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Bodybuilder ex-cop ‘White Rhino’ kills himself in front of police

by Ellen Killoran

Feds were questioning him about his ties to a murder suspect

A hulking former NYPD officer fatally shot himself in the head after Feds pulled him over for questioning about his ties to a murder suspect.

According to the Daily News, Gerard Benderoth, 48, was driving in Rockland County, New York, Wednesday morning when FBI agents and state troopers pulled him over. As they were approaching his car, Benderoth shot himself in the head.

The FBI was reportedly investigating Benderoth’s relationship with Nicholas Tartaglione, a former police officer who is accused of killing four people in a bar after a bad drug deal and then burying their remains in his yard.

Tartaglione’s lawyer Bruce Barket told the Daily News he had heard of Benderoth but didn’t know much in the way of specifics.

“I can’t imagine what was weighing on his mind that led him to do that,” Barket said.

The FBI confirmed the suicide in a statement to the Daily News.

While conducting a law enforcement vehicle stop this morning, FBI Agents and task force officers approached a man who was the only occupant of a stopped vehicle. During the approach, the man drew a handgun and shot himself. He died of the self-inflicted wound.

Benderoth was a muscular 360 pounds, and went by the name White Rhino as a bodybuilding hobbyist. According to a YouTube video obtained by the Daily News, Benderoth said the movie Conan the Barbarian inspired him to become a bodybuilder at a young age.

It is not known if Benderoth was suspected of being involved in Tartaglione’s alleged crime.

According to a GoFundMe page, Benderoth left behind a family of five, including a baby.

 

Photo: GoFundMe

Ellen is a seasoned journalist and former media & entertainment reporter with a taste for true crime. Formerly a senior editor at IBTimes, her work has appeared in Forbes, Rolling Stone, Maxim, NYMag, Indiewire, and more. She co-produced the HBO documentary "Youth Knows No Pain" and appeared in a documentary series that aired alongside the Lifetime movie "Manson's Lost Girls."