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Marjorie Ann ORBIN





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Dismemberment - To inherit
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: September 8, 2004
Date of arrest: December 6, 2004
Date of birth: October 29, 1961
Victim profile: Jay Michael Orbin, 45 (her husband)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona, USA
Status: Sentenced to life imprisonment on October 1, 2009
photo gallery

The Court of Appeals
State of Arizona

State of Arizona v. Marjorie Ann Orbin

Marjorie Ann Orbin murdered her husband Jay Orbin in Phoenix, Arizona on or about September 8, 2004 - which would have been his 45th birthday. Orbin was a jewellery dealer. In September 2004 he returned home to Phoenix from a long road trip to Florida. Police believe he arrived at his home on September 8, based on his cell phone and credit card records. He was never seen alive again.

Marjorie Ann Orbin was convicted of the murder in 2009 after a trial lasting eight months. Marjorie Orbin was a 47 year old former Las Vegas showgirl.

According to officials, she had been having affairs with several men. When Jay Orbin returned home from a business trip, investigators believe his wife shot and killed him, then dismembered his body in an attempt to keep the affairs a secret and inherit Jay's money. Jay's body wasn't found until several weeks later, when his torso was found on October 23 in a plastic container on the outskirts of Phoenix. The rest of his body was never found.

On October 1, 2009, Orbin was sentenced to life imprisonment by an Arizona court.

In media

Marjorie Orbin's case was featured in an episode of "Deadly Women," an episode of the CBS newsmagazine "48 Hours" and in the investigation series "Scorned: Love Kills." A book titled Dancing with Death by author and journalist Shanna Hogan was released about the case in May 2011. Author Camille Kimball released a book about the case in 2010 titled What She Always Wanted.


Wife gets life sentence for butchering husband

By Michael Kiefer and JJ Hensley - The Arizona Republic

January 16, 2010

Comparing her to one of the most notorious murderers in Arizona history, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge on Friday sentenced Marjorie Orbin to spend the rest of her life in prison for killing her husband and dismembering his body.

Judge Arthur Anderson told Orbin, 48, that the facts of her case were eerily similar to that of Winnie Ruth Judd, who was dubbed the "Trunk Murderess" after being discovered with two dismembered bodies stuffed into steamer trunks in 1931.

"What this seems to be is a revelation of your very darkest side, ma'am," Anderson said as he prepared Orbin for her sentencing. "When that dark side is unleashed, it's about as dark as it gets."

Orbin said she will appeal the jury's verdict, but for victim Jay Orbin's family, the sentencing finally brought some closure to a matter that has dragged on for more than five years.

"We're ecstatic," said Jake Orbin, Jay's brother, who moved to Arizona after the murder to care for Noah, the 13-year-old son left essentially parentless and who was mentioned frequently in Friday's proceeding.

"I needed that for my brother," Jake said of the sentence.

Jay Orbin, 47, disappeared in September 2004 after returning to Phoenix from a cross-country trip selling Native American jewelry and artwork.

Weeks later, his headless, limbless torso was found in the desert in north Phoenix, stuffed into a 50-gallon plastic tub. The rest of his body has never been found.

His wife was charged with his murder. Among the evidence against her was surveillance video showing her purchasing two such plastic tubs at a hardware store. She was charged with first-degree murder.

Her trial began in late January 2009 and detailed her history as an exotic dancer before marrying Jay. Several of her lovers testified at the trial.

Proceedings were delayed by accusations of prosecutorial misconduct against the initial prosecutor, Deputy County Attorney Noel Levy, and then by Levy's medical problems, which forced him to withdraw midcase.

Anderson threw out the allegations of misconduct. Levy was also the prosecutor in the case of Ray Krone, whose wrongful murder conviction was overturned after he spent 10 years on death row; and in the case of Debra Milke, who is in federal court as a judge determines whether her 1989 confession was legally obtained. Milke has been on death row since 1991 for the murder of her 4-year-old son.

Deputy County Attorney Treena Kay stepped into the breach in April and got a conviction in September. Two weeks later, the jury chose to sentence Marjorie Orbin to life in prison instead of death.

It was up to Anderson to determine whether to sentence her to natural life or to life with a chance of parole after 25 years.

The sentencing was delayed, however, because of new information from a national TV newsmagazine story focusing on Orbin's claims that the murder was really committed by her lover, Larry Weisberg, who was granted immunity in exchange for testimony against her.

