Tuesday, May 03, 2011

One Minute You're Fine And The Next Minute The Internet Is Ruining Your Life

I first met David Silbergeld in New York. I was working for a co-op developer when David came into our office with his supermodel wife Mel Harris, who would be named one of America's 10 most beautiful women by Harper's Bazaar in 1989.

They bought a huge co-op from my boss and I assumed I would never see them again.

A little over a year later my sister Lindy was living with me and told me she had met this great guy. A divorced man named David. David Silbergeld.

Same guy.

One day I came home to an empty apartment and when I walked into the bedroom I heard my sister whispering from one of the closets.

"Snookie, is that you?" She always called me Snookie and I always called her Bijou. I won't repeat the names we call each other today but one begins with an A and the other one begins with an A.

I opened the door and she was crouched on the floor with her hand over my dog's mouth.

"David called earlier and I screened the call. Somehow he got upstairs even though I didn't buzz him in and he was fooling around with the door knob and you know he was a Navy SEAL and those guys can infiltrate Fort Knox and I know he was trying to get into the apartment and somebody's DOG wouldn't shut the fuck up."

But David was not outside or anywhere else in the building. He never called Lindy again.
By the late 80's his ex-wife Mel was on a show called Thirty Something. Had the internet existed back then I would have read that she and David had only stayed married for a year. And that he had no job and no money. It apparently took her a very short time to figure out why he had married her. And they say models are dumb.

One day I read an article in The New York Post about a small plane flying into Teeterboro Airport in New Jersey with the lights off. The pilot was David Silbergeld.

The Feds arrested him upon touchdown. He had an arsenal of weapons in his waiting car and was carrying cocaine. He went to prison for possession of 610 pounds of cocaine worth $200 million. At the time The New York Times reported it was the largest drug-smuggling bust in the northeastern United States.

One day I got a call from him. He had served his time and wanted me to meet him and some of his friends for dinner. I asked him about it but he didn't want to talk about prison. We had a great meal, a great time and then David disappeared.

I didn't know much about the SEALS until 1997, when the movie G.I. Jane, starring Demi Moore, was released. I had no idea they were, along with other Special Forces the Rangers, Green Berets and Delta Force, considered the elite of the military branches. They're the people I want to rescue me if I'm ever caught by pirates off the coast of Somalia. You don't know; I MIGHT GO THERE.

A few years ago I decided to Google David and found this: Silbergeld's fictional SEAL war record, which earned him full disability pay of more than $2,300 per month, along with a prison-earned doctorate from a diploma mill allowed him to become a Pennsylvania community-college history professor and contributor to National Defense magazine. He also set up a business that defrauded the U.S. government through sales of night-vision equipment. At his sentencing he pleaded for leniency — by pointing to his bogus military record.

By now the Internet was helping to close in on all the thousands of fake elite Special Forces that had sprung up around the world. David was being investigated and was subsequently fired from the university in Pennsylvania. He must have known the trail of felonies would now follow him wherever he went. I'm sure he had run out of plans. And ego.

He was found in a town square in Delaware sitting on a bench, a bullet through his brain and the gun dangling from his hand.


  1. Dammit, Suzy - I was waiting for the punchline. Instead, I was sucker punched.

  2. Dayum... just....Dayum

  3. Wow, sounds like someone I would have dated.

  4. Wow - that was crazy!

  5. Anonymous4:16 AM

    There's no other way for that story to end. A tragedy all around for everyone.

  6. Anonymous4:28 AM

    Wow... reminds me of some of the crazies I dated years ago. Damn.

    The Blue Ridge Gal

  7. -->Crazy story. Do I get a point because I know bijou means jewel? Also, my husband was in the Special Forces For Real?

  8. Hmm, WSM, better check up on the internets about him.
    And Mel, married FIVE times. Come on Suz, sounds like she could have at least shared one of them with you. (oh, wait, she did).

  9. Anonymous8:35 AM

    The fact that he could not pick a simple lock should have raised an eyebrow.
    Suzy, please do not google me, I was young and needed the money.

  10. Anonymous9:07 AM

    Sad how we women get taken in by these sociopaths.....Anne Hathaway, Olivia Newton John, "Clark Rockefeller's" wife and Mel Harris.

    At least he did the right thing by 'offing himself.....would have ended badly anyway with him being someone's prison bitch.

  11. Stay away from Somalia for fuck's sake.

  12. tragic. i loved Thirtysomething. take care, Suzy.

  13. Wow. Hi Suzy. I am still in hiding in witness protection but had to stop by and say hey. So, "Hey" you rock!

  14. WOW!

    My jaw is hanging open right now.

    DOn't say it.

  15. So, what's he up to?


  16. Perhaps it's for the best your sister got away!

  17. can't say I'm surprised or feel badly, for that matter. Saved the taxpayers of having to cover the costs of his three hots and a cot for the rest of his loser life

  18. Do I smell a screenplay?

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  20. Geez Suzy! Richard Cory much?

  21. Lindy is smart and lucky.

  22. what a story!

    good thing he didn't end up with your sister...

  23. when Gary got killed on his bike in "Thirty-something" Rolling Stone magazine said "1 down, six to go"...

  24. Anonymous8:04 AM

    David was my 3rd cousin, I think (he WAS the son of the sister of my Great-grandmother...) I only met him a couple of times- I remember visiting his mother, Molly, in Niagara Falls when I was very young. All I remember are the city lights from their high-rise condo. I am about to write a paper on him (I'm legitimately enrolled at a college...My mother remembers Mel Harris putting make-up on her...Obviously, my paper will be from a slightly different perspective. Thanks for the info!

  25. Major buzz kill girl. Can't he now be the campaign manager for Sarah Palin? Dead on a park bench just is a downer.

  26. This Post is filled with a bunch of bullshit. Not only factually incorrect, but offensive to his family and friends. While some of what you said is true, a good portion of it is crap. It is not only offensive to David, but also Mel Harris(who I personally knew and was not only extremely intelligent, but a sweet and caring person). You're clearly a self promoter and publicity seeker. You should stop telling this story as you do not actually know the facts.