Raising a Man from the Dead

Insurance investigators claim to uncover an elaborate fraud

Just past daybreak on July 27, 1981, Robert Granberg and two friends set out from his home in Staten Island, N.Y., on a fishing trip. At a dock in Atlantic Highlands, N.J., they bought bait and rented a weathered 15-foot rowboat with a small outboard engine. "I hope none of us falls overboard," one of the men laughingly told a deckhand as they headed out to sea. "None of us can swim."

The trio—made up of Granberg, a retired New York state investigator; Salvatore Rignola, a New...

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