Author Topic: RIP: Gerard Benderoth  (Read 26031 times)


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RIP: Gerard Benderoth
« on: August 02, 2009, 04:57:14 PM »
Gerard used to be a "serious" strongman, but can you still be serious when your body is morphing like this?  ???
This weight/conditioning can't be helping his performance in competition, can it?

Tom Mutaffis

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Re: Changes: Gerard Benderoth
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2009, 01:42:37 PM »
Is that picture in his uniform recent? He definitely looks much healthier.

Gerard has not been a top contender lately so perhaps he has opted to improve his lifestyle and drop some excess weight.

He is a very funny guy if you ever have the opportunity to meet him, and has/had the largest calves that I have ever seen. His nickname is "The White Rhino".

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Re: Changes: Gerard Benderoth
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2009, 08:33:59 PM »
Lots of pics & text on him here:


Age: 40 
Height: 5’11”
Weight:  360 lbs
Arms: 23” 
Thighs: 33” 
Resides:  Haverstraw NY
Wife: Amy
Son: Kane
NY Police officer for 15 years, 10 with NYPD

Present at the 911 terrorist attacks on NYC
Professional Highland Games Athlete - Top Ranked Caber Champion

Professional Highlander Athlete

Professional Strongman for 5 years - Ranked 10th in the US

Armature Boxing Champion

Competitor at 2005 ‘Worlds Strongest Nation’ in Ukraine

Competes in events throughout North America and Europe
625# Raw Bench Press

825# Raw Deadlift

800# Raw Squat

390# Overhead Log Press

940# Hummer Tire Deadlift

Benched 18 reps with 400# Log Bench Press


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RIP: Gerard Benderoth
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2018, 03:32:58 PM »
He had an unhappy ending...  :'(

Benderoth suicide leaves mystery, speculation
by Steve Lieberman and Jonathan Bandler  March 10, 2017

A father of four from Stony Point known locally as a "gentle giant."

A retired Haverstraw cop facing personal financial troubles.

And a man sought by federal authorities whose name had surfaced in a quadruple slaying investigation.

All of those storylines are circling around Gerard Benderoth, days after the 48-year-old put a pistol to his head after being pulled over by FBI investigators on Rosman Road near Thiells Elementary School.

Friends and colleagues Friday recalled Benderoth, a 350-pound power weightlifter and once a top contestant in "strongman" competitions, as a family man known in his sport and the power-lifting world as a role model who was extremely generous with advice.

But in the wake of his suicide, questions have swirled about a possible tie to troubled former Briarcliff Manor police officer, Nicholas Tartaglione, also a weightlifter, who has been charged by federal prosecutors with killing four men in Orange County.

While the FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office have declined comment on why agents stopped Benderoth's SUV in Haverstraw on Wednesday morning, Tartaglione's lawyer, Bruce Barket, said Benderoth's name had surfaced in the case and Tartaglione's defense team members had planned to interview him as part of their own investigation.

Barket declined to discuss how Tartaglione, who has ties to Nyack, and Benderoth may have been associated.

"He was on a long list of people we wanted to speak with," Barket said.

A federal grand jury indicted Tartaglione in December on drug and murder conspiracy charges in the shootings of Martin Luna, Urbano Santiago, Miguel Sosa-Luna. and Hector Gutierrez on April 11 at a Chester bar owned by Tartaglione's brother. The four men's bodies were unearthed months later on an Otisville property where Tartaglione had lived, authorities have said.

The indictment was the second in the case; the first remains sealed. It refers to co-conspirators but doesn't identify any other people allegedly involved.

Tartaglione, who could face the death penalty, remains held without bond. His case has been adjourned while authorities await the results of ballistics and DNA tests; he is due to appear next in federal court on April 26.

Benderoth's friends, including fellow strongmen, say they don't know of any connection he might have with Tartaglione and are aghast at any suggestions Benderoth might have became involved in such violence.

Benderoth was a professional weightlifter known as the "White Rhino" who competed for several years in strongman competitions, once ranked as high as 10th in the United States. Years earlier, he was a standout football player at North Rockland High School, then played semipro with the Newburgh Raiders, and was an accomplished Golden Gloves boxer.

"Gerard is a legend in all aspects of strength sports," said Matt Hand, 29, a 270-pounder and a top competitor in the Highlands Strongest Man competitions. "I never met a more gentle giant in my life. He was still very humble and his humility was profound given how good he was and well known."