Orbin's attorneys, Herman Alcantar and Robyn Varcoe, asked for a new trial.

Orbin made her case against Weisberg during the trial, even though in a January 2009 letter to The Republic, she blamed her husband's brother, Jake, with covering up evidence and redirecting investigators toward her because he stood to inherit Jay's estate.

Anderson denied Orbin's request for a new trial earlier this month.


48 Hours: Diary of a Showgirl

November 21, 2009

It was the start of a murder mystery that had it all: sex, lies, greed, a savage crime and a beautiful showgirl.

That showgirl, Marjorie Orbin, is now in Phoenix, Arizona's Estrella Jail, charged with the brutal murder of her husband, Jay Orbin.

"On Oct. 23, 2004, a man - a transient living in the desert - came across a container wrapped in heavy black plastic. He decides to open the container. He sees the torso of a body," Det. Dave Barnes of the Phoenix Police Department explained. "All of the insides, all of the internal organs, intestines were missing… I thought, 'Who could do this to human being? Cut off his arms, his legs, his head?'"

Prison stripes are a far cry from the diamonds and furs Marjorie was accustomed to.

In a "48 Hours" exclusive - six months of Marjorie's video diaries from jail and unprecedented access to a woman facing the possibility of death row.

Marjorie's Video Diary: At 18, I was told that I could not have children. So I made a conscious decision at that point in my life I would only be responsible for myself. I danced, I traveled. I worked hard, played hard, went through a few marriages.

Marjorie was married seven times by the age of 35.

"I went into every relationship that I had looking for the Prince Charming," she said.

In between Prince Charmings, Marjorie's fairytale sometimes took an x-rated detour: she became a stripper.

"I never felt disrespected and I didn't do anything that I wouldn't be afraid of telling my mother," she told "48 Hours Mystery" correspondent Peter Van Sant.

It was at one of these strip joints that Marjorie got to know one of the regulars, a gregarious, big-hearted 26-year-old named Jay Orbin.

He did have a real good personality. And he was funny. …He was definitely interested in me and was pursuing me.

Marjorie finally agreed to go out with Jay.

"We went out dancing, we had a number drinks. And were really having a fun time and it was very romantic and he was very, very amorous," she said.

Jay fell head over heels. But Marjorie, who was only 24, wanted a more glamorous life.

He was a good guy. And I didn't want to hurt him. But I needed to get out of there. So, I left.

Marjorie went back home to Florida and reconnected with a man who became her ticket to a life in the fast lane.

"I've known him since I was 17 and when I went back to Florida, I began to work for him," she said of Michael J. Peter, a multi-millionaire who created upscale strip clubs around the world.

"We traveled all over the world. We did a lot of things together," explained Marjorie.

Peter made Marjorie his star dancer and choreographer in his clubs and gave her a featured role in his movie, "No More Dirty Deals."

"We had lived together for a number of years and were engaged. The industry is very difficult," Marjorie told Van Sant. "When someone that you love has girls climbing all over them all the time and offering him everything, it's difficult to take."

Peter's wandering eye caused a breakup and Marjorie took her talents back to Las Vegas. In 1993, a traveling salesman from Phoenix called. It was Jay Orbin, a man she hadn't seen in 10 years.

"He said that he was going through Vegas and saw a billboard across the strip with my picture on it. Said, ya know, 'I'm here in town would you like to meet for a drink?' And after we talked for a while, I agreed to come have a drink with him. We spent the entire night talking and having drinks here and snacks there. And talked all night until the sun came up."

Jay returned to Phoenix the next day, but their relationship continued.

"People like to paint us as polar opposites, but really, we were not. We had the exact same ideals on everything important," Marjorie told Van Sant.

The most important, she said, was having children.

The only thing that I ever wanted that I never was able to have was a child, and he wanted a wife and a child more than anything in the world. And he told me, he said, "I want you to come here. I'll do anything that you want.

Jay, by then, the owner of a successful Native American arts business, offered to pay for fertility treatments if Marjorie would marry him and move to Phoenix. But Jay's mother, Joanne Orbin, wasn't certain that this was the girl for her son.

"I couldn't believe that my son was bringing her into the house and saying he was engaged to her," she told Van Sant.

When asked if she was impressed by Marjorie, Joanne said, "Not really."

"Did she look beautiful to you?" Van Sant asked.

