Hatred and Disgust
Lee Goldsmith, a well respected, Boca Raton, socialite of 67 years, hated her son in law so much that she hired someone to kill him. Goldsmith, anxious to find a suitable husband for her daughter, Arleen, a Delray Beach nurse, took out an in the local paper: “Nice Jewish Girl Wants to Meet Nice Jewish Boy.” David Brownstein is the man who answered the ad, and the two became inseparable. However, Mrs. Goldsmith could not bear the thought of her daughter marrying Brownstein because he was not professional. An air conditioning auto repairman would not have been impressive enough for Goldsmith’s socialite friends, so she concocted a plan to ruin his life. According to state testimony, Goldsmith, tried everything in the book, from falsifying letters and threatening to cut Arleen out of her will, to accusations of beatings and extortion from Brownstein. But nothing would fuel her hatred more than not being able to attend her own daughter’s wedding, nor see her grandson. So she decided that it was time to have David Brownstein out of their lives for good.
The carpet cleaner seemed like the perfect guy to ask about where to find a contract murderer. He was hired to clean the carpet in the Goldsmith’s home when Lee asked him about helping her find someone to kill her son in law. The man said he would see what he could do to help her out, and instead he informed the police of the plot and received a $750 cash reward. The police then devised a plan to trap Goldsmith into paying an undercover cop for the job. The plan was to meet near a restaurant where Lee Goldsmith would give explicit instructions on how the murder should be carried out. The intended victim would be shot in the head and have drugs planted on his body to make it look like a drug related murder. She paid Thomas Brennen $1,000 up front, and then once the death was confirmed she would pay the remaining $9,000.
On February 8, 1989, David Brownstein kissed his wife Arleen before entering work without knowing that his life was about to change forever. The police notified him of his mother in law’s plans to kill him, and he agreed to play along. The county morgue was also in on the plot. They were told to confirm the death of David Brownstein when Goldsmith called. On February 15, 1989, Brennen told Goldsmith that her son in law was dead. She then paid the balance, thanked the officer, and chuckled as she remarked how happy everyone would be “except the one in the morgue.” Undercover Police Officers videotaped Lee paying them to kill David while meeting in Lee’s CADILLAC. She told the undercover cop that she would have another job for him in six months. She wanted the mother of David Brownstein to have acid poured onto her face. She laughed and laughed as she described exactly how she wanted …