Playboy model Sandy Bentley is at the centre of renewed LAPD interest after her involvement with Mark Yagalla and his collection of expensive jewels that went missing. Subsequently Michael Tardio, a doorman at The Garden of Eden and former lover of Bentley was murdered along with his friend Christopher Monson.
Before this mysterious sequence of events took place Sandy Bentley and her twin sister Mandy were favourites at Hugh Hefner’s side.
After she fell out of favour at the Playboy Mansion, Bentley started dating Mark Yagalla, who was reported at the time to be a hedge fund trader. However new evidence suggests that he had set up a Ponzi scheme (according to Peter Van Sant) and both he and his Playboy lover were living in the most luxurious circumstances.
For reasons unknown the FBI moved in on the pair’s home and tried to seize Yagalla’s possessions, although it would appear they had been tracking him for sometime.
Amongst the items they tried to take from the Las Vega home was a collection of jewellery reported to be worth around $1m. By the time the FBI arrived the jewellery was gone and with it Sandy Bentley who is accused of stealing it. It is thought she took the stash to Michael Tardio, whom she met and began dating while visiting The Garden of Eden, so he could sell it on the black market in Los Angeles.
Tardio made some inquiries and eventually found a suitable buyer who was willing to pay the $1m. With his friend Chris Monson he went to meet the buyer but the pair were murdered; their bodies were found in a Mercedes SUV in Van Nuys, both with gunshot wounds to the head. The murderer had unsuccessfully tried to burn the vehicle.
It’s been eight years since the strange sequence of events took place, and although Bentley is not a suspect in the case, police are hoping she has some evidence that might open new doors to them.
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images: lavishlashes.co.uk, pointblanklucu.com