NORTHAMPTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) – A local lawyer has been gunned down just outside his office. More than a decade later, the murder of Eric Birnbaum remains unclear.
February 11, 2009. It was an unusually warm day for the dead of winter. Civil lawyer Eric Birnbaum has just arrived for his job. It was 9 a.m.
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“A male subject approached behind him, shot him once in the back of the neck and the suspect fled the area,” Northampton Township Police Lt. Charles Pinkerton said.
The fatal shooting took place in the parking lot of the Holland Section Law Firm of Northampton Township Bucks County.
Terry Goldberg, Birnbaum’s longtime best friend and legal partner, remembers the phone ringing at home. The shrill cries were hard to understand.
“My first thought was, ‘Oh my God, I can’t understand a word of what she was saying, but it looks like someone’s dead,’ Goldberg said.“ It was that kind of screaming. “
A secretary who arrived at work at the same time was able to provide a description of the gunman to police, but investigators say it was too vague and they never took a break.
“In the years since 2009, we’ve conducted hundreds of interviews to try to establish a pattern,” Pinkerton said.
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Who would want Birnbaum dead? His story gave no clue.
“I think what’s frustrating about the investigation is Eric’s impeccable track record,” Goldberg said. “As if there was no one they had found yet who would speak badly of him.” No one who had an ax to grind with him.
The police even worked an organized crime angle to no avail.
Goldberg said he had spent many sleepless nights trying to unravel the mystery of what had happened, in an attempt to identify a reason.
“I was logging into our computer system as Eric, going through every correspondence, browsing every email, browsing every file, trying to see or find something that would lead me to a disgruntled customer or upset defendant in a deal, ”Goldberg mentioned.
Birnbaum left two daughters.
“It’s a shame to lose such a close friend and such a great person, such a great father,” Goldberg said.
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If you have information that may be of use to the police, call the Northampton Township Police Department at 215-322-6111.