Kill My Wife. Please!

Glenn Sandler had trouble with Betty -- but the real trouble began when he tried to have her whacked

"There's two things that have to happen," Fred said. "Number one is, she has to be snatched with nobody seeing her." Number two: She must not reappear. "Never."

Fred wondered aloud about how many 50-pound bags of lime he'd really need to get rid of a 120-pound woman. He noted it hadn't been raining lately, which was good. The lower the water table, the sooner Betty would be unrecognizable.

"So if they would find her, it'd look like she got raped or beat," Sandler mused.

Deli owner Glenn Sandler, shortly after his arrest.
Thomas Cordy/Palm Beach Post/ZUMA Press
Deli owner Glenn Sandler, shortly after his arrest.
Former Deli House employees Glenn Dowler and Rich Hardy have their own business now.
Former Deli House employees Glenn Dowler and Rich Hardy have their own business now.

"They wouldn't find her," Fred said. "The lime takes bone and all. That's why we use lime. Lime's a motherfucker, bro." Still, Fred said, if Glenn changed his mind and wanted to back out at any time, "Bah -- not a problem."

But Glenn just pined for his toys: "I want my house and my plane and my hangar back," he said.

Fred promised he'd get them.

Around 7 each morning, Aero Club residents rev their engines, back out of their driveways, and head for work -- in the air. Their streets are named for aviation legends -- Lindbergh Lane, Cessna Way. Homes cost $900,000 to $3 million.

The Sandlers had lived by the cul-de-sac on Boeing Court. Glenn used to keep his precious, single-engine Mooney in a personal hangar out back. He moved it to the Lantana airport after the separation. Betty stayed in the house. Glenn had barely seen her, but he imagined that her newly single status made her "the new playgirl in Wellington."

Betty walked her dog up her street, unaware that Fred was watching her from an unmarked car. He had a photo of her that Glenn had provided. He watched the neighborhood and studied her habits. Her hair was longer now, he told Glenn the next time they spoke.

"She was a honey," Glenn said wistfully. "She was a honey."

"I didn't think you were going to marry a dog, bro!"

"But they turn into a weasel, you know?"

Fred said he'd been thinking about their plan. He had another idea. "Sometimes burying them and digging them back up... She'd be scared like a motherfucker." Seriously: Put four inches of dirt on her head, have her inhale some earthworms, then set her free. She'd know what was coming if she didn't drop her demands.

"She'd be scared," Glenn said, "but she's the most vindictive, unreasonable -- and you know... it's 50/50. She could go either way."

"Well, what kind of money does that bitch want?"

"She wants me basically paying her the rest of my life."

"That's why you divorce her and you won't be around her the rest of your life."

"Not the money she's talking about. And my business doesn't throw it off."

"But I'm saying, we could make some money, and you could just pay the bitch."

"You can't pay her enough." He'd already offered her $2.5 million. "And she just -- 'It's not enough! I want more! I know there's more! It's not enough! I want more!' That's all she ever says. 'Nope, not enough -- I want more.'?"

All right, then. Fred made a vow: "I promise you the last thing you ever said to her is going to be, 'Is this enough?'?"

"Yeah. 'You want more?'?"

First, though, Glenn and Fred would do a job together. Glenn could help Fred move up a few links on the drug chain by flying a few kilos of coke. If Fred could show his higher-ups that he had a partner with a plane, he could get more product to move, and he could move it more quickly, which meant way more profit. It would be so much easier than the way he usually made drug runs, he said -- sending his guys from Boynton Beach onto Route 27, in their '66 Impalas with 27-inch rims. In return, Fred would shave another $5,000 off the price for killing Betty, bringing it down to $15,000. And if all went well, they could make more trips together.

Glenn ran into a few snags. First, he had to get his plane through its annual inspection, which he couldn't rush, he said, because his safety was at stake. Then there was Hurricane Wilma. Finally, he called Fred and said they were ready to roll.

"Oh, I'm gonna kiss you on the forehead when I see you," Fred said. "I'm gonna bring a stepladder, you big, tall son of a bitch."

The next day, the two men met at the Lantana airport, where Wilma had run a few planes through the shredder. Workers used bulldozers to clear broken wings and smashed cabins. The Mooney had made it through the storm just fine, though, color screens intact, stereo ready to crank, Jimmy Buffett tunes on the iPod. The plane could cruise at 220 miles per hour and land on a tight runway, Glenn bragged. It had two seats in front, two seats in back, and a roomy cargo area. Perfect.

Glenn and Fred slipped on their headsets and flew to Sebring, just north of Lake Okeechobee. They went to a restaurant and waited for Fred's connection, "T-Bone."

Glenn lectured Fred: He didn't want to make this run only to get stiffed again. "I don't want you stringing me on here."

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