Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Robert Zarinsky

This Is the End

Javerbaum never expected Elizabeth Bernoskie to receive the full $9.5 million, but six months after the case had ended, Zarinsky still had not made even an initial payment.

"Zarinsky was devastated," said Javerbaum. "He still harbored illusions of a life outside prison. That's why he made such a big deal about his money being stolen (from his trust). That was the money he was going to use to start his new life."

So it was back again before Superior Court Judge Thomas Lyons.

"He (Zarinsky) refused to turn over the details of his assists," said Javerbaum. "But using the help of investigators we found $154,000 in a T. Rowe Price fund in Baltimore, Md. He didn't have any friends or family left who could secret away an account for him."

Judge Lyons demanded that Zarinsky turn the money over to Elizabeth Bernoskie, plus reveal any inside information remaining on the rest of his accounts.

"I was then able to prosecute him to the maximum extent I could," said Javerbaum. "I even levied the money he had in his account in jail - $70."

The Bernoskie's would receive approximately $300,000.

Zarinsky's appeal in the civil case is still pending.

"Then that will be the end of it...," said Javerbaum.

Guzzi is not one to agree.

"Don't forget Zarinsky's still the first person to be convicted of murder without a body," said Guzzi. "As long as her (Rosemary Calandriello's) body is out there, the Zarinsky tale has not ended."

Guzzi paid a final jailhouse visit to Zarinsky in 1987.

  "It was my last day on the force and I wanted to find out where Rosemary was before I retired," said Guzzi. "But Zarinsky refused to see me."

  A few years later, Guzzi received a letter from Zarinsky, who wished Guzzi well and hoped that he was in good health.

Guzzi shared the letter with Court TV's Crime Library.

"It's been 25 years since 1969," Zarinsky wrote. "And I was hoping that the old adversarial roles we had a quarter of a century ago might now be discarded and replaced by mutual friendship in the future." He went on to speak of poor health, regretting his crimes, and wanting to die at home rather than in prison. He wrote that he wanted to now work on the side of the law and asked Guzzi to help him get a supervised release from prison.

He also asked for Guzzi's home phone number and permission to call him collect.

"I replied, 'No, thank you,'" said Guzzi. "He never said one thing about Rosemary. Or whether he was going to bring me to Rosemary. Not one thing. The only thing he was worried about was getting his ass out of jail."

To this day, Guzzi still hopes to "find out where Rosemary is buried."

Jakubiec sympathizes with Guzzi, whom he credits for keeping interest in Zarinsky alive after his initial acquittal in the early 70s.

"I really thought we were going to recover her body during the Bernoskie investigation," said Jakubiec. "I could not understand why he wouldn't give us Rosemary. My whole selling point to him was..., 'Look, you're convicted so you can't be re-tried,' but the bottom line with Zarinsky, and this is my opinion, Zarinsky thinks with her body he still has a good chance of getting out of jail tomorrow."

Pfeiffer offers a different theory.

"Do you know why Zarinsky never gave up her body?" said Pfeiffer. "And I can't prove this, but I think the reason why is you'd find other bodies there. Why else would he keep this secret for so long?"

Zarinsky has been eligible for parole two times - in 1988 and 1991 - but was spurned by the New Jersey State Parole Board on each occasion.

"The parole board wanted him to admit his role in the Calandriello killing and to show some remorse," said Benedict, referring to the latter hearing. "That's when he changed his story and said that he had accidentally run Rosemary over."

Jakubiec heard the story as well, directly from Zarinsky: "He said he took her to a lover's lane someplace in the Highlands. He bought her some kind of brandy. She got really drunk and got out of the car to go to the bathroom and he backed up over her. That's his story. Then he sticks her in the trunk and he doesn't know what to do with her. He starts driving around."

The parole board ordered Zarinsky to begin psychiatric care, but he declined.

No further hearings have been scheduled.

Most people involved with the case believe that Zarinsky will "never see the light of day," but Pfeiffer, for one, is not quite so sure.

"He got a 98 year sentence, but you don't serve the full 98 years," said Pfeiffer. "He's a model prisoner from what I hear. So there's always the possibility that he could be paroled. It all boils down to the question of where Rosemary Calandriello's body is..."

Benedict counters with a story about "the tape," which he told to Court TV: "His wife stayed with him for years. She ultimately decided to move on and asked him for a divorce. She taped the conversation with him. The parole board has a copy. It starts with him talking about how great she's been, how she's the one steady thing in his life, and that he loves her, and that he doesn't want her to leave him. But she's very firm. When he finally realizes that the sweet talk isn't working it's like he becomes a different person. He makes threats on that tape...like when he gets out he'll crush her head like a grape...some comment about knowing people in the facility who would cap her in a garage somewhere for a carton of cigarettes. But his voice...it's...it's...chilling...it's beyond chilling. When I heard it I said, 'This is scary stuff...' Can you imagine a parole board letting this guy out? When you listen to that tape you realize he's two different people."

Robert Zarinsky, Prison ID
Robert Zarinsky, Prison ID

  Zarinsky still has 68 years left on his sentence.

"I'd like to think he's never getting out, but...you know how things are today. You never know," said Guzzi. "Let's hope he dies there."

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