The $17 million lottery win that led to a murder was called a curse
Abraham Shakespeare was a laborer who won $17 million. This was the start of a "curse" that led to him going missing and being killed.
I found an article about an Australian lottery winner that linked to a story called "The Lottery Curse" four years ago.
People who win a lot of money in the lottery are cursed, and within a year, 90% of them have no friends, no family, and no money.
I couldn't believe it at first, so I started looking into it. Then I read about Dorice Donegan "Dee-Dee" Moore and Abraham Lee Shakespeare, two Americans.
Mr. Shakespeare, who was 43, worked as a casual worker. In 2006, he won $US17 million in the Florida lottery, which was part of a $US30 million win.
His family reported him missing in 2009, and in January 2010, his body was found in Moore's backyard, buried under a concrete slab. On December 10, 2012, the 40-year-old was found guilty of killing him and given a sentence of life in prison without the chance of parole.
Two stories that are very different
Moore and I have talked and done interviews over the past four years. She has always said she was innocent, and ever since she was found guilty, she has been trying to clear her name.
Moore, who is now 50 years old, says she first met Abraham when she told a friend she wanted to write a book and was looking for a good story. It's not enough to say that she found one.
She says that someone told her that in the year after Mr. Shakespeare won the lottery, he spent all of the money and had very little left. But she says she started to think something more sinister was going on not long after she met him.
Moore says that Mr. Shakespeare lent money to people he thought were drug dealers in order to protect it from a lawsuit he was in with a former coworker who said Mr. Shakespeare stole the winning lottery ticket from him.
Moore says he gave it to drug dealers because they could borrow and return large amounts of money "under the table."
Moore says that when it came time for the dealers to pay the money back, they decided they'd rather not. Moore says that they started to threaten Mr. Shakespeare's life by telling him that he would be "taken care of" if he tried to go after them for his money.
But the police say something very different.
They say that Moore killed Abraham Shakespeare on April 6, 2009, and that he didn't come back after that. People say that she took advantage of him by becoming his financial adviser and taking control of his assets. They say that she scammed Mr. Shakespeare out of his last million dollars.
Once he had lost most of his money, she killed him and buried him in the backyard.
Not long after Shakespeare went missing, the police started looking into Moore using a sting operation, but it wasn't like the ones you see in movies.
In this case, a police officer went undercover and pretended to be one of Shakespeare's supposed friends. He said he was willing to take the blame while hiding a recording device in a Red Bull can.
Police found Mr. Shakespeare's body in the end, and Moore was found guilty of killing him.
Moore, on the other hand, says that there is a lot of proof that Shakespeare was still alive after April 6, including a paternity test whose results did not come out until May of that year. She says that he got results that he told his ex-partner about personally.
The recordings showed
So, I put pen to paper and wrote her a letter telling her I would love to hear her story. I didn't know it at the time, but that simple letter would lead me to quit my full-time job as a radio host and start my own podcast, One Minute Remaining, which I record in the playroom where my kids play.
When we first talked, Moore said she had been set up to take the blame and was being used as a scapegoat for a much darker story.
She said she was afraid for her life, and audio of two drug dealers saying she would "disappear" if she talked to police about certain people was played for her.
She not only told me about this audio, but she also sent it to me along with more audio and video evidence she had recorded during these events. She said that the recordings were proof that she was not guilty and that Mr. Shakespeare was broke and she was helping him out with money.
When I heard what was on these tapes, I couldn't believe it.
At this point, no one besides Moore has ever been linked to or charged with this crime, and none of the detectives in the case have ever been found to have done anything wrong.
Since I started my podcast, One Minute Remaining, Moore has brought her evidence back to court, including new DNA evidence that shows someone else was at the crime scene. So, she has been given a new hearing to present evidence, which could lead to her case going back to court.