"She was beautiful, yes," Joanne replied, adding, "not as beautiful as she thought she was."

She was so jealous, so jealous of the way he adored and - and catered and - and accommodated me in any way. She was very jealous.

If Jay noticed any tension, he didn't seem to care. The seemingly mismatched couple eloped.

We got married at the Little White Wedding Chapel on Las Vegas Boulevard. And it was beautiful.

"He calls me up and he says, 'I met the love of my life…and we got married," recalled Jay's big brother, Jake.

Jake Orbin, who was then living in San Diego, came to visit a few months later.

"They both love each other," he said. "She was the perfect housewife… made the meals and cleaned the house… took care of everything that needed to be done around the house."

But the fertility treatments were taking a toll, often making Marjorie ill.

But I was willing to take the bad stuff in hopes of having more chance of having a child.

And finally it happened. Marjorie gave birth to what they called their miracle baby: a boy named Noah.

"It was the most important - most important day of my life," Marjorie cried, when asked how she felt the first time she held her son.

"It meant everything to you?" asked Van Sant.

"Yeah. Yeah," she replied. "Both of us. It meant everything to both of us."

They seemed the perfect family. But then everything changed.

I spent 10 years here in Phoenix being a mom, a wife, a business partner… That all ended in September of 2004. An unforeseen, tragic incident that I came upon after the fact - caused the death of Jay Orbin.


Marjorie's Video Diary: I am not a murderer… I have sat in jail for four-and-a-half years being considered an animal and a criminal. And my son has been told horrible things about me. The last time I saw my son was Dec. 6, 2004. And I did not kill his father…

Marjorie Orbin claims she knows killed her husband, Jay.

What happened to Jay was an unforeseen, horrific, accidental confrontation between he and someone else.

I made some mistakes. Some pretty stupid mistakes along the way. But none of those mistakes involved causing someone's death or cutting someone up.

In her video diary, Marjorie begins to reveal some of the secrets she has kept for almost five years - facts she hasn't made public until now.

He was not supposed to come home that day. It was a horrible, horrifying situation that took place while I was home with my son.

Jay Orbin didn't know it, but Aug. 26, 2004, Noah's 8th birthday party, would be the last time he would ever see his son. Jay's good friend, Marshall Roosin, was there that day.

"He loved his son as much as I believe any parent could love their child," Roosin told Peter Van Sant.

Shortly after the candles were blown out, Jay hit the road on a sales trip to Florida.

The trip was ill-fated from the start. Hurricane Francis was tearing through the state. Jay decided to cut his losses and head home, never realizing he was driving into the eye of an even more dangerous storm.

Nobody thought it was gonna happen. Nobody planned for it to happen. Nobody meant for it to happen. Nobody wanted it to happen.

On Sept 8, Joanne Orbin called her son, Jay, to wish him a happy 45th birthday. He was just driving into Phoenix.

"And how did the call end?" asked Van Sant.

"He said he would talk to us later. We never heard from him," she said.

A week passed with no word. While Joanne was "getting frantic," she said Marjorie was "acting like I was silly for being worried."

Marjorie told everyone that Jay had come back from Florida, then headed out on another sales trip. Another week passed. Jay's desperate friends and family convinced Marjorie to call police.

Detective Jan Butcher of the Missing Persons Unit took the case.

"I asked her to provide me information on the license plate of the vehicle Jay was driving. She said she would call me back. She never did. So that was a little bit odd," said Det. Butcher.

Marjorie quickly became a target.

On Sept. 28, Butcher left at least three messages before Marjorie finally called back. The detective recorded the conversation:

Det. Butcher: "I just kind of get the feeling that you're really not available and willing to help us out. Try to locate where…"
Marjorie: "You get that feeling, huh? Surprised to hear you say that."

Then Marjorie surprised Butcher, telling her they divorced for tax reasons, but were still living together as man and wife.

Marjorie: Just because I'm not running around crying and - and n hysteria, does nto mean that I am not concerned and not doing anything."

She was doing something according to Det. Butcher - spending Jay's money. "She went through thousands of dollars in a matter of days."

Marjorie purchased an almost $12,000 baby grand piano and raided $45,000 from Jay's business account.

"Why did you buy a grand piano at a time when people would think you would be in such mourning, so devastated," Van Sant asked. "You're out shopping?"

"There were a number of things I did that did not make sense," Marjorie replied. "I was in a daze. I was in shock."

