Testimony of Robert Bierenbaum’s second wife, Janet Chollet


The Charley project

Gail Katz Bierenbaum./Robert Bierenbaum.

Dr Janet Chollet Bierenbaum, the second wife of Dr Robert Bierenbaum, supported him while on trial for the murder of his first wife, Gail Katz Bierenbaum, according to media coverage of his court appearances.

He was convicted of second degree murder in 2000 and sentenced to 20 years in life. He is now eligible for parole and faces a parole hearing in November 2021. At a parole hearing in December 2020, he confessed to killing his wife and throwing her body from a plane, according to the New York Daily News.

ABC 20/20 reveals new details about the case in his new episode tonight. The two-hour special portrays Bierenbaum, a multilingual surgeon, skier, chef and pilot, as a figure of “Jekyl and Hyde”. The episode airs on Friday, October 22, 2021 at 9 p.m. EST.

Here’s what you need to know:


Chollet Bierenbaum seeks clemency from a judge for her husband after his conviction for the murder of his first wife

Robert Bierenbaum married his second wife, Dr Janet Chollet, after moving to Las Vegas, Nevada, and the couple had a child together, according to the Charley project. They then moved to North Dakota, where he became a prominent physician, according to the article. Chollet is also a doctor who practices obstetric gynecology.

Chollet submitted a letter seeking leniency from a judge in the Bierenbaum case as part of a 60-page memo in which friends and family spoke about Bierenbaum’s work and character, according to the New York Post. The notes called for Bierenbaum to be sentenced to the minimum sentence permitted by law, 15 years in life in prison, according to the article. Bierenbaum volunteered to perform reconstructive surgery on children in Mexico who had deformities, Scott Greenfield, his lawyer, wrote in the memo, according to the Post.

Chollet described Bierenbaum as “a gentle husband and a devoted father,” the Post reported. Their daughter was 2 years old at the time in 2000, according to the article.

“Bob is as human as he gets,” Chollet wrote, according to the Post. “He was in tears when he first held his daughter Annah in his arms. . . he rushed over, placed the pediatric stethoscope on his small chest, glanced at me and just cried.


Chollet kissed her husband and left the courtroom before his verdict was read

Chollet was unable to attend the reading of her husband’s verdict in 2000, according to the New York Post. Instead, she kissed him and said “Good luck,” before leaving the courtroom, according to the article.

“It was too emotional for her,” Bierenbaum attorney Scott Greenfield told The Post.

Katz Bierenbaum’s body has never been found. Bierenbaum moved from Manhattan to Las Vegas in 1989, the same year that a partial female body washed up on Staten Island, New York, according to The Charley project. Although no DNA test was available at the time to confirm whether the remains were those of the missing woman, “it was speculated that Gail had been located,” reported The Charley Project.

The remains were buried, according to the article. Katz-Bierenbaum’s family requested that the remains be re-examined in 1997 when DNA testing became available, according to The Charley Project. DNA tests showed the body was not Katz-Bierenbaum, the missing person’s website reported.

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