‘Florida Man Murders’ star Judge Alex Ferrer particulars case that impressed Michael Bay’s ‘Pain & Gain’ movie

EXCLUSIVE: Alex Ferrer is a retired decide and lawyer from Florida who started chopping his chops as a cop at age 19, nicely earlier than he was legally capable of buy his personal firearm. (He needed to have his mom do it for him.)

At one level in his profession, Ferrer oversaw the 1998 trial of the Sun Gym Gang, a gaggle who spent their days pumping iron and their nights finishing up grotesque and grisly tortures and murders — all for capital acquire.

The case is now being re-visited for Oxygen’s upcoming two-night particular, “Florida Man Murders.”

“As you know, Florida just attracts the strangest people for some reason. So over the years, I spent nine out of my 10 years as a circuit court judge on the criminal court bench in Miami,” Ferrer instructed Fox News. 

“I presided over many, many bizarre cases and many homicides. And this case that is being depicted on Oxygen in ‘Florida Man Murders’ on Jan. 9 is by far the strangest and most impactful case on everybody that I’ve ever been involved with. It was bizarre from the beginning.”

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Ferrer is acknowledged for his long-running actuality tv collection “Judge Alex,” which premiered in September 2005 and ran till May 2014.

But earlier than the Cuban-American turned a well-recognized face on TV, he was on the bench listening to months of testimony within the homicide trials of Daniel Lugo, Adrian Doorbal and John Carl Mese — three pals from the Sun Gym in Miami.

WARNING: GRAPHIC DETAILS BELOW

They have been convicted of torturing and killing Frank Griga, a 33-year-old Hungarian immigrant and businessman who constructed his fortune by working a 1-900 cellphone intercourse empire, and Griga’s girlfriend Krisztina Furton, a 23-year-old unique dancer at Solid Gold in Miami.

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Furton’s torso stays have been recognized solely by the serial numbers on her breast implants. It was the primary time in Florida’s historical past a physique was recognized on this method.

However, the story of the ragtag Sun Gym Gang — which impressed the 2013 Michael Bay movie “Pain & Gain” that starred Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub, Ed Harris and Rebel Wilson — doesn’t begin with the murders and dismemberment of Griga and Furton in 1995.

'Florida Man Murders' premieres in a two-night special on Saturday.

‘Florida Man Murders’ premieres in a two-night particular on Saturday.
(Oxygen)

“I happened to have handled the case from the very beginning to the very end – which is very unusual because before a case ever gets started, the police officers are coming in for search warrants before anybody is arrested,” Ferrer recalled of the occasions that unfolded from the historic case. “And it just so happened, I was the emergency duty judge and I was signing all the search warrants that particular week because for two weeks a year, you’re assigned as an emergency duty judge and I was in that week.”

Ferrer stated he knew from the leap that the case involving the Sun Gym cohort — wherein one other member, Jorge Delgado, would finally flip on 32-year-old Lugo and 24-year-old Doorbal, allegedly fearing for his security — would in the future develop into a Hollywood manufacturing.

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“I was signing all the search warrants on this case and then the case gets blind-filed to any of the 20-some odd judges or so and it landed in my division,” Ferrer continued. “So I handled it from the very, very beginning until the sentencing. And right from the go, I knew this case was going to be a movie or a book because it had everything. This case had violence, insanity in some respects, sex, dark humor. It was just bizarre right from the beginning.”

Griga and Furton weren’t even the Sun Gym Gang’s first victims. That doubtful honor went to Marcelo Schiller, the proprietor of a Schlotsky’s Deli franchise who Delgado launched to Lugo. 

According to prosecutors, Delgado was aware about Schiller’s offshore financial institution accounts and portfolio of quite a few exuberant properties. Prosecutors stated Delgado was capable of get Mese, who on the time was the 56-year-old proprietor of Sun Gym, onboard in a coup to kidnap Schiller and get him to signal over his life’s possessions by a number of strategies of torture.

The group succeeded of their try to alleviate Schiller of his riches however by a “comedy of errors,” Schiller managed to flee. Then weeks later, Schiller introduced his ordeal to the eye of the police which led to the beginning of the downfall of the gang who didn’t suppose Schiller would go to the cops seeing as Schiller had been working a Medicare billing scheme and feared prosecution.

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Despite Schiller’s testimony within the Griga and Furton homicide trials — which lasted over 4 months and have become the longest in Florida historical past — in keeping with Ferrer, Schiller would later be arrested by federal brokers on fraud fees outdoors the courtroom mere seconds after offering his damning witness testomony in opposition to his captors.

“If you know the story, these are guys in the gym who are approached by a friend from the gym who feels he’s been ripped off in a business deal and says, ‘Hey, I got taken by this guy in a business deal.’ And they go, ‘If this guy [Schiller] is involved in some illegal activity, we’ll shake him down and get your $100,000 back.’ And it just spirals from there,” Ferrer defined.

Marc Schiller managed to escape the capture and torture by the Sun Gym Gang and later testified against them in their trial for the Griga and Furton murders.

Marc Schiller managed to flee the seize and torture by the Sun Gym Gang and later testified in opposition to them of their trial for the Griga and Furton murders.
(Courtesy of Oxygen)

“It’s a comedy of errors – their attempts to kidnap him because they were going to take Schiller to a warehouse, terrorize him and get him to sign over this money and they felt he wouldn’t go to the cops,” Ferrer continued, noting that he disagreed with the victims’ portrayals within the film. “Their attempts to kidnap him are like the Keystone Cops are trying to kidnap this guy. That’s why I said it’s a dark comedy.”