It wasn't only the spending sprees that raised Det. Butcher's suspicions. It was this phone call:

Det. Butcher: "Can we schedule you for a polygraph?"
Marjorie: "You know what. She wants me to take a polygraph tomorrow."
Male voice: "You tell her to go f--- herself."

Butcher said the male voice in the background turned out to be Marjorie's boyfriend - Larry Weisberg.

Marjorie was involved in a love triangle with a production manager she met at the gym.

I was having an affair. I shouldn't have been doing that.

After hearing the obscenity-laced phone call, Butcher got a search warrant and asked the SWAT team to deliver it. Police demonstrated for "48 Hours" how it went down. The actual raid was recorded on audio tape.

SWAT members broke the door down. Inside, a man confronts them, ready to fight. It was the same man heard on that phone recording yelling obscenities - Larry Weisberg. Marjorie's lover.

When he didn't move, Butcher said, "one SWAT member tased him." Weisberg fell to the ground and was smashed in the face.

"They're doing things with Larry. That wasn't my concern," Marjorie told Van Sant. "All I was focused on is, I see big, huge men with things drawn heading down the hallway towards my son's room. 'There's a child down the hall. There's a child down the hall. Don't scare my son.'"

The police don't make any arrests, but Butcher said their search of the house turned up new clues. "Numerous credit cards belonging to Jay Orbin that he always takes with him on his travels. His business checkbook, which is always in his briefcase," she said.

Butcher said it's evidence that Jay came home and never left on another sales trip.

"I'm thinking this is not a missing persons - it's a homicide investigation," she told Van Sant. "And we need to find out where Jay's remains are.


Marjorie's Video Diary: It's been almost five years since Jay died. I've never had the chance to mourn his death. But it was a 10-year bond with someone that gave me my child. That was my partner and friend.

On Oct. 23, 2004, six weeks after he went missing, police believe they finally found Jay Orbin - what was left of him. Detective David Barnes was called to the scene.

"As we walked up you could smell the death in the air. Once you smell it, you know what it is for the rest of your life," he said. "It's the first time I had ever seen anything like that, where it's - just a piece of body."

A torso, a wad of cash and a single spent bullet were all neatly packed inside a Rubbermaid container. DNA tests later confirmed what Jay's mother already feared.

"I was shaken. I could not believe it," Joanne Orbin told Van Sant of the moment she heard the news. "It tore us up and it has consumed our life for the last five years."

The murder investigation picked up where the missing persons investigation left off; with Marjorie Orbin.

"Everything is pointing towards Marjorie - the money trail... follow the money," Det. Barnes said. "And everything leads right back to Marjorie."

Marjorie was so obsessed with getting Jay's money, said Barnes, that she dumped his torso just a few miles from her own home.

"She needs Jay to be found. She needs a body," Barnes said. "She needs a death certificate so she could get that estate of Jay Orbin."

If I was going to put a body where it could be found, so I could get life insurance… I wouldn't put it outside my back door. I'm not that stupid.

But Marjorie's brash behavior continued to cause her trouble. Three weeks after finding Jay's body, police detained Marjorie for forging his signature at a Circuit City store.

Officer: "I want to talk to you a little bit about this mix up here with this credit card stuff at Circuit City."
Marjorie:"I did not know I was doing anything wrong."

She claimed she was just replacing business computers the police had confiscated.

Marjorie: I was just trying to get a computer and spend tomorrow getting ready to try and get some orders out so we could pay some bills."

During a break in the police questioning, Marjorie's son, Noah, is allowed a brief visit.

Noah: "Did they say that they can use your credit card?"
Marjorie: "No. That was probably not a good thing to do because the credit card has daddy's name on it and not mine. And you're not supposed to really use a credit card unless it has your name on it."

The questioning resumed, and went from fraud to murder.

Police: What do you think happened to Jay? What would be your best guess right now?"
Marjorie: "I have no idea. No idea. None whatsoever."

Detective Barnes took over the questioning and had a surprise for Marjorie. He confronted her with a photo she never saw before: Jay's butchered torso.

Det. Barnes: "We'd like to know where the rest of Jay is."
Marjorie: (turns away crying): "Oh my God."
Barnes: "And I think you know."
Marjorie: "I don't believe you just did that. I don't believe you just did that."
Barnes: "You're going to go to jail tonight for credit card fraud, Marjorie."
Marjorie: "This has all been a trick."

