The Shmooze

'Jewish Husbands Don't Kill Their Wives'

By Michael Kaminer

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“Jewish husbands don’t kill their wives. They buy them jewelry.”

That’s one way Houston socialite Yvonne Stern is defending her betrothed, a Maserati-driving personal-injury attorney named Jeffrey Stern — the man accused of hiring paid assassins to get rid of her. To the shock of her friends, neighbors and Houstonians who’ve been following the case, Yvonne Stern’s also dropped divorce proceedings against Jeffrey and become his staunchest defender against the attempted murder charges, according to February’s Texas Monthly magazine.

The TM story lays out the long, sordid tale of the Sterns and the affair that apparently led to three bungled attacks on Yvonne at the couple’s home in a tony Houston neighborhood. “The only thing more stunning than three failed shooting attempts are the people that police and prosecutors say hired the string of hit men: Jeffrey Stern and his mistress, law office manager Michelle Gaiser,” according to Houston gossip site Culturemap. “Gaiser issued a 70-page confession when she was arrested and three hit men have been sentenced for their roles (a fourth hit man’s case hung the jury), but it seems like no one but the prosecutors believes that Jeffrey Stern is guilty.”

That includes Yvonne Stern, who moved back in with her husband after spending a summer in Aspen and “making a pros and cons list,” according to the Texas Monthly story. “I’m sorry, but I’m not in a trance, I’ve not been bribed and there was certainly no prenup. Believe me, if we had divorced, I’d be far richer than I am now,” Yvonne Stern tells the magazine. “I actually told the detectives that my husband is Jewish and Jewish husbands don’t kill their wives. They buy them jewelry.”

Jeffrey Stern’s lawyers are portraying Gaiser as a jealous obsessive who “stalked” Yvonne Stern.

Jeffrey Stern, Texas Monthly noted, “was raised in a strictly Jewish household” in Milwaukee; he and his wife support Houston Jewish charities, attend a local synagogue, and send their kids to a private Jewish day school. Stern’s trial is set to begin this spring.


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