« Over My Dead Body

The Prodfather Ep 1: The Chained Woman | 8

2019-04-23

Rachel is stuck in a bad marriage. Her brother calls a rabbi with a reputation for being able to force even the most stubborn husband to grant his wife a divorce. But nothing about Rachel, her brother, or her marriage is what it seems.

This is a special two-episode series on the story of the Prodfather. Days before his murder, Dan Markel joined the legal team representing one of the rabbis facing charges. And it was while working on a story about the Prodfather that Matt Shaer first heard about Dan Markel’s murder.

“Where the Enemy Sleeps” is performed by Scott Mackay featuring Lucette.

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Better Help - Go to betterhelp.com/overmy, fill out a questionnaire to help them assess your needs, and get matched with a counselor you’ll love.

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
parts of New York City. There are like countries unto themselves neighborhoods in Brooklyn in Queens, where alter orthodox jewish communities live. They have their own leaders, the community's rabbis their own police force his and their own set of laws, religious laws. They govern everything from how you should eat too how you should be buried and those laws also dictate the way marriages and I'm sorry. Berger lives in one of those neighborhoods borough park? Brooklyn its Toper ninety ninety seven times of practising Orthodox Jew and a lawyer and he's going through a contentious divorce its morning and he's already given his kids breakfast and sent them on their way to spend time with their mom. Then he ox outside to go to work,
The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, it was just a beautiful full They are just as he crosses the street. And I feel an incredible paying on my left eye as if somebody had taken a baseball bat and smack me just as hard as he could against from them. I thought he looks down and at first he doesn't see anything and I thought to myself, maybe it'll psychosomatic. I can't see anything wrong. I took another step and a shooting pain ran through my leg, and I screamed out one of hives friends seize him from across the street. He comes running over, he happens to be a volunteer ambulance driver and he sees what high can't buy was bleeding. From the back of my tie. His friend calls it a gunshot victim, gunshot victim. Rushed to the hospital. After that, to stabilize him. He figures You tell somebody so we the nurse if he can make a call. She
the journey over to the following on the wall back in the day well yeah phones on the wall, and I called my mother, his mother lives on the same block. Is him- and I shook my something I need to tell you sit down, he says I want you to know that I'm all right now, but I've just been shot. And she responded. Why does it have? mass lie. Can't you find a way to work things out between you and your wife. Why does it Does it have to be this and I'm like MA the just been shop those yes, I heard you but think of the Kindle us think of the children. I'm was shot. Behind? You never saw who did he It have a suspicion of who is behind it, though his wife in It so happens that his wife's divorce lawyer is an orthodox. Rabbi with a reputation is right, he's better known by his nickname, the Prague Father
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So I've been reporting on their case to which is how I first heard about Dan's murder This is the story behind that case. This is a tube special series about the proud father. This is episode. One, the chained woman virgin urine and unhappy marriage. You decide, you want a divorce, be your spouse, refuses under civil law, you would still be, but two separate might be Massey. It still have to dig it out in court but as bad as a divorce can be. You could legally and the marriage as bidders divorce was when the Edison was legally allowed out of her marriage. When she wanted now a man you're an orthodox jewish woman shortly, after you get married, you realize your husband is running up dead. He keeps asking family for money, and eventually he just
stopped coming around altogether quickly. Your marriage falls into disrepair. You want a divorce under religious law you need, would call the get from your husband g t. It's a jewish divorce document, and it only works. One way your husband and it's only the husband has to agree to present the get to you if he refuses then you're stuck can try to get a rabbi in order to sign it. But if that doesn't work, your husbands, views makes you, and I do chained woman me did you try reasoning with it, pleading with him even offering to pay him to let you go but to no effect the power is all his no matter. What you do you can't make him set you free, maybe when trapped in this situation for months or even years, maybe you find yourself in king, if only there was a way out
If only there was someone who can make your husband give you what you want it. Maybe there is hello, hello, this rabbi will mark an if I might Jonathan Miller and I have you on the phone with my sister Rachel Two thousand thirteen unorthodox jewish woman named Rachel on a trapped in a bad marriage, is desperate for help. In her brother CALL Rabbi, Martin Watermark High rabbi. Rather we ve been better. They ve heard that Rabbi Walmart might be able to help them with Rachel's husband problem Rachel, is asked her husband for divorce, but he's not giving it to her I merely he wanted to have children and I'm getting a little bit older and I would love to remarry and have children and the longer this goes on. Unfortunately, tat I am a female in I really,
