People who knew him described Charles Edward Friedgood as ruthless but charming. He had a glib personality and what seemed to be a perpetual smile. Charles used whatever means at his disposal to get his way and didn't care who knew it. He was a true sociopath!
In 1940 Charles Friedgood began attending medical school at the University of Michigan. During his final year it was made known that he had previously contracted tuberculosis. A condition that would seriously hamper his future as a doctor. He decided to increase the odds in his favor by stealing stationary from the dean's office and forging a reference for himself. But he tooted his own horn a little too much and when one prospective employer contacted the dean he was called on the carpet and got expelled from school.
But that would not stop him from obtaining his goal. He merely sweet talked his way into Wayne University and completed his senior year. He completed his internship at the Detroit Receiving Hospital and then landed a residency at the University of Pennsylvania under one of the nation's top surgeons. After studying for one year, his residency was abruptly canceled. No reasons were ever made public. True to sociopathic form, Friedgood turned the setback into an advantage and managed to obtain a position at New York City's prestigious Mount Sinai Hospital.
He also met and married wealthy socialite, Sophie Davidowitz. The couple would have six children and would reside in an 18-room mansion in the affluent Kensington section of Long Island's north shore.
Dr Charles Friedgood's sliphod surgical career consisted of unethical and criminal practices. Rather than expose themselves to the prospect of lawsuits, the hospitals involved would fire him and keep any evidence of his wrongdoing under wraps.
In 1967 Friedgood began an open affair with his office nurse, Harriet Larsen. He set her up in an apartment not far from his house. They had two children together. Harriet wanted Friedgood to divorce his wife and marry her but since everything was in Sophie's name that was an impossibility.
On June 18, 1975 their maid, Lydia Fernandez, arrived for work as usual. While cleaning up she found a note left for her by Sophie telling her she was not feeling well and to let her sleep. By 1pm she became concerned when Sophie had not appeared. She went to the bedroom and found Sophie in the bed. She immediately called Dr. Friedgood and told him that his wife was dead. He informed her that Sophie must have had another stroke, she had suffered one previously the year before, because she was fine when he left for work that morning. He rushed home then produced and signed a death certificate. Cause of death was listed as Cerebral Vascular Accident, a stroke. In keeping with the Orthodox Jewish tradition he quickly arranged for Sophie's body to be shipped back to her hometown of Hazelton, Pennsylvania for burial.
When the paperwork crossed the desk of the Kensington police chief, Ray Sickels, he found it very curious that the doctor had signed his own wife's death certificate and he decided to place a call to the Nassau County District Attorney. The prosecutor demanded exhumation of Sophie's body in order to perform an autopsy. During the autopsy the medical examiner found dark red bruises on her body surrounding what looked like needle marks. Further testing revealed that she had been injected with the pain killer Demerol and that a lethal amount had been injected directly into her liver.
The police were immediately dispatched to the Friedgood residence to search for evidence of Demerol and syringes. Friedgood's eldest daughter would later testify in court that while the police searched downstairs, at her father's plea, she went upstairs to her father's study and removed two vials of Demerol and a syringe and hid them in her underwear.
Realizing that he was about to be found out, Dr. Charles Friedgood forged his wife's name to documents granting him access to her safety deposit boxes and authority to sell several of her stock. He was able to amass nearly $600,000 in cash, negotiable bonds and his wife's jewelry.
On August 5, 1975 Dr. Charles Friedgood boarded British Airways flight 510 from Kennedy Airport to London. He was headed to Denmark to join his mistress and their two children in order to begin a new life.
Tipped off that Friedgood was about to skip the country, the police raced to Kennedy Airport. They watched as the plane taxied down the runway preparing for takeoff. They were too late! In a last ditch effort they notified the Port Authority and let them know that there was a murder suspect on board the flight. The detectives watched the plane with bated breath and then it happened! The plane turned around and rumbled back towards the terminal. When the plane came to a stop the detectives boarded and removed Friedgood from the plane. He was arrested and charged with the murder of his wife. His children testified against him at his trial. He was found guilty and sentenced to 25 years to life.

Interview:Charles Friedgood on His Crime!
Charles Friedgood on His Remorse and Dying in Prison!
Charles Friedgood on His Relationship With His Children!


V. K. Sinha said...

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J Augugliaro said...

In 1970, my appendix ruptured. I was nineteen years old. At Interboro Hospital on Linden Blvd, Dr Friedgood performed an emergency operation. He saved my life. This was a very serious, dangerous operation back then. I will be forever grateful to him. He did do something wonderful.

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