Ultimately, four months after Schiller left captivity, Du Bois — who has a cameo in the movie — notified skeptical Miami-Dade police. The investigation went nowhere.
The Sun Gym crew’s next target: Frank Griga, 33, a Hungarian immigrant who had earned his fortune in the 900-phone sex business. A lover of fast cars and boats, he lived in Golden Beach with his 23-year-old girlfriend.
On the pretense of proposing a business deal, Lugo and Doorbal lured the couple to Miami Lakes.
“My brother. He didn’t know how to say no,” said Zsuzsanna Griga, who talked to her brother every day by telephone from Hungary.
“He was a very nice guy, a very simple guy who helped everyone.”
Inside Doorbal’s apartment, the kidnapping went horribly awry. Griga fought back and was beaten to death. Furton was drugged, fatally, with horse tranquilizers.
The bodies were whisked away to the same warehouse where Schiller had been held captive.
A trip was made to Home Depot to buy dust masks, rags, a chain saw and a hatchet. The bodies were dismembered. Eventually, their body parts were found in drums and buckets discarded along rural highways in Dade and Broward.
By then, with Griga and Furton reported missing, Miami-Dade homicide detectives had zeroed in on the group and had made arrests, including Lugo, who had fled to the Bahamas.
Charged with murder, racketeering, kidnapping and a slew of other charges, the 12-week trial in 1998 featured more than 10,000 exhibits. Prosecutor Gail Levine, in her closing argument, said the plot “was like a bad movie.”
“How could something like this occur in our society?” she asked jurors, gesturing to Lugo and Doorbal. “And how could there be evil people like these men?”
Jurors in 1998 convicted Lugo, Doorbal and Mese, who later died in prison. Delgado pleaded guilty to being an accessory and received 15 years in prison.
Others involved in the kidnappings and murders pleaded guilty in the case.
Schiller, who testified in the trial against his attackers, was arrested afterward for Medicare fraud. He later pleaded guilty and was released from prison in 2001.
The South Florida-filmed movie, which received $4.2 million in state tax breaks, has created renewed interest in the real-life case.
ABC News recently chronicled the story on the documentary-show Revenge For Real.
Long free from prison, Schiller has recently penned a first-person book, Pain & Gain: The Untold True Story.
Bay’s movie is based on “Pain & Gain,” a series of Miami New Times articles, by Pete Collins, published in 1999. He is soon releasing his book on the case.
“It’s sad because we’ve dealt with the families, years of prosecutions and appeals,” said retired Miami-Dade homicide Sgt. Felix Jimenez. “But at the same time, it’s Hollywood. What do you expect? I recognize it’s Hollywood and they’re entitled to poetic license. Nothing we can do about it.”