, and so everyone
sort of played matchmaker. I mean, moms would introduce us
to their sons as we broke the fast. At jam Kapor,
couples would host blind dates. They would disguise them as
dinner parties, but still zilch until there was Bob.

Speaker 4 (10:52):
The word was out and another Jewish doctor had arrived.

Speaker 1 (10:59):
I don't know. I know how you met Bob.

Speaker 4 (11:01):
Oh. I met him in the garage of Sunrise Okay.

Speaker 2 (11:06):
Sure, are you like in the garage stock on him?

Speaker 5 (11:08):
No, I was walking into the walking into it.

Speaker 4 (11:12):
It was totally innocent.

Speaker 2 (11:17):
The first time Mindy set eyes on Bob was at
work in the doctor's parking area at Sunrise Hospital. Though Mindy,
like everyone knew who Bob was, it was his janky
car that caught her attention. First, busted up but really
objectively cool, mustard yellow dots in two forty z with
a personalized number plate that read Nip and Tuck.

Speaker 4 (11:42):
In Las Vegas.

Speaker 5 (11:44):
Your car is a very important symbol of who you are.
I drove a Honda Civic Sedan with close to one
hundred thousand miles on it, and my first day at work,
I proceeded into the garage by a Rolls Royce. So

(12:07):
that there was someone who also had a unfashionable car
was something I could relate to. This is doctor reserve parking.
So I introduced myself and he introduces himself, and he's
wearing a suit, which in Las Vegas is a very

(12:29):
odd thing. That he was carrying his jacket and you
could see an Armani label out of the jacket pocket.
And here's this tall, good looking guy with a beat
up car and a label and his shirttail hanging out.

Speaker 4 (12:48):
And I thought, yeah, he's.

Speaker 5 (12:49):
More East Coast than this should be a welcome change.
So that is how I met Bob.

Speaker 2 (12:58):
The only problem is Stephanie latched onto Bob first, and
to be fair, their relationship looked perfect. They went on
ski trips and Stephanie spent time with his family. They'd
go flying all over the country in Bob's plane. In fact,
it was not uncommon for them to go to San
Francisco just for the evening for dinner. Eventually, the news

(13:21):
got around that they had gotten engaged, and just like that,
another Jewish doctor was off the market for now. Over

(13:49):
the next few years, Bob and Mindy worked together regularly
on the different floors at Sunrise Hospital.

Speaker 5 (13:56):
I was a doctor who worked in the intensive carry unit.
Often people who were in the ICU have wounds that
need care, and so I might run into him there.

Speaker 2 (14:09):
More often than not, their past would cross in the
doctor's lounge, which, true to Gray's Anatomy, is where all
the juiciest gossip is shared. After a few years of
Stephanie and Bob dating, word got out in that lounge
that their engagement was off. Mindy had just gone through
a breakup herself.

Speaker 5 (14:29):
And he said, well, we should go out to dinner sometime,
and I said, yeah, that would be great. I just thought,
we know each other now, four or five years. Time
is gone, bye, we could go to dinner as friends,
And I said, you picked the place.

Speaker 2 (14:50):
So Bob picks this little known restaurant called the Garlic
Cafe down on Decatur Boulevard and Twayne Avenue, and as
the name suggests, garlic creeps into every dish, from the
drinks to the dessert. There's even garlic in the ice cream.
They talked about work, friends back east, and what it
was like to be new to Las Vegas, and by

(15:12):
the end of the evening and three courses of garlic down,
they call it a night. Nobody offers up a kiss.

Speaker 5 (15:25):
Next day, I'm still reeking of garlic, and it's like
one of those smells. It's in your pores, you just
can't get rid of it. And I'm in the doctor's
lounge and someone comes up to me and says, oh,
I hear you went to dinner at the Garlic Cafe,

(15:46):
and start sniffing myself, thinking that I stink my garlic. Still,
he goes, No, Bob was here, and he told me
you two had gone out and.

Speaker 4 (15:59):
And that you're his new girlfriend.

Speaker 5 (16:02):
Oh, at which point my eyes did one of those
boing things, Because as chatty as I may be, I'm
pretty private about my life, especially separating my professional and
personal life, and so that for me was like a

(16:25):
real red flag.

Speaker 2 (16:31):
But Mindy chalked it up to a little over enthusiasm
after a successful date. Doctors, are you know on the
whole a socially awkward crowd. It wouldn't be fair to
pass Bob up completely because of one indiscretion. So when
you called up to arrange date number two, she said, yes.

Speaker 5 (16:50):
He called and said, let's do something different. Have you
been out to the Red Rocks. There's some amazing petroglyphs there.
You should really see them. I'll make us a picnic
and we'll go out to the Red Rocks.

