Sunday, September 20, 2020

The Mysterious Suicide Of Dr. James Kauffman D.O.

By Ralph Cipriano
On Jan. 26, 2018, the chaplain at the Hudson County Jail called the third wife of Dr. James Kauffman, to let her know that her husband had just committed suicide.

Kauffman, originally arrested on a gun charge, was being held without bail at the Hudson County Jail in Kearny, N.J. for the alleged murder of his second wife, April Kauffman, a crime that the government alleged was a contract hit.

The doctor, officials said, had been found face-down in his cell after carrying out what the Press of Atlantic City described as a "carefully planned" suicide by hanging himself with a twisted bed sheet.

But not everybody was buying it.

Andrew Glick, the outlaw Pagan biker and drug dealer turned lead prosecution witness, believed that Kauffman had faked his death and was alive somewhere else in the country under the witness protection program.

After Kauffman's body was cremated, Carole Weintraub, Kauffman's third wife, and former high school sweetheart, wound up with an urn, but she wondered whose ashes were in it. The six-page suicide note that Kauffman left behind only added to the mystery.

The suicide note, handwritten on eight yellow pages of a legal pad, was signed, "Sincerely, JMK MD."

There was only one problem -- James Michael Kauffman was a doctor of osteopathy, and not an MD, a doctor of medicine, a mistake he would have never consciously made.

Was the signature on the note a clue that the doctor had written it under duress? After all, Freddy Auglello, the Pagan gang leader who was ultimately convicted of arranging the murder-for-hire of April Kauffman, had told Glick that he was using his South Philly mob connections to arrange the jailhouse murder of Dr. Kauffman.

Or was it an inside joke? Nobody knew.

In the note, Dr. Kauffman claimed he was an innocent man.

"As G-D is my witness and will be I cannot live like this. I, no matter what anybody, says did not do anything to my wife . . . "

In the note, Dr. Kauffman professed that he was a scapegoat framed by the real killers of April Kauffman. And that Dr. Kauffman had come to realization that he was never getting out of jail.

"This left me with no choice but to do what I am going to do now," he wrote. "I see those dirt bags ganged up to save their butts while frying mine. To those who think that is a fabrication or a prevarication, I put my money where my mouth is."

"I'm Dead!," Kauffman wrote. 

The 2012 April Kauffman murder is the subject of a new book written by Big Trial correspondents George Anastasia and Ralph Cipriano. Doctor Dealer is now on sale on

Kauffman, the government alleged, was writing Opioid prescriptions for the Pagans in exchange for having them dispose of his wife. April Kauffman, a flirtatious blonde bombshell and popular New Jersey radio talk show host, had wanted a divorce. And to convince the doctor to grant her wish, April went on a spending spree that was maxing out the doctor's credit cards.

But the doctor had another plan. Murder, he decided, would be cheaper than divorce.

If you're looking for a fast-paced local crime story, check it out. George and I told the story through the eyes of two insiders: Glick, the prosecution's lead witness, and a charming tour guide to the drugs/biker underworld; and Carole Weintraub, Dr. Kauffman's third wife and former high school sweetheart.


  1. In the 70's, when the Inquirer examined the workings of the Mob and the Biker Gangs in the Metropolitan Phila. Area, the great Investigative Journalist Rod Nordland infiltrated and exposed the Criminal Anatomy of the Founding Hierarchy of these treacherous and murdering thugs.

    The Warlocks and Pagans manufactured and distributed Meth before the Mob decided to make themselves partners.

    When Long John Martorano put the contract out on John McCullough and installed Steve Traitz as Union President it had as much to do with Drugs as it did with any other Money producing activity.

    The fabled TV Series Sons of Anarchy, produced by the Legendary Linson Brothers, did an amazing examination and portrayal of the depraved World of the Mob and Bikers.

  2. Got my copy just delivered by amazon. Must begin reading.

  3. Found this & had to read right away...sounds like drugs is the Why is all is this. So sad


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