As a veteran car salesman living in the suburbs of Ramapo, New York, Marckensy Louissaint never could have predicted that he would become swept up in a murder-for-hire plot. But when his friend and client Kelly Gribeluk came into the dealership one afternoon and asked him to help “get rid of” her new boyfriend’s wife, Louissaint knew he had to get involved.
“I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I know I wake up tomorrow and find out this lady is dead,” Louissaint told “Murder for Hire,” airing Sundays at 7/6c on Oxygen.
The intended victim was Susan Bernstein, a stay-at-home mother of three who had recently separated from her husband, podiatrist Ira Bernstein. In fear that Gribeluk would find another hitman to murder Susan, Louissaint pretended he knew someone who could “do the job.” He quickly contacted authorities and became an informant for the Ramapo Police Department.
Louissaint met with Gribeluk several more times before he was introduced to Ira, whom she called the “boss” of the operation. Louissaint was offered $100,000 — with $2,000 upfront — to arrange Susan’s hit, but Ira was wary of giving Louissaint the final go-ahead.
“[H]e’s in such conflict,” Gribeluk told Louissaint. “The guy can’t sleep. He can’t eat. It’s a hard enough decision emotionally that his kids will be without a mom. … So it’s like, he knows what he’s gotta do, but it’s killing him.”
During one of their last meetings, which was recorded by a camera concealed between the backseats of Louissant’s vehicle, Louissaint reassured Ira he was “clean guy” and that he could trust him to take care of the murder.
At one point, Ira turned around, faced the hidden camera and asked Louissaint, “What’s that thing that’s in-between the two seats there?”
Louissaint told “Murder for Hire” his “heart drop[ped]” and that he believed it was “over” for him. The car salesman, however, quickly saved the operation.
“It’s for the DVD … the receiver for the headsets,” said Louissaint.
Relieved, the two laughed, and Louissaint maintained Ira was “not dealing with rookies.” Following their conversation, Louissaint again met with Gribeluk, who told him to move forward with the hit.
Gribeluk and Ira were then arrested and charged with second-degree conspiracy and second-degree criminal solicitation for Susan’s murder-for-hire plot, reported USA Today. They both took deals and pleaded guilty to second-degree conspiracy. Gribeluk was sentenced to four to 12 years in prison, and Ira was sentenced to five to 15 years in prison.
To learn more about the investigation and other undercover operations, watch “Murder for Hire” on Oxygen.
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for Oxygen Insider for all the best true crime content.