children and time is not on my side and I'm not sure what to do with our wits end Rachel suspects in her husband s in doing this to be vindictive Why do we not want to give you a good? I think, wants to continue to take money from my brother. He keeps you no offense. I feel fine what he asked for more money. For my brother, then into never happened. It takes more and more money. Lamarck listened carefully. To think Rachel might have some options. Made to get him to New York, where someone either can harassing war nail him plain and simple to be. I'm willing to take whatever steps are necessary threat. I tell them to sit tight, he's going connect them with someone who can help. He says he's not a bad guy, he's a good guy. Let's call him, they were all taken. All the second hold. The line. Uk Rachel
far any image are crying to your programme, but I put you through open to be over that name, familiar Mendel appeal. Rabbi. Mendel Epstein, he's been a successful alter, orthodox jewish divorce lawyer for more than thirty years, he's not licensed by American bar association, he's not even a civil law scholar. Instead, he works in rabbinical court and this he's Epstein specialty, getting unwilling husbands to agree to give their wives a divorce. The get laws. One of the most complicated in technical issues of religious law I've seen even wrote his own book about it called a what
his guide to the get process. He says people often divorce casually for mere in compatibility, immaturity or absorption with their careers or lusts. But this is not true in the religious world. In over thirty years of counselling, I have never met a from highest couple, the divorced due to its compatibility alone when from people divorce. It is because one spouses abusive and a healthy one feels endangered physically and emotionally Epstein built a reputation around situations like this. It was a pub the guy and he represented there is an advocate for women are going through hard times in the voice Monti, Spain is a therapist, an activist in New York. He says: Epstein was also feared. The insular hasidic world throughout New York and New Jersey for is methods. This Benbow, Epstein
had a group of goons, came around in unless you gave the get he with the he beat the mob, be threatened them be threatened, kill them, and all these things, Einstein Burger. The attorney was shot coming out of his house and ninety. Ninety seven couldn't proof- they have seen had anything to do with a bullet in his leg, but the suspicion Epstein might be behind it. Come from nowhere, beatings, shootings, burnings, electric shock Over the years there were quite a number of them all of orthodox, jewish men, like I'm burger with estranged wives Brooklyn District attorney said he would investigate the claim that abstinence behind these incidents, but in the end, the press, Peters didn't seem all that interested in the cases the court didn't give It says about upon the expression it was. They We totally indifferent to the eight at that. Time is absolutely gotcha, so Monte decided to do something about it himself. It was
nineteen nineties and he was the president of a father's rights crew. This guy Epstein was getting me the money to shake down people then and using states and other types and things in it, didn't do it alone. He had this group that did it Monti, other rabbis about Epstein, as I said, leave him alone, he's very dangerous Monti. Wasn't afraid of Epstein He marched right over to his house with about thirty other people in stage protest on its doorstep and he came and spoke does and told us it's none of our business. I said we need read. Nor members is our business. He didn't act like a man of the cloth. He acted like a hood. Even though Monti confronted him, and even though law enforcement had looked into some of the assaults, nothing happened,
he said he's heard of at least fifty people who are brutalized in some way. Others may not have told anyone outside of the community to ultra orphan Jews, getting secular law enforcement involved is a big. No. No, he right at the open, like it was ok, do the police that will protect me. You want is, then you didn't I wasn't like we have this, like thought. Shadow root coming out at night. He did it right out. Open a total immunity to do this. Nonsense. You know, and so by two thousand thirteen when Rachel is looking for help with her husband problem. I've seen still business have steeds associate rabbi. Watermark gets him on the call with Rachel in her brother, maybe I could hear me I haven't a brother and sister. This woman needs again. How can I help the two of you now the proud father,
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Don't think This'Ll they found conversation right. Am I correct your correct. Rabbi invites them to his house in Lakewood, New Jersey, for a meeting one day before agreeing at eleven o clock and bring a peculiarly or a few pictures I've seen gives them a list of things to bring. You understand what we're talking about. Will you only from a strategic planning doing United word? Yes, strategic plan is definitely one way of putting it. A week later, Rachel in her brother Jonathan meet Epstein for the first time scenes of guy with a frizzy gray, beer that hangs in front of his black vest his wide forehead protrude it's from out under a black yamaha. He's, looking down at a file, is holding in front of him and he asked Rachel, again