Another of Benderoth's friends, Philadelphia-based sports reporter Al Thompson, said he believes Benderoth gave into his demons when he committed suicide.

"He was a world-class weight-lifter," Thompson said. But "he was never going to be the world's strongest man."

He said Benderoth told him he suffered from depression tied to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when one of Benderoth's good friends, a firefighter, was killed. Benderoth had worked for the NYPD at the time and spent time on the recovery effort at Ground Zero, he noted.

Thompson said Benderoth honored his friend Thomas Foley of the FDNY by giving his first son — now a teenager — Foley as his middle name. That's "how much he respected his friend," he said. "He was fiercely loyal to his friends."

He also said Benderoth had told him he used steroids as part of his weightlifting training.

"I really thought he was constantly in danger from his depression and steroid use," Thompson said. "He had eternal agony. His personal demons were his final straw. He was a dedicated police officer. He was depressed."

Thompson said he would always try to pump up Benderoth with positive reinforcement. Benderoth loved the New York Giants and both times the Giants won the Super Bowl, Thompson got a player to call Benderoth from the Giants locker room and thank him for his service.

Thompson, once a strongman event promoter, now fights steroid use and wants to shut down the strongest men competition, where he said there's no drug-testing done on competitors.

Despite his theories, the suggestion Benderoth might have been connected to a case involving violence against others took him aback.

"I saw the reports coming out accusing him of involvement and I was shocked," Thompson said. "Just because a guy used steroids, doesn't mean he would do that."

Benderoth had worked for the Haverstraw village police both before and after his time with the NYPD. He moved to the town force in 2006 when the village department was disbanded and officers were reassigned to the town department.

Police Chief Charles Miller said Benderoth retired about two years ago. State records list his date of retirement as July 4, 2015, and show he was collecting a pension of just over $5,100 a month.

He faced at least one significant debt: Benderoth and his wife Amy had defaulted on the $349,901 mortgage for their home obtained in June 2014 from Citizens Bank, according to documents filed with the Rockland County Clerk's Office.

Lawyers for Citizens Bank moved for foreclosure in April 2015, the records show. A notice on the legal papers says: "You are in danger of losing your home."

The case is still pending, however; a judge denied a default judgment sought by the bank in January.

Anthony Dellicarri, Benderoth's brother-in-law and the family's attorney, said the family — including twins and another child under the age of 6 — was requesting privacy as they mourn. The visitation for Benderoth is scheduled for Sunday at TJ McGowan Sons Funeral Home in Haverstraw, followed by funeral Monday at 11 a.m. at St. Peter's Church.

Dellicarri, a former prosecutor and defense attorney, called Benderoth a "wonderful father and husband."

"He was a big Teddy bear," Dellicarri said. "Whatever you needed, he was there to help."

"He was, despite his troubles, a wonderful person," he said. "I don't know anything about all the other things flying around."

On the police beat, Benderoth brought comfort to his fellow officers when he arrived at a scene, said John Gould, a detective lieutenant with the Rockland District Attorney's Office who oversees the county Computer Crimes Task Force.

"Guys wanted Gerard as their back-up," Gould said. "He brought a lot of relief when he showed up. If you ever saw Gerard, you would never forget him. He was a massive man, a presence."

North Rockland resident Gary Lee Heavner, who grew up with Benderoth and his family, said Benderoth certainly was dedicated to weight-lifting, calling him a "very quiet and community-oriented guy."

"He was the most massive man — his arms, legs, thighs, neck," Heavner said. "His arms were bigger than my thighs. He has a very nice family. His death is horrible."

On his Facebook page, Peter Skae, who owns Skae Power Solutions LLC, said many people will remember Benderoth for his "incredible super-human strength. Others for the time he spent serving NYPD and Haverstraw police departments. Maybe they will remember the weeks he spent at ground zero including the first three days straight without leaving."

He said some might know he artistic side, his success as a boxer and his "absolute love he had for his children."

"I will remember all of these attributes. However I will also remember the guy that would stop on the highway to try to help a complete stranger with a flat tire," Skae said. "Of course he had no idea how to change the tire but would gladly sit with this stranger until they were safe. As strong as he was, his biggest muscle was his heart."


