"I would rather be a little nobody, then to be a evil somebody."
It was the 8th of September 2004. A Wednesday. Jay Orbin's 45th Birthday. Jay had almost everything he needed in life. He had his own business which required him to travel across different States, enough money to ensure he had a good life and he had a beautiful family. Jay lived In Phoenix, Arizona, United States with his wife Marjorie Orbin and their much longed for eight year old son Noah.
Marjorie , Jay and Noah
But not everything was as perfect as it seemed. Jay and Marjorie had actually divorced but still lived together as man and wife. Marjorie claimed that they divorced for tax reasons only. Even though they lived together as man and wife, that didn't stop Marjorie from having multiple affairs.
Jay knew from the moment he met Marjorie that she would be a challenge. He met her when she worked as a stripper at a strip club he liked to frequent. He was so besotted with her that he was soon booking private dances from her almost nightly but he wanted more than just dances. He developed real feelings for her and wanted to date her. Marjorie finally agreed. But he wasn't enough for Marjorie. Marjorie really wanted to be somebody. She wanted to see her name in lights and she was used to dancing in Las Vegas and was amongst the very wealthiest of society. She saw how the wealthy lived and she wanted that to be her life.
Marjorie wanted a jet set lifestyle, an endless supply of money and glamour. Jay was 26 years old when he met Marjorie and carving out his career but it wasn't fast enough for Marjorie. Even though she found him to be kind, funny and with a good personality, she wanted more. So she moved back to Florida where she had previously lived. Marjorie began a relationship with a multi millionaire , Michael J. Peter. Michael created upscale strip clubs around the world. He could give her every material thing that she ever wanted. But while he may have been enough for Marjorie, Marjorie wasn't enough for him even though they were engaged. Michael was having affairs with plenty of women who looked and acted just like Marjorie.
When their relationship ended, Marjorie moved back to Las Vegas. In 1993 , she received a phone call. It was Jay Orbin. They had not seen each other in ten years. Jay was driving through Las Vegas on a business trip and saw a large billboard with Marjorie on it so he called her and asked if she wanted to go for a drink. Marjorie agreed. At that stage, Marjorie had been married 7 times.
Marjorie and Jay went for a drink and spent the entire night talking and catching up. Jay was only in Las Vegas for the night for work and he had to go back to Phoenix the next day. They stayed in touch. Jay was the owner of a very successful Native American arts business so he was a lot more established than when they had initially met. They married shortly afterwards at the Little White Wedding Chapel on Las Vegas Boulevard.
Jay and Marjorie Orbin
Married life was good for a few years. Marjorie stayed at home and cooked and cleaned and Jay worked. He made enough money for Marjorie to get fertility treatments. She was told when she was just 18 years old that she could not have children but both her and Jay were desperate for a child.
And the treatment worked. Marjorie got pregnant and gave birth to a baby boy who they called Noah.
On the 26th of August 2004, Jay and Marjorie celebrated Noah's 8th Birthday with some friends and family. After the celebration, a few days later, Jay left to go on a business trip to Florida. But he turned back soon afterwards as Hurricane Francis made the journey too dangerous.
Jay and Noah Orbin
On the 8th of September 2004, Joanne Orbin called her son Jay to wish him a Happy Birthday. He told her he was driving back into Phoenix and would call her later that night. She never received a call.
And in the days that followed, she couldn't reach Jay. When a week went by and she heard nothing, she was worried. But Marjorie insisted there was nothing to worry about. Jay was on another business trip. That didn't make Jay's mother worry any less. Even when Jay was traveling, he still found time to call. When another week went by, Jay's family and friends urged Marjorie to report him missing.
Marjorie reported Jay missing. She told them that he arrived back in Phoenix from Florida but left again on another trip. Police asked for some standard and basic details to assist in their search, such as Jay's license plate number. Marjorie told them she would call back but she didn't. The police had to leave three messages asking her to call back before she returned their call. When she did, the Detective recorded their call.
While Jay was missing, Marjorie moved her boyfriend, Larry Weisberg, into their home. He used some of Jay's closet space for his own clothes. Marjorie didn't help search for Jay and did not assist police with their investigation. Instead she bought a $12,000 baby grand piano and took $45,000 from Jay's business account.