Speaker 2 (17:14):
On the day of their picnic, Bob pulled up outside
Mindy's house in his grand Cherokee jeep, this time with
the license plate Nip and Truck. It was red with
gold wheels and decked out without back gear, lights, bars,
and cranks. Mindy clambered into the high seat and they
set off west off road and into the desert, the

(17:37):
bright lights of the strip disappearing behind them.

Speaker 5 (17:45):
It was totally barren, beautiful iron or Red Rocks, glorious
in the way that nature seasons geology. You know, he
made this very lovely picnic with no garlic. But it

(18:09):
started to get dark, and my New Yorker instinct is, like,
you don't like to be in isolated places at dark.

Speaker 2 (18:24):
Bob walked over to the jeep and switched on his beams,
spotlighting Mindy as she picked up an emergency call from
the hospital. One of her patients was in critical need
of some care, and nobody could agree on what course
of action to take, and Mindy was getting really pissed.

Speaker 5 (18:42):
Off, and he says, you know, you shouldn't get that angry.

Speaker 4 (18:48):
Your anger doesn't.

Speaker 5 (18:51):
Help in those situations, and I said, I know, I
can't help it, but that's just the way I'm wired.
And he goes, I understand, but you can change that.
And I thought that is a very interesting comment.

Speaker 2 (19:16):
Mindy sat with Bob's comment the whole journey home out
of the dark desert and back to the lights of
our Neon city. Was he speaking from experience? It felt
like such an odd thing to say.

Speaker 3 (19:31):
Oh, no, no.

Speaker 4 (19:38):
Again.

Speaker 5 (19:39):
The following day, in the doctor's lounge, like twenty more people, Oh,
I hear you went out hiking with Bob.

Speaker 4 (19:46):
I hear you went hiking with Bob. I hear you went.

Speaker 5 (19:50):
It's like to the point where I ran into him
at the doctor's lounge.

Speaker 4 (19:56):
And I said, I enjoyed our evening. It was lovely.

Speaker 5 (20:01):
I really do not like people to know my whereabouts
outside of the hospital. Please don't relay that again. And
he looked at me like a wounded puppy like I
had just you know, slapped him on the nose. She

(20:22):
didn't say he was sorry. He said, okay, okay, okay, yeah,
I don't want to be identified as Bob's girlfriend, to
the point where one of the docs who knew him
in the doctor's lounge, said, oh, has he given you
the ring yet?

Speaker 2 (20:42):
What?

Speaker 5 (20:42):
I've been on two dates with the guy. And then
I said, you know, I don't know that this is
gonna work, but I have this girlfriend that I think
you really might like to need.

Speaker 4 (20:57):
Her name is Carol.

Speaker 5 (20:58):
So I give Carol's number out and then I called
Carol and I said, I've given your name to this doctor.
I think you might get along. He's perfect on paper.

Speaker 4 (21:09):
See what you.

Speaker 2 (21:09):
Think, Carol. That's me And this phone call from Mindy
is how I started dating Bob.

Speaker 6 (21:36):
Oh, all right, so you need to finish off telling
me about the first date though, because we skated past
that one.

Speaker 1 (21:47):
Okay, so first date.

Speaker 2 (21:49):
So that's my producer Anna again. And while this show
is about investigating Bob, I've really also had to investigate myself.
And Anna, well, she's here to keep me on track
with that. The truth is, I have a tendency to
want to forget about this period of my life, and
I've really done a pretty good job of ignoring it
until now. But I guess this is a moment where

(22:11):
you shit or get off the pot. And I've been
sitting on this podcast pot for at least twenty minutes now,
So here we go, just still.

Speaker 1 (22:20):
At the beginning.

Speaker 6 (22:22):
If you were nervous what you were wearing, as much
as you can remember what you ate.

Speaker 1 (22:26):
So you want me to touch on all that, Yeah,
if you could just paint a picture as much as possible.
So I remember being very excited to go on a
date with Bob and to meet him. It was an
interesting situation because I already knew what.

Speaker 2 (22:41):
He looked like.

