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DEATHS ON A BOCA STREET

. . . I - .*h hiUtt
y ... e 1n ove l.YJl}l ,.: _ ' .. '. . _
and she was tq death of hiril'
COURTESY
Gemma and Ian Burlakoff. were
married In 2005 and were
seeking a divorce.
BY BlUTTANY SHAMMAs
Staff writer
. papers were
filed, the house in.fm:edosure,
M&P.sta.11 under
stress "'aBo\tt . ey m\i mental
health.
Ian . and Gemma Burlakoff
had be'en separated for about a
month when theydecided to try
Witlljh. weeks, their trou.-
bleiLn'larnage ended in two
bursts ofbulletuiter dinner at:"
the Bcica Ral on Resort and
Club.
'f CQuple's argument that
SUiiday iwening would be the
liist of ma)i.y.
Pbiice say Ian
shot and killed his
,wife .
before sunset po-
lice cOnfronted him across.
street soon after, .. Burlakoff
reached fOr . his handgun and
police shot.him dead. , ,. ,
Public .records and .inter':'
.cviews -Who knew
Ian Bnrlakoffpidnt
a picjUre of a. volatile man:ial
neither was ready tc> leave. . .
. work, ver.y
badly,'' .said Gemnui.'s . attorney,
Katherirte Corrigan, of Fort
Lauderdale.
See.DEATHS, 13A
Sun Sentinel October 27, 2013 P1A
=' .J
/
DEATHS
Continued from Page 1A
Ian's father, Leonard
Burlakoff, said his son was
most concerned about his
four children, all girls, the
oldest 12 and the youngest
just a baby. "He wanted to
get back together.mainly for
the kids. He was afraid that
he wouldn't see the younger
ones enough:'
In this marriage, signs of
trouble came early. Arid
over the next eight years,
the good times were broken
up with police calls to the
house, fights over gambling
debts and shopping sprees,
and allegations of infidelity.
Roots
of the marriage
The couple married in
October 2005, four years af-
ter her sister introduced ,
them. It was the third mar-
riage for both of them, court
records show.
She was outgoing and
friendly, a Florida State Uni-
versity Tri-Delt who stud-
ied occupational therapy
and once worked at Delray
Medical Center, family
members said.
He played basketball for
Brandeis University in Mas-
sachusetts and went on to
get a law degree from Nova
Southeastern University. In
the end he followed in his
dad's footsteps as a car deal-
er, working his way up to
general manager of King
Hyundai in Deerfield Beach
and bringing home .
$850,000 a year, court re-
cords show.
Ian Burlakoff had a
daughter from a previous
marriage. Three other
daughters later joined the
family, the youngest born
just over a year ago, and the
couple gave each a first
name that began with a ''B:'
Their mother stayed home
with them.
The family lived in a
7,500-square foot home
with nine bathrooms in the
Oaks at Boca Raton. Re-
cords show Ian Burlakoff
bought it with his mother
and father for $19 million in
2004. Gemma Burlakoff
drove a 2013 Cadillac Esca-
lade valued at $58,000,
while Ian used a company
sedan.
They were members at
the Boca Raton Resort and
Club, according to court
.e1__ __..J ... t.._.:_ -1..:1..:1--- _ ....
clothing, $4,500 on enter-
tainment and $2,000 on va-
cations, court documents
show.
Leonard Burlakoff said
his daughter-in-law put
pressure on her husband to
make enough money to sup-
port that lifestyle, and he
had to lend him money to
keep up. Her father said Ian
had a gambling habit that
drained the marriage:
Ian Burlakoff worked
long hours six days a week,
his father said, and called
Sunday the ''kids' day" be-
cause he always spent it
with the children.
"That's who he lived for;'
Leonard Burlakoff said.
"That's all he lived for:'
Trouble
in the home
Trouble erupted just two
months after they marri.ed.
Ian Burlakoff sought a
protective order against his
new wife. In court paper-
work he filed on Dec. 27,
2005, he wrote that Gemma 1
had hit his father over the
head with a wine bottle the
previous day - second
day of Hanukkah for the
. Jewish family.
The next day, Ian B"urla-
koff was back in court to
drop the restraining order.
It was dismissed and
Gemma, who had moved
out, returned home.
In the years that fol-
lowed, sheriff's office depu-
ties were called to the house
multiple times, sometimes
twice in one day. Over the
six-year span from October
2007 to last Sunday, there
, .........