Marjorie was released later that night, but the evidence continued to mount. Investigators found receipts for mops and cleaning products purchased one day after Jay went missing.

"She acid washes the garage floor and then she epoxy coats the floor," Barnes said. "It completely erased any traces of blood that we could find."

But out of all the evidence, this is the most damning. On Sept. 10, two days after Jay went missing, Marjorie was caught on surveillance tape at a Lowe's hardware store.

"There she is on the video buying two containers with Jay Orbin's American Express card. Here she is buying the container we find Jay in," Barnes explained to Van Sant. "Was as close to the smoking gun as you - we were gonna get at that point."

It looked like case closed. But Marjorie insisted the smoking gun was pointed at the wrong person.

I trusted someone that I should not have. And I aided and abetted someone that I should not have. I'm paying a price. And that person is not.

In fact, there was another person of interest. Marjorie's boyfriend. Larry Weisberg, became a suspect in this case. He's the man who swore at Det. Butcher on the phone and confronted the SWAT team. Police found some of his clothing in a drawer in Jay Orbin's house.

"We're thinking he's living in the house. Who is he? What's his involvement? You know, the SWAT team comes into the house. Why is he trying to take on the SWAT team?" said Barnes.

"Did Larry and Marjorie fall in love?" Van Sant asked Barnes. "I believe so," he replied.

"Couldn't that be a motive for murder."

"Yes. That usually is a motive for murder," Barnes said, "Jealousy. Love."

Police eventually search Weisberg's home and vehicle and make an intriguing discovery - he had access to Jay Orbin's garage.

"He had a remote in his vehicle that let him in and out," said Barnes.

"So Jay Orbin comes home. He goes into the garage. Weisberg follows right behind. He kills Jay," said Van Sant.

"Coulda happened that way," Barnes said. "That's one thing we don't know. What we do know was Marjorie was involved… all the evidence was against Marjorie."

On Dec. 6, six weeks after her husband's dismembered body was discovered, police arrest Marjorie Orbin and charge her with Jay's murder.

"They handcuffed me in my foyer, in front of my child," she told Van Sant.

Noah was sent to live with Jay's brother, Jake. The prosecution eventually offered Larry Weisberg what's called use immunity, which means what he says cannot be used against him in court.

Marjorie's attorney, Robyn Varcoe, said that's outrageous.

"They had somebody who was a viable suspect. And they just wanted to focus in on Marjorie Orbin and totally disregarded all the other cues he was sending to them," Varcoe told "48 Hours."

But Marjorie said she didn't speak up and didn't tell the cops about Weisberg for one terrifying reason: "I've been threatened. My son has been threatened."

Varcoe said the message was, "If you tell the police that I committed this crime I will kill your son."


Marjorie's Video Diary: I've been through hell and back. A good person has unnecessarily lost his life and a coward ass piece of s--- is willing to let me take the fall for something that he caused.

For almost five years, Marjorie Orbin said she's been harboring a secret that she's now ready to reveal: that Larry Weisberg shot Jay and then threatened her son's life to silence her.

"My son was crying and screaming and he said, 'It's just that easy to snap his scrawny neck if you don't do what you're told,'" she told Peter Van Sant.

"Meaning, stick by the story?" he asked.

"Keep my mouth shut. Go along with the story," she said.

Marjorie said she then helped Larry Weisberg cover up the murder.

"I made a lot of mistakes in this situation," she said, "but I didn't cause Jay's death."

Marjorie knew she was in for the fight of her life - and the possibility she could be sentenced to death.

Marjorie's attorneys ask her if she'll let them seek a plea bargain.

"I will never let my son hear me say that I did this to his father," she told Van Sant. "I'll let them kill me first."

In court, Defense Attorney Robyn Varcoe got right to the point. "Larry Weisberg is the one who committed this crime."

"There is nothing in this finger-pointing defense that ties Larry Weisberg to the murder of Jay Orbin," countered Prosecutor Treena Kay, who said it's just another one of Marjorie Orbin's lies.

"All of the forensic evidence points to Marjorie Orbin," Kay told Van Sant. "Larry Weisberg was just another boy toy, another person to manipulate that Marjorie Orbin used… I don't think he's at all involved."

Treena Kay is a piece of work the way she paints the most tawdry picture of things.

Kay painted Marjorie as a stripper desperate for a child. And when Marjorie got what she wanted, Kay said she blew him away.