Marjorie's activities and her reluctance to help caused police to be concerned that they were dealing with more than a missing person case so they obtained a warrant to search the Orbin home. They found Jay's credit cards and his business checkbook in the house. They were items that Jay always took with him when going away on business.
Jay's cell phone records and credit card statements revealed he had returned to Phoenix from Florida but where he went after that wasn't clear. Police now believed that they were not dealing with a missing person case. It was a homicide investigation.
On the 23rd of October 2004, a homeless man found a container wrapped in heavy black plastic in north Phoenix. When he opened the container, he discovered a torso. Police were notified.
Police looked inside the 50 gallon Rubbermaid container and found a torso, a wad of cash and a single spent bullet. All of the insides, all of the internal organs, intestines were missing. Police discovered that the body had been frozen after death and was dismembered using a saw. There were no other body parts found so police used DNA testing to identify the victim. The victim was Jay Orbin. The medical examiner determined the cause of death as "undetermined homicide."
Just three weeks after Jay's body was found, Marjorie was caught forging Jay's signature at a Circuit City store.
The Police Interview with Marjorie
On the 6th of December, six weeks after her husband's dismembered body was discovered, the State charged Marjorie with first degree murder, two counts of theft and two counts of fraudulent schemes and artifices.
It was the Prosecution's case that Marjorie killed Jay on the 8th of September 2004 because she wanted him out of her life and she wanted his money. That was why, they believed, she dumped his torso so close to her home. They believed she wanted it to be found so she could receive the life insurance payout and the estate of Jay.
It was their case that Marjorie shot Jay in the garage of their home, froze his body and used two jig saw blades to cut him into pieces. They believed a jig saw blade was used because the cuts through Jay's tibia and the vertebrae were consistent with being made by a jig saw.
The Prosecution told the Court that after Jay was dead, Marjorie cleaned the garage. Police found receipts for mops and cleaning products which were bought just one day after Jay went missing. They believed that she acid washed the garage floor and then she epoxy coated the floor. This erased all traces of blood.
It was the Prosecution's case that Marjorie then bought the Rubbermaid container and used it to put Jay's torso inside it. Just two days after Jay first went missing, surveillance footage from a Lowe's hardware store showed Marjorie buying two containers. She bought them with Jay's credit card.
The Prosecution called Sophia Johnson, Marjorie's former cellmate, to testify. According to Sophie, Marjorie said that Jay was:
"fat, he's disgusting."
Sophia claimed that Marjorie said "I did it, I did it." She said that Marjorie told her Jay was shot, frozen, de-thawed and his arms, legs and head was cut off.
The Prosecution offered Larry Weisberg use immunity to testify against Marjorie. Anything he said in Court could not be used against him. Larry testified that he did not know what happened to Jay and he was not involved in any way.
It was the Defense's case that Larry Weisberg killed Jay. When police searched Larry's home, they found he had a remote that allowed him to gain access to the Orbin's garage. The Defense argued that he could have used this and followed Jay into the garage and shot him.
The Jury found Marjorie guilty. She was found guilty of first degree premeditated murder, two counts of theft of $100,000 or more and two counts of fraudulent schemes and artifices. Marjorie was sentenced to natural life for murder and concurrent, presumptive terms of five years' imprisonment for each remaining count.
Marjorie told 48 Hours that she regrets that she didn't give evidence at her Trial. She claimed that it was Larry who killed Jay and she helped cover up the murder. According to Marjorie, there was a confrontation between Jay and Larry in the garage because Jay came home when they were not expecting him. He saw Larry entering the house and that's how the confrontation began. Marjorie claimed she heard gun shots moments later and Jay was dead. Marjorie said that she never saw Jay's body.
Marjorie said that she never dismembered Jay's body and Larry disposed of the body.
Jay's brother Jake got custody of Noah after the murder conviction.
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"The criminal justice system will take a hard look at what happened to Matthew Eappen. It is up to the rest of us to take an even harder look at who is minding our children."
- Eileen McNamara, the Boston Globe
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