Roots
of the marriage
The couple married in
October 2005, four years af-
ter her sister -introduced
them. It was the third mar-
riage for both of them, court
records show. . . ...
She was outgoing a#d'
friendly, aFlorida State Um
venity who stud-
ied occupational therapy
and once worked at Delray
Medical Center, family
members said. '
He played basketball for
Brandeis University in Mas-
sachtisetts and went on to
get a law degree from Nova
Southeastern University. In
the end he followed in his
dad's footsteps as a car deal-
.er, working his way up to
general manager of King
Hyundai in Deerfield Beach
and bringing home
$850,000 a year, court re-
cords show.
Ian Burlakoff had ,a
daughter from a previous
marriage; Three other
later joined the
the youngest born
just over a year ago, and the
cc;>Uple gave each a first
name that began with a "B.''
Their mother stayed home
with them.
The family' lived .in a
7,500-square foot home
with nine bathroomS in the
Oaks at Boca Raton. Re-
cords show Ian Burlakoff
bought it with his mother
and father for $19 million in
2004. Gemma Btirlakoff
drove a 2013 Cadillac Esca-
lade valued at, $58,000;
while Ian used. a company
sedan. .
. / Ibey ,,were. members at
the Boca Raton Resc!rt and
Club, according to court
files, their children at-
tended private schools -
North Broward Preparatory
School in Coconut Creek
for the oldest, Saint An-
drew's School in Boca Ra-
tol). for the younger school-
aged daughter. They had a
full-time nanny.
In an average month, the
family spent $3,500 on
clothing, $4,500 enter-
tainment and $2;000 on ya..
catiortS, court documents
show.
Leonard Burlakoff said
his daughter:-in-law put
pres8ure on her husband to
make enough money to sup-
port that lifestyle, and he
had to lend him money to
keep up. Her father said Ian
had a gambling habit that
drained the marriage.
.Ian Butlakoff worked
long hours six days a week;
his father said, and called
Sunday the "kids' day" be-
cause he always spent it
' with the children.
"That's who he lived for."
Leonard said.
"That's all he lived for."
Trouble
in the home
Trouble erupted juSt: two
months after they married.
Ian Burlakoff sought a
protective order against his
new wife. In court paper-
work he filed on Dec. 27,
2005, he wrote that Gemma
had hit his father over the
head with a wine bottle the
previolis day - second
day of Hanukkah for the
. Jewish family.
The next day, Ian Burla-
koff was back in court to
drop the restraining order.
It was ' dismissed and
Gemma, who had moved
out, returned home.
In the years that fol-
lowed; sheriff's office depu-
ties were called to the house
multiple times, someili,nes
twice in one. ;day; OWf the
six-year span ftbfti' October
2007 to last Sunday, there
were eight calls, .records
show. The Sheriff's Office
was unable to state the rea-
son for all the calls, but said
one involved a domestic dis-
and another a verbal
threat.
Ian. Burlakoff filed for di-
vorce on June 2l, Writing in
court documents that the
marriage was "hTetrievably
broken.'' His wifei he wrote,
refused to work and wasted
on "mitrageous
shopping sprees:' snatching
up shoes and purses with
price tags in the thousands.
She had hundreds of
pairs of shoes that -cost
.$1,000 or more a pall; about
50 purses that ranged from
$2,000 to $5,000 airieee,
and $80,000 worthttfjew-
elry, court records show.
Although Ian BurlakQff
said she refused to
Gemma Burlakoff claimed
that he insisted she stay
home with the kids.
Someone called police to
the house the night the di-
vorce papers Were filed, and
Ian Burlakoff moved out.
He retreated to}s parents'
Boe.a Raton house, calliJ)g
daily to talk to his kids, ac-
cording to his father . .
. The two oldest, who are
six and 12, were lit 11'1 an.:
summer. sleep-away camp
in New York. 'the yoitmpr
two, oae and four old,
with their lllGll1 at
the family's ftolllSe ia the
Oaks.
Geriun.a Burlakoff
wouldn't let 1w h.Dead
see them, a:ccordini tc('
paperwork he Ried wfdt the 1
court. Ian clahned Gemma
told h;s mother the wasn'!
allowed to write ta the cou
pie's 6-year-old daughter at
summer camp.
Ian Burlakoff wrote that
he loved his children and
pleaded with the court to
help him apend time 1fltli
them.
