Home True Crime

CNBC ‘Blood & Money’ 1×04 – Peter Kovach and Ted Gould Murders

Peter Kovach and Ted Gould Murders
Murder victims, L to R: Peter Kovach, Ted Gould.

Peter Kovach and Ted Gould Murders – Murder mysteries often involve multiple layers that are difficult to unravel. The case of Peter Kovach and Ted Gould in Southern California is an example. At first, investigators thought there were no leads to pursue; however, an unexpected encounter in another state provided incredible information that ultimately led to a breakthrough in the case.

CNBC’s ‘Blood & Money’ season 1 episode 4, ‘A College Kingpin’s Greed‘, provides a detailed narrative of events surrounding the case. If you want to know more about Peter Kovach and Ted Gould’s murder and her killer, read below for your answer.

Peter Kovach and Ted Gould Murder

Ted Gould had been employed at Galleria Telecom in Torrance, California, for only a brief time since October 1994. Close friends Peter Kovach and RJ Panah eventually formed a business partnership and co-owned the establishment with Ted. On October 26th 1994, Paul Poduska visited Ted at work but found the shop deserted upon his arrival.

Paul’s anxiety over the situation increased when RJ stopped by to check on the store and noticed all of its lights were on. Upon witnessing Paul’s concern and realizing Peter and Ted’s cars were still outside, Panah contacted authorities for assistance.

Police investigation revealed no signs of theft from the store, and there was no indication of any violent activity. However, they noticed that Panah’s cameras were pointed upwards; upon asking him about this fact, Panah informed them they were non-functional, leaving investigators perplexed as to why these men had suddenly vanished and eager for any leads that might lead them to the right direction.

On October 31, 1994, a chilling double homicide occurred at Lawndale Industrial Park in San Diego County. Both men’s bodies were decomposed and bloated upon discovery; an autopsy revealed signs of strangulation. Paul, Peter’s mother, and sister were all devastated by this news and trying to come to grips with its horrific discovery.

Kenneth Kenny Fieldman
Kenneth Kenny Fieldman. source: CNBC

The Investigation

According to information obtained in New York, Peter Kovach and Ted Gould died in California. ATF agents witnessed a kidnapping attempt and were able to prevent it, leading to Bruce Wolosky’s confession that he and his colleagues had killed Peter Kovach – an individual involved in drug trafficking.

Police eventually discovered that Peter and Howard Bloomgarden had been involved in drug trafficking since college. Peter worked for an organization out of California, overseeing the importation and distribution of drugs from Mexico. A shipment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of marijuana was seized by authorities while on its way to Florida – leading Howard to become suspicious about Peter’s motives.

According to Ruben Hernandez, the three men attempted to talk with Peter when they saw him outside the store, but when that failed, they kidnapped him and Ted Gould and took them to a motel in Lawndale, where both died. Kenny Friedman – Howard’s brother – was on the phone with Hernandez during this incident, and it appears that Kenny beat Peter while Hernandez restrained him; however, Hernandez claims he had no idea that Kenny was trying to suffocate Peter instead.

Howard Bloomgarden
Howard Bloomgarden. source: CNBC

Arrests and Convictions

Federal courts found Kenneth “Kenny” Friedman, Ruben Hernandez, Juan Galindo, Gary Friedman and Gus Malave guilty of racketeering charges. Howard admitted to funding the kidnappings and ordering the killings over the phone as part of his plea agreement; this case was also tried in California courts, where Howard was found guilty of both murders.

Kenny Friedman was on death row at San Quentin when the crime was committed, and authorities declared him suicide in August 2012. Gary received three life sentences for his crimes, while Hernandez, Galindo, and Malave had their sentences reduced. Howard was sentenced to life without parole by California’s judicial system in 2016 after serving 33 years of a federal government sentence.