“The subject is so dark and people die so you don’t want to laugh. But literally, there were times during the trial when the lawyers would come sidebar and I leaned over and look at them and say, ‘You got to be f–king kidding me’ and the lawyers would even laugh and go, ‘I don’t know what to tell you, Judge,’ because of the crazy things that were happening in this trial.”

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In their a number of botched makes an attempt to kidnap Schiller, the gang missed on numerous events, Ferrer detailed to Fox News.

“They dressed like ninjas. They all dressed in black and had face makeup and they had headsets like they were some kind of SWAT team so they could communicate with a guy in the van so that when they grabbed him, he could pull up and they could throw him in the car,” he recalled of the small print divulged in courtroom.

Daniel Lugo was given two death sentences for his role in the murders of Frank Griga and Krisztina Furton.

Daniel Lugo was given two demise sentences for his function within the murders of Frank Griga and Krisztina Furton.
(Courtesy of Oxygen)

“And then they realized that every time a car comes on the street, the headlights were lighting them up and they start running through people’s backyards yelling into the headset, ‘Abort, abort!’ like they’re a SEAL team, you know,” Ferrer pressed by laughter.

“And another time, they were going to ram their car into Schiller in order to get him to stop and pretend like it was an accident. They were going to crash into his car because they knew where he drove. So they were waiting there and when he got out of the car, they were going to then throw him in a van and drive him to the warehouse and somebody would take his car there.

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“Well, they’re sitting there and the automotive, and as [Schiller] is driving by they’d the automotive turned off and so they go to show it on and it will not begin and he simply drives proper by them and these guys are punching the steering wheel and screaming.”

The judge reiterated his sentiment that the actions by the Sun Gym Gang in their attempts to abduct Schiller were “only a comedy of errors by a few meatheads and their pals who virtually bought away with it.”

Judge Alex Ferrer presided over the Sun Gym Gang case in Miami that inspired the Michael Bay film 'Pain & Gain.' (Photo by Jason Merritt/WireImage)

Judge Alex Ferrer presided over the Sun Gym Gang case in Miami that impressed the Michael Bay movie ‘Pain & Gain.’ (Photo by Jason Merritt/WireImage)

“They almost literally got away with murder and then it just spirals out of control,” stated Ferrer. “I mean, they take the guy for everything he has. They torture him, burning him with lighters, pistol-whipping him, shoving gun barrels in his mouth – just everything you can imagine. He was treated worse than a World War II prisoner.””

“And then eventually, against all odds, this guy escapes,” added Ferrer. “They tried to kill him. They fail at killing him. They try to run him over. That doesn’t kill him – and he gets away. And they start looking for their next victims.”

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They discovered their subsequent victims in 1995 once they got here throughout {a photograph} of Griga’s yellow Lamborghini.

The Sun Gym Gang would fumble their try at extorting Griga when he ended up dying earlier than they may extract the safety codes from him.

Frank Griga's yellow Lamborghini is shown in evidence photos.

Frank Griga’s yellow Lamborghini is proven in proof images.
(Courtesy of Oxygen)

They then turned their consideration to Furton. However, in keeping with prosecutors, Furton had been pumped so filled with tranquilizers that her chest muscle groups paralyzed her lungs and she or he would die of an overdose.

The gang could be additional mired by different mishaps of their makes an attempt to get rid of the our bodies of the couple – even returning a bloody chain noticed to Home Depot after its motor burned when the group forgot so as to add motor oil for its operation and Doorbal tried to noticed Furton’s head off.

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“That chain saw got jammed in Krisztina’s hair,” lead prosecutor Gail Levine told the jury within the trial, in keeping with the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “So they used the next tool of trade: the axe. Whap! Whap! Whap!”

Other mishaps additionally included making an attempt to grill the physique elements of Griga and Furton.

Frank Griga and Krisztina Furton are seen in evidence photos.

Frank Griga and Krisztina Furton are seen in proof images.
(Courtesy of Oxygen)

In the top, the Sun Gym Gang stuffed the torsos of Grida and Furton into 55-gallon drums and tried to burn them. Other remnants have been thrown into buckets and tossed right into a drainage ditch in South Miami-Dade County and off Interstate 75 in Broward County.

For their roles within the grisly murders, Lugo and Doorbal have been each convicted and every have been handed two demise sentences, and Mese was sentenced to 56 years in jail. He died in 2004 of a stroke.

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Meanwhile, Delgado pleaded responsible and was sentenced to 13 years in jail. He was launched in November 2002. As for Schiller, he ended up serving two years in federal jail for medical billing fraud.

Following the discharge of “Pain & Gain,” Schiller sued Paramount Pictures in 2014 for his depiction as corrupt, “unlikeable, sleazy.”

Adrian Doorbal is seen in a booking photo. He was handed two death sentences for his role in the murders of Frank Griga and Krisztina Furton.

Adrian Doorbal is seen in a reserving photograph. He was handed two demise sentences for his function within the murders of Frank Griga and Krisztina Furton.
(Courtesy of Oxygen)

“They selected to painting me as a foul particular person and my assailants as good guys who have been simply bumbling fools,’’ Schiller instructed the New York Post on the time. 

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Paramount paid out a confidential sum to Schiller and the matter was settled in 2016, the Hollywood Reporter said at the time.

The family of Griga also took umbrage with the film’s depiction of the convicted killers and told the Miami Herald in 2013 that portraying the gang as a crew of misfits looking to get ahead is “ridiculous.”

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“It’s horrible what occurred to them,” Griga’s sister, Zsuzsanna, said at the time. “I don’t need the American public to be sympathetic to the killers.”

Griga did not immediately respond to Fox News‘ request for comment on the upcoming special, while Schiller and survivors of Furton could not be reached.

“Florida Man Murders” premieres with a two-night special on Jan. 9 and begins with the “Musclehead Murders” at 7 p.m. ET on Oxygen.

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