Corri an said Gemma
devastated" bi her us-
band's decision to divorce
her. She said she WIS left
with nothing - not even
enough money fol' the.
baby's diapers.
About a month after Ian
Burlakoff filed for divori:e,
Gemma Burlakoff fired
back, telling the court he
blew $1,000 a month on
personal grooming - in
eluding body waxing- and
poured more into
8';nbedsQ:roids. .
Genuna Burlakoff wrote
that she had reason to be-
lie"Ve her husband had or
was having an affair.
She said he refused to
take lllf!dication for his bi-
wlar diSotder.
An&lQ &greed that the
marriage was broken.
"She was in love with him
and she was seated to death
him/' said.
1
'It
was 5uch a dichotomy be
caU'se his behavior was er-
ratic:' ,
teoniii'.d Burlakoff said
his son had a mbod disorder,
but was stable and taldng,
his medicine. He said Ian
was in love with Gemma
and vvm,.ta never have an
af{air. .
In court filings, 'the cou-
ple argued over alimony. Ian
Burlakoff wrote that his
wife was "fully capable" of
gettitig a job and supporting
ROBERT DUVOS/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
'That's who he lived for ... That's all
he lived for."
, Leonard Burlakoff, above, said of his son Ian's children
l""'l"f--------.Jl'ff .... , - . . . , . ~ - - - -' --- -- -- - --- .
STAFF FILE PHOTO
Ian Burlakoff, center, with his wife, Gemma, and daughter
Blake, then 5, during a Tot Shabbat service at Temple Beth
El in Boca Raton in 2006.
LEONARD BURLAKOFF/COURTESV
Ian Burlakoff with his daughter, Blake, in an unc;lated photo.
The Burlakoffs had three other children.
/
herse1 Burlakoff, _
said her husband


ford to contnoute" to sup-
porting her that
could' "maintam herself m
the same standard she en-
joyed dUringthe marriage."
The two talked about get-
ting help or counseling,
COnigan said. Eventually,
before the summer was
over, they got back together
to give their marriage an-
other Chance.
"I .tried .all
make her
there's these issues
it's to
away," Gemma's mother,
Linda Villareale, told
WPTV-Ch. 5. "She couldn't,
she couldn't for the sake of
the children."
The end
of everything
The Friday before she
died, Gemma told her father
everything was _fin_e. They
chatted about the new
nanny and when he could
come visit his grandchil-
dren, Frank Villareale said.
Two days later, she and
Ian had their last argument.
What it concerned and how
.it escalated is not clear.
Police have said little, and
his family and hers tell dif.
rerent versions of events.
On this they agree: The
couple and the oldest
children spent the day at the
Boca Raton Resort and Club
on East Camino Real. The
family often spent days
poolside at the club, Leon-
ard Burlakoff said. The baby
was home with the nanny. ,
Gemma's mother sug"'
gested to a television.station
that he 1'lay have seen
something on ,her phone
and gotten angry. Ian's fa.
ther said he didn't know
what started it.
Her family told reporters
she left the club and was
running from him when he
shot her in front of the Chal-
fonte condomillium bUlld-
ing near 500 Ocean Boule-
vard. It's not clear where
the children were in that
version of the story.
Leonard Burlakoff told it
differently. He said he was
at work when he got a des-
perate call from his son
about 5:30 p.m.
Come quick, he recalled
Ian saying. He and Gemma
had gotten into a fight and -
he had walked out of the
restaurant with two of the
children, leaving the car be-
hind for her and the
12-year-old daughter. He
was down
Boulevard and .needed a
ride. . .
Ian Burlakoff had a con-
cealed weapons permit and
often carried a gun for pro-
tection, his father said.
Leonard Burlakoff said
he pulled _ up to a scene
swanning with police.
" ... . When I got there I -
. saw Ian on the ground and
two cops were shooting,
with him on the ground,''
Leonard Burlakoff recalled.
"I tried to get through with
my car to get to him, yelling,
'This is my son!' "
, Now, with his son and
daughter-in-law both gone,
he seems riddled with re-
gretthat he didn't arrive just
a few niinutes sooner. '
:got there as faSt as I
could,'' he said. "If I would
have gotten there earlier,
before this would have hap-
pened, I would have had
him and the two little kids
in the car and I would have
driven them home.
''!twas an argument And
they've had arguments be-
fore."
bshammas@tribune.com,.
561.-243-6531 or Twitter
@britsham

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