Survival of Gayle Wolfer : the movie made about her tragic shooting


Survival of Gayle Wolfer : the movie made about her tragic shooting


On March 25, 1988 Western New York real estate agent Gayle Wolfer was showing a house in Sardinia, southeast of Buffalo, when a man posing as a prospective buyer shot her in the face, chest and neck. He had been tipped-off that there was alleged drug money stashed in the house.

The owner of the house, Craig Bush, was allegedly a cocaine dealer looking to sell his home and get out of the drug dealing business. He was also shot and suffered brain damage. His fiancé had been handcuffed by the shooter but managed to escape from the house during the time when Ms. Wolfer was being shot.

Wolfer put up a struggle after the assailant’s handgun initially jammed. She survived her three bullet wounds and less than five months later, by sheer coincidence, came upon the man who shot her. She identified the shooter as Edward Beaufort-Cutner, an Erie County sheriff’s deputy who happened to be mounted on a horse during a patrol at the Erie County Fair.

During his trial it was determined Beaufort-Cutner had stolen $2,600 cash from Bush’s home before he shot his victims. Beaufort-Cutter was convicted of attempted murder, robbery, burglary, and weapons counts. He was sentenced to 29 to 50 years in prison.

Ms. Wolfer’s story was so compelling that a made-for-TV movie called “With Murder In Mind” aired on CBS in 1992. The late actress Elizabeth Montgomery played Wolfer’s character. Gayle and her companion Robert Sprague, who had played a key role in her recovery, attended the filming in Atlanta and served as extras in the movie.
Sprague’s character was played by Robert Foxworth.

WIVB-TV reporter Rich Newberg and photographer-editor Jack Keller documented the making of the movie in a four-part series that aired in May 1992. There were two other Buffalo connections to the making of the movie. Jack Maurer, the executive producer, and Joanie Cuff, an associate producer, were from Western New York. Cuff personally knew Ms. Wolfer and attended school with her children.





Rich Newberg Reports Collection


WIVB (Television Station: Buffalo, N.Y.)
Buffalo & Erie County Public Library (publisher of digital)


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