Speaker 1 (22:41):
I had met him before, we had been at similar events,
but you know, I had never spent time with him,
you know, in that way of dating someone. And the
first phone call was a lot of fun where he
certainly let me know things about him. You know. I
think I made a comment, oh, you're bilingual, and his

(23:05):
comment was, you know, I speak like five or seven languages,
and you know, so he always had like a comeback
to my remarks in a very fun, playful way. And
he showed up and he had that really nice red
Cherokee jeep that I had always wanted and read was
always my favorite color. Back then he opened my door

(23:27):
and put me in the car and got me out
of the car. He certainly was intentive. We went out
for Indian food and it was kind of a little
joint that was owned by a cardiologist. So we're at
the restaurant and we're in a booth and we're sitting
in the back of the restaurant. I want to know
more about him. He knows a little bit more about

(23:48):
me than I know about him, and so I start
to suggest that, you know, hey, we're of age here
and we all have baggage, and you know, he knows
I have a daughter, and so a mask him, you know,
tell me about yourself. And he's been a little vague,
and you know, it's very comfortable talking about his practice

(24:08):
as a plastic surgeon, but not real comfortable talking about
his past. So I'm asking him these questions and I,
in a joking way, say to him, well, what did
you do murder your wife? And his response was, well,
what do you know? He's kind of squirming and you

(24:35):
could just sense that he was uncomfortable, and he said, Okay,
I'm going to tell you this story, but you can't
tell anybody. This isn't a story that people in Las
Vegas know. And he proceeded to tell me that he

(24:58):
had gone through a really intense residency as part of
his training in New York. At the time, he had
been married, and his wife wasn't handling the long hour
as well. She was really uncomfortable with being alone a lot,
and she was very needy. She had dabbled in drugs,

(25:21):
and she had developed a drug problem. She was using
more and more drugs. She was partying a lot with
friends and sometimes wouldn't come home, or she'd be intoxicated
when he got home, and that things were really tense
and uptight. And so the conclusion to that story is

(25:45):
that she just was missing. She was nowhere to be found,
and he made assumptions that she either killed herself because
she had a history of the depression coupled with the
drug addiction, or she met someone and went off partying

(26:06):
and just never came home. But he then explained to
me that he had been accused of murdering her. It
had been suggested that he was part of foul play,

(26:26):
and he came to Las Vegas to get a new
start and to not bring that with him, which is
why he'd never wanted me to tell this story or
talk to people about it. This was a new chapter,
with the new beginning, and he was leaving that ending behind.

(26:49):
You know, it sounded like a plausible story. It certainly
was a story that I wanted to believe.

Speaker 2 (26:58):
Okay, I know it, thinking why didn't I run out
of that restaurant? I get it, And I don't know
if I have the words to explain why I stayed.
But I felt bad for Bob, and to be perfectly honest,
I had a crush on him. Here I was thirty
six years of age, I had burned through two marriages,

(27:19):
I was raising a daughter on my own, and there
was no way I was about to pass up on
a Jewish doctor with a plane who spoke five languages.
So I took his word for it and parked the conversation.
We headed back to his house. We went upstairs. I
glanced into the spare room to see piles of boxes

(27:41):
and that trunk with the name on it Gail Kat's
beer and Baum Bob's missing wife. Oh, coming up on
the girlfriends.

Speaker 4 (27:53):
We created our own little game of clue.

Speaker 8 (27:56):
You know, one of our favorite sayings the scale I
wear the opposite side of the same coin.

Speaker 4 (28:02):
We were very popular in school.

Speaker 8 (28:04):
I was into boys. Gail was into love.

Speaker 4 (28:07):
She had met this doctor. She was very excited about it. Doctor,
sergeant pilot. She was enamored.

Speaker 8 (28:14):
She's weeping and I'm like, what's up, and she said,
Bob tried to kill the cat.

Speaker 5 (28:19):
Owaine called me and asked me if I had talked
to Gail now, why she went for a jog and
she never came home. I remember her screaming at the
top of her lungs.

Speaker 2 (28:30):
We need to find her.

Speaker 4 (28:32):
I said, Oh my god, I knew right away he
killed her.

Speaker 8 (28:40):
I would call him and I would say, I know
you killed my sister. Everyone knows she killed my sister.
And You're not going to get away with it. I
will always hound you and haunt you.

Speaker 2 (29:07):
The Girlfriends is produced by Novel for Ourheart Radio. For
more from Novel, visit novel dot Audio. The series is
hosted by me Carol Fisher and produced by Anna Sinfield.
Our assistant producer is Julian Manu, Gera Patten, and our
researcher is Madeline Parr. The editor is Veronica Simmons. Max

(29:32):
O'Brien is our executive producer. Our fact checker is Valeria Rocca.
Production management from Sharie Houston and Charlotte Woolf. Sound design,
mixing and scoring by Daniel Kempsen and Nicholas Alexander. Music
supervision by Anna Sinfield. Original music composed by Luisa Gerstein.

(29:55):
Story development by Isaac Fisher. Willard Foxton is creative director
of Development. Special thanks to Shawn Glynn, David Waters, might
Lee Raw, Katrina Norvel, David Wasserman, and Beth Anne Mcaluso.

(30:17):
We did reach out to Bob and his legal team
to ask if he'd like to comment on the podcast,
but we never heard back.

Speaker 1 (30:29):
Novel
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