Police: Wealthy elderly man copies ‘CSI’ show to stage his suicide as murder, transfer ‘large sum’ of life insurance prior to death

A wealthy Florida man likely copied a “CSI” episode to stage an elaborate suicide as a murder, the Palm Beach Post reports.

Last year, 71-year-old Alan Jay Abrahamson was found dead in a field. He had been shot to death. As investigators examined the scene, they noticed something unusual: a blood trail across his jacket to the collar that looked as if someone had dragged a string.

And there was his computer. Police discovered that Abrahamson had searched the internet for information about how to mask a suicide as a murder, and had also researched weather balloons. Authorities later determined the case matched the plot of a 2003 “CSI” episode in which a character stages his suicide as a murder so his family can get payments from his life insurance policy.

In the show, the man shoots himself with a gun he had tied to a helium balloon, which carried the gun away from the scene.

“We discovered a 2003 television episode of ‘CSI Las Vegas,’ ” a police report states. “In the episode, one of the plot lines was of an individual who staged a homicide by tying a gun to helium filled balloons [which] carried [the] gun from the scene.”

The same episode was the impetus for a 2008 copycat suicide in New Mexico. Police learned that Abrahamson bought two weather balloons and had emailed the balloon seller to ask how much weight the balloons could hold. He also purchased helium tanks.

Investigators further determined that Abrahamson had transferred large amounts of money into his life-insurance account prior to dying, according to the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel.

The gun used to kill Abrahamson has yet to be found. Police believe the balloon could have transported the gun into the Atlantic Ocean, 20 miles away.

[Feature Photo: Alan Jay Abrahamson/Palm Beach Gardens Police Department]