"Jay Orbin was someone she hated," Kay explained. "She found him disgusting and she wanted him dead and she wanted his money."

In court, Kay told jurors Marjorie, "got his gun, she took it out of his briefcase and she killed him."

Kay theorized Marjorie killed Jay in the garage while their son slept inside the house and then used two jig-saw blades to cut him into pieces.

"The cuts through Jay's tibia and the vertebrae were consistent with being made by a jigsaw," Kay explained.

Investigators never found the saw or the gun, but Kay had that chilling surveillance video from Lowes.

"This is a woman that's shopping for the Rubbermaid coffin for her husband," Kay told Van Sant.

The state put on one of its most damning witnesses - Sophia Johnson, Marjorie's former cellmate.

"She started going off about him, how he's fat, he's disgusting," Johnson said.

There were some things about Jay that were disgusting. There were. His table manners were horrible.

"Then she starts talking about how, I did it. I did it," continued Johnston.

Those words have never come out of my mouth. Not to anyone.

"She said, 'He was shot, frozen, de-thawed and his arms, legs and head was cut off,'" according to Johnston.

The defense dismissed Johnson as just another jailhouse snitch. But the prosecution insisted she didn't get any deal for testifying.

Prosecutors then called on the man they granted partial immunity, Larry Weisberg. It's the first time the ex-lovers have come face to face in nearly five years.

He looked at me and was shaking his head and grimacing at me. He looked menacing. Absolutely menacing…He was trying to non-verbally communicate with me to keep my mouth shut. He was trying to threaten and intimidate me.

On the stand, Weisberg painted Marjorie as a seductress - "She grabbed my hand… 'Why don't we go into your bedroom'" - and said Marjorie was increasingly desperate after Jay's body was found. "She said, 'I'm scared, I'm real scared. I want to run away. I want you to come with me.' And I said, 'What?'"

That's baloney. The whole thing he said was baloney…He sat on that stand and lied his ass off saying that he didn't know anything about any of this and that is not true.

Prosecutor Noel Levy: "Do you know anything about what happened to Jay Orbin?"

Larry Weisberg:"Absolutely not."

Levy: "Did you have any involvements whatsoever in the murder of Jay Orbin?"

Weisberg: "God. No."

On cross, Defense Attorney Herman Alcantar tried to discredit the man he says framed Marjorie Orbin.

Herman Alcantar: "You're a truthful man, right?"

Weisberg "To a point."

Alcantar: "So that means sometimes you will be truthful, and other times you will not be truthful. Is that correct?

Weisberg: "Yes."

Then Alcantar portrayed Weisberg as a man crazy enough to confront a SWAT team, angry enough to swear at a police detective and strong enough to dispose of a 280-pound man.

Incredibly, even the lead detective now had questions. Detective Barnes said evidence that may have implicated Weisberg was never tested by the Phoenix crime lab.

"Where did they drop the ball?" asked Van Sant.

"With some hairs," Barnes replied. "Hairs that were found on the tub of Jay Orbin's remains."

"What if that's Larry Weisberg's hair? What if it's Marjorie's hair?" asked Van Sant.

"It'd be nice to know," Barnes said. "I tried to get the hair tested… the crime lab said 'No.'"

"If Larry Weisberg is being falsely accused, these hairs could exonerate him for the rest of his life," urged Van Sant.

"Or it could put him in prison for the rest of his life," said Barnes. "I know for a fact that Marjorie was involved. I don't know for a fact that Larry was involved. Is it possible? I think it is possible. But everything that we looked at and everything that we were allowed to test eliminated Larry."

Two hairs tested did not match Marjorie or Larry; several other hairs weren't tested. But Kay is confident in the investigation.

"There was an incredible amount of forensic testing done in this case," she told Van Sant. "We were able to exclude anything recovered from Larry Weisberg's home as having any ties to the murder."

Three months into the trial, Det. Barnes was placed on leave for what Phoenix police call harassment. Barnes believes it is because of his criticism of the crime lab in this and several other cases.

Only one person spoke up for Marjorie - her old flame, multi-millionaire Michael J. Peter. He described a completely different Marjorie to the jury, one who could never have killed Jay for money.

Peter said he offered to support Marjorie and Noah if she would come back to him.

"And her answer to me was 'There's nothing in the world I rather do than be with you again, Michael. But Jay's a good man. I would never take the father from the child or the child from the father,'" Peter testified.

