Thursday, September 24, 2020

A Doctor High On Greed, A Biker Gang High On Opioids And The Woman Who Paid The Ultimate Price: My Washington Times 'On Crime' Column On 'Doctor Dealer'

 The Washington Times ran my On Crime column on George Anastasia and Ralph Cipriano’s Doctor Dealer. 

Veteran crime reporters and authors George Anastasia and Ralph Cipriano have written an interesting true crime book titled “Doctor Dealer,” which is about greed, drug trafficking and a murder-for-hire. 

April Kauffman, an attractive radio host and military veterans advocate, was found murdered in her New Jersey home in 2012. Her husband, Dr. James Kauffman, a respected endocrinologist, was later charged with arranging her murder with an outlaw biker who was his partner in a lucrative and illegal “pill mill” operation. 

Freddy Augello, a Pagans biker gang leader, went on trial for murder and drug dealing in 2018. Andrew Glick, another Pagan leader, became a witness against Augello. James Kauffman, who remarried not long after his wife’s murder, was awaiting trial for murder when he was found dead in prison. 

“The book had a strange genesis. George had been talking to Andrew Glick, who had approached George about doing a book on the Kauffman case,” Ralph Cipriano told me. “At the same time, Carole Weintraub approached me and said she had a story I might be interested in. 

“Then George and I talked, and we decided if we put the two stories together, we might have something. The book is a quirky story about a doctor of osteopathy whom patients loved but who was also a scam artist, and, as it turned out, a killer. The book is also a mystery, in my opinion, because some people think Kauffman is still alive, others think he was murdered, and his third wife, Carole, still isn’t sure what to believe. Part of her still wants to believe he was innocent.” 

Mr. Cipriano said he wrote the parts about Carole Weintraub and George Anastasia wrote the parts about Andrew Glick. Both writers covered the Augello trial. Mr. Cipriano credits George Anastasia with doing most of the on-the-ground crime reporting. 

“Ralph and I had worked on stories together at the Philadelphia Inquirer. This was just an expanded version of that,” George Anastasia told me. “I thought it was a compelling story, especially with the opioid backdrop. So many people are concerned about the crisis and here, in microcosm, is an example of how those drugs get to the streets. Once Ralph and I got access to two of the key players, it seemed like a no brainer.” 

Mr. Anastasia said “Doctor Dealer” was the story of a man consumed with greed and power who thought he could get away with murder and the story of two women who were fooled by him. One paid with her life. The other is still dealing with the aftermath. 

You can read the rest of the column below or via the below link: 

Note: The below photos are of George Anastasia and Ralph Cipriano:

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