So we get because to do this by Jonathan explains Rachel's, Ben Gunn himself into debt and keeps hitting him up for money. They think that's why you won't agree to give Rachel again, but Jonathan already, given him some fifty thousand dollars, and at this point he's had a about me. I followed. Epstein looks up, you know we will talk here. You say that what we are doing is eventually became. Ever you got a couple of hours. Poetry earlier anyway, I went in I've seen explains the get ceremony has to take place in front of a group of other rabbis called a based in, so you have to pay them. Rabbis to keep their mouths shut. They have to be
to go along when they know a husband has been forced into giving again to his wife. After much ado paying for each of its business, which is expensive. Yours There is probably such absurd. The risk he's talking about is obvious. Those rabbis we putting their names to a document that connects them to a man whose just been to use a secular term, tortured but ten thousand dollars should cover it. Then as the man actually doing the torture. How could it do the job? They are pretty expensive too, How going you be the range of fifty and everyone set up into the fifty? you're, sixty thousand dollars. The whole thing is being discussed
It's just an ordinary business transaction, it's almost possible to forget what their discussing is: kidnapping and Torture Rachel's brother, Jonathan skeptical. He knows Rachel's husband and he's not a pushover, Is this really gonna work, but I've seen says: wait, wait, wait, hold on a second you're gonna get to you. Why did they find out? Why We prefer, not because they took place before the big guy. Now Rachel chimes in she wants to know. How do you do all this without leaving a mark? Really, what I would like more take another. How much we can offer
come on old, always five once more value in one minute, I will allow an electric cattle per. I've seen it saying. If you can get a boy all the ways, five tonnes to move he put in certain the guy will now and about the police reaches a little concerned. Rachel a little concerned. How are they gonna pull this off without getting caught? I've seen reassures. Surely says the police have come to my house, but I'm not gonna, be the one doing the kidnapping. In fact, scenes. Never the one at the scene of the crime, the guy they come to some. Shut up, and the cops himself with everyone What's that, I don't have an issue. He sing cops themselves, laugh
the com, and they say where were you and when to joke? Already turn out later that have seen also has some other tricks up. His sleeve, like making the victim drink vodka. If he tries go into the cops others think he's drunk. Epstein tells Rachel to get a burner phone, one that won't be traceable to her oh and she should have an alibi. Just to be safe, have seems pretty blind about the fact that he's juggling today, rolls he's the rabbi, helping her and he's so overseeing something that is not legal, The unity of I haven't. We get written, they didn t want to see my rebelled. My criminal is, I want to where you going forward, You have no idea. My criminal had he sang
I really don't want you there Oh you're, home or whenever you're doing in front of witnesses, see really have no idea as the conversation goes on Rachel seems to get more comfortable with the plan. I've seen lays out exactly how it all going to go down. Her husband is gonna, be jumped coughed and who did with a plastic bag over his head. The tough guys will tell him you're not walk out of here until you sign the get or you're not walk a knotty problem. I really dont ruthless right, but Rachel. This desperate Laguna has a secret She's, not a chained woman, it all she's, not orthodox jewish. Her name's, not even Rachel she's, an undercover agent for the FBI, she's wearing a wire and recording all her conversations. She's part of a team.
Intent on taking down the pride father from wondering this is the first in a too. Heart special series of over my dead body about the Prague father. The second episode will be out in a few days, but if you like, until now, this was your favorite wondering originals, ad free, subscribe to wonder he plus, but a wondering dot com, slash, plus and wondering dot com. Slash I, U S, you'll, find a link on the episode notes. This. Two part series of over my dead body was written and reported by Heather, sharing and hosted by me that share. Sound designed by Marsolino Veal, Pando Judgment, executive, is by George Lavender Marshall Louis and her Non Lopez wondering
hi, I'm lucky boy, a host of wonder is ground. Breaking new pod gas dying for sex meet my best friend Molly she's, in the midst of a sexual renaissance and was recently diagnosed with stage for breast cancer and the six part series molly- and I recall her momentous and outrageous sexual escapades, as only best friends can dine for sex, is about love friendship. Any act lapses, deck but is also a story of self discovery and making the best of every moment make sure to surprise to dine for sex and other great shows from wondering apple pod. Cats bought a fight for wherever you're listening right now.
Transcript generated on 2020-02-16.