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Re: RIP: Gerard Benderoth
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2018, 02:37:30 PM »
New Details Emerge in Murder Case After Ex-Officer’s Suicide
By Eli Rosenberg and William K. Rashbaum  March 9, 2017

Gerard Benderoth, a retired New York City police officer and bodybuilder, was pulled over by F.B.I. agents and local police officers on Wednesday morning in a small town near the Hudson River just a short drive from his home. The agents and officers, who were investigating Mr. Benderoth’s links to a case involving a drug conspiracy and four murders, hoped to get him to cooperate with their inquiry, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

But they could tell something was wrong as soon as they pulled him over in Haverstraw, about an hour north of Manhattan, said one of the people, who all requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

Mr. Benderoth called the town’s police department — from which he retired as an officer in 2015 — to say that he had been pulled over, the person said. He then shot himself with a handgun before investigators reached the car, officials said.

The suicide has drawn wide attention from the news media, which has focused on the contours of Mr. Benderoth’s life as a bodybuilder and questions about his purported connection to Nicholas Tartaglione.

But it has also drawn renewed focus on the murders of four men. Mr. Tartaglione, a retired police officer from Briarcliff Manor in Westchester County, was charged by federal prosecutors in Manhattan in December in the quadruple homicide and drug conspiracy. Mr. Tartaglione is being held without bail in federal jail in Brooklyn.

One of the people with knowledge of the matter said that the murders, which took place near a bar in Chester, a town about 30 minutes northwest of Haverstraw, resulted from a cocaine selling operation that had gone awry. One of the men, a landscaper, had been dispatched to Mexico to buy some cocaine that was then sold successfully by the operation upon his return.

But after a second trip, the man, who had been given a larger sum of money to buy a larger quantity of cocaine, returned from Mexico with neither the money nor the drugs, having apparently been robbed, the person said.

The men who had sent the landscaper to Mexico eventually concocted a scheme to lure him to the Likquid Lounge, a bar in Chester, the person said. The man believed he was going to meet someone who wanted to hire him for construction work, so he brought along two relatives and a friend, the person said. But the promise of day labor was just part of the plot to kill him, the person said, and the other three men were simply collateral damage.

It was unclear precisely what role the federal agents and police officers, as well as the prosecutors overseeing the case, believed that Mr. Benderoth had in the case, but they were investigating his involvement, the person said. And while they hoped to win his cooperation, they were prepared to arrest him if need be, the person said, though there were no sealed or unsealed charges against him.

A spokesman for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, which is prosecuting Mr. Tartaglione and was overseeing the investigation, declined to comment. The F.B.I. declined to comment on Mr. Benderoth’s death, saying only that a man, whom they did not name, had shot himself in Haverstraw after being stopped by agents.

Bruce Barket, one of Mr. Tartaglione’s lawyers, said that he didn’t know exactly how Mr. Benderoth was connected to his client.

“He was on a long list of people we want to talk to,” Mr. Barket said. “Mr. Benderoth’s death was a horrible tragedy. One has to wonder what was weighing on his mind to lead him to such an act.”

In December, federal officials said that some of the four men who were killed — Hector Gutierrez, Martin Luna, Miguel Luna, and Urbano Santiago — had been in the wrong place at the wrong time. The federal murder charges against Mr. Tartaglione carry the possibility of the death penalty.

Mr. Benderoth lived in nearby Stony Point with his wife and four children, according to Lt. John Hickey of the Haverstraw Town Police Department. The news of his death “was a shock for everybody here,” the lieutenant said.

Mr. Benderoth stopped working for the New York Police Department in 2005 after 10 years on the job, the department said.

A man who answered a call to a phone number listed to Mr. Benderoth’s father, Donald, declined to comment. “We’re all mourning,” he said, his voice cracking.

Mr. Benderoth had previously drawn news coverage for his weight-lifting prowess. A former aspiring World’s Strongest Man whose muscled physique once earned him the nickname White Rhino, Mr. Benderoth could reportedly bench press 625 pounds and squat 800 pounds.

A video online, one of many showcasing his physical strength, shows him at a strongman competition in 2006. With his bare chest and arms revealing tattoos of an iron cross and an eagle, he tosses a large wooden pole across a grassy field, shouting and raising his arms.


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Re: RIP: Gerard Benderoth
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2018, 09:25:59 AM »
I met him about 4 years ago.