"He knew me well enough to know that I could not have done that," said Marjorie.

It was now time for the showgirl to give the performance of her life. But shockingly, her lawyers stop her, advising her not to take the stand.

With no eyewitness, no murder weapon and no definitive forensic evidence, Marjorie's attorneys believe they'll win.

"I was told the prosecution hadn't proven the case beyond a reasonable doubt," she told Van Sant.

Marjorie took their advice and never got out of her chair.

God, I hope the truth comes out. This jury has got to see that they don't know how Jay died, when he died, where he died. The prosecution, the detectives, nobody knows. I did not do this.


Marjorie's Video Diary:I'm waiting for the jury to come back. I feel I've been deceived and made a poor decision not to take the stand.

After an eight-month-long trial, the jury deliberates for only seven hours. The day Jay's family and friends have waited for is finally here.

Marjorie was found guilty.

"We're glad we got justice today for Jay," Joanne Orbin said. "We knew she did it."

"If she gets life in prison - I don't care," Jake Orbin said. "As long as we got her guilty."

"I started crying. 'Cause it was just like I knew from day one that she was guilty," said Shelly Orbin, Jake's wife.

"It couldn't be any better," Jay's friend, Marshall Roosin, said. "Finally, it could be over."

But for Marjorie, it wasn't over. She asked "48 Hours" to return to Phoenix so she could tell us what she regrets not telling the jury about Larry Weisberg.

"How'd he kill Jay Orbin?" Peter Van Sant asked Marjorie.

"In a confrontation…," she replied. "[An] unforeseen, horrific confrontation between he and Jay… in the garage of our home."

"Why'd they have a confrontation?"

"Jay came home expectedly… saw Larry entering the home," she said.

Moments later, Marjorie said shots rang out. Jay Orbin was dead. But she said, she "never saw Jay's body."

Marjorie claimed Weisberg disposed of Jay's body and that she didn't have anything to do with his dismemberment. "You'd have to put me in a rubber room if I saw a person's body cut up."

But much of her story seemed impossible to believe, like the fact she didn't call for help.

"At this point, why not call the police?" asked Van Sant.

"I could have," said Marjorie.

"You could of done the right thing and you didn't."

"I was afraid to… I was scared. I was scared. I was….

"Scared of what?"

"Scared for Larry," Marjorie said. "I didn't want him to get into trouble."

"Scared for Larry? You had a dead body in your garage."

"Right, exactly."

"Now, if the prosecutor was sitting here, you understand what she would say," said Van Sant.

"Why I didn't pick up that phone?" said Marjorie.

"Well, not only why didn't you pick it up, but you didn't pick it up because you had fired that gun. You did the killing."

"They can say that," Marjorie replied. "They can say that all they want."

When asked if there was anything that put Larry Weisberg at the Orbin house on Sept. 8, 2004, Prosecutor Treena Kay replied, "Absolutely not."

"In your opinion," said Van Sant, "he's a completely innocent man."

"I believe he is," Kay replied.

And Det. Dave Barnes isn't buying Marjorie's claim that Weisberg threatened her son. Asked if he had any evidence of that, Barnes replied, "No, none," and said that Marjorie never told him about it. In response to Van Sant's question why Marjorie hadn't mentioned this claim to him, Barnes said, "I think why not because that's not the way it happened."

"That's absolutely what I would think Marjorie would claim," Kay said. "She uses Noah as her shield when she needs to. It's the innocent child, of course your going to be like "…oh I had to do it for him.'"

"48 Hours" went to Larry Weisberg's home to talk to him about Marjorie's allegations, but he declined.

Two weeks after her guilty verdict, the jury sentenced Marjorie Orbin to life in prison.

"This is my nephew's mother. We never did want to put her to the death penalty," said Jake Orbin. "The family's happy. This is what we wanted all along from the standpoint that the guilty is what we were after."

"I'll keep fighting to save my life and I'll keep fighting to get back to my son," Marjorie told Van Sant.

Jay's friends and family still celebrate his birthday every year. He would have turned 50 on Sept. 8, 2009, the five-year anniversary of his murder.

Joanne Orbin wants her son to be remembered as a loving father, son, and a good brother.

"That he cared for other people. That he had a precious life that someone has taken from him. And we wish we could get him back. He's in a better place."

Marjorie Orbin is planning to appeal her conviction.

Produced by Liza Finley



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