New “20/20” Tells Story of “Jekyll and Hyde” Surgeon Robert Bierenbaum who Doctored Flight Log Linked to Wife’s Disappearance

The next edition of ABC’s 20/20 explores the life and lies of surgeon Robert Bierenbaum whose “Jekyll and Hyde” personality traits meant danger for his first wife.

What’s Happening:

  • The next episode of ABC’s 20/20 will focus on the story of Robert Bierenbaum, a surgeon with a successful life who was hiding a dark side.
  • While he appeared to have everything, a great career, fantastic hobbies such as skiing, cooking and being a pilot, and spoke multiple languages, behind the scenes he was violent and controlling. His Jekyll and Hyde personality frightened those closest to him, including his wife Gail Katz-Bierenbaum.
  • Katz-Bierenbaum confided in friends that she was afraid of him and when she disappeared in 1985 authorities suspected her husband was responsible.
  • Without physical evidence of Bierenbaum’s involvement, he was able to evade charges and moved across the country to start a new life.
  • However, prosecutors found a doctored flight log from the day of Katz-Bierenbaum’s disappearance and were finally able to catch him.
  • The upcoming 20/20 story is told through reporting by ABC News anchor John Quiñones and features rare home videos of Katz-Bierenbaum and never-before-seen photos of Bierenbaum.
  • Additionally, the program will include exclusive interviews with the women romantically involved with Bierenbaum after he left New York City, authorities involved in the case, and friends and family of Katz-Bierenbaum:
    • Stephanie Youngblood, who denied his proposal and shares new details about their relationship
    • Karen Caruana, who dated Bierenbaum just weeks after his wife went missing
    • Barb Cooper, the nanny for Bierenbaum’s child with his second wife
    • Alayne Katz, Katz-Bierenbaum’s sister
    • Denise Kastenbaum, Katz-Bierenbaum’s closest childhood friend
    • Daniel Bibb and Steve Saracco, the original prosecutors
    • Virgilio Dalsass, the missing persons police officer who was the ​first on the case
    • Judge Leslie Crocker Synder, who sentenced Bierenbaum to 20 years to life in prison
  • 20/20 airs on Friday, October 22 (9:01-11:00 pm EDT), on ABC and streams on ABC News digital platforms and Hulu.

Creative Team:

  • 20/20 is anchored by David Muir and Amy Robach.
  • David Sloan is senior executive producer, and Janice Johnston is executive producer.
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