The Duh in Dalia: What She Could Have Learned About Hiring a Hitman in South Florida

There are a great many lessons to be learned from the sad story of Dalia Dippolito, the Boynton Beach woman who's accused of paying a hitman (who was actually an undercover agent) to kill her husband.

The first is that you shouldn't marry someone only to try killing them six months later. The second is that hitmen exist mostly in the movies; in real life they tend to be undercover operatives. Third, if that hitman's willing to do the deed for the bargain basement price of 3-grand, well, he's most definitely not a hitman. There's some bargains in this economy, but not in the murdering biz. It's recession proof.

But Dippolito didn't have to learn all those lessons the hard way, as is alleged. Rather, she could have learned much from where her fellow South Floridians had gone wrong.

  • Christina Hoar got a rotten name and, eventually, a diobolical ex-husband in Christopher Hoar, who was busted for twice hiring a hitman to off her. But for $5,000 the Jensen Beach man got a detective with the Martin County's Sheriff's Office. Again, this service rarely comes so cheap from the real thing.
  • Even when you pay top dollar and get the real thing -- two advantages that Dippolito didn't have, allegedly -- it's bloody hard to make a clean getaway, as James Sullivan from Palm Beach learned. For $25,000 (a lot of money in 1987), he hired a hitman to kill his wife Lita so she could ransack him in their divorce proceedings. Sullivan had the means to jump the border and evade justice for 17 years, but he turned up eventually and was convicted in 2006.
  • Another conspirator who was far more meticulous a planner than Dippolito allegedly was, Jesus Navidad Rodriguez, made sure investigators never found his wife Isabel's body -- the kind of evidence that tends to be essential to a murder conviction. He got convicted anyway.
  • Marie Pierre-Bien-Aime of Wellington is accused of trying to get the gruesome job done for just $1,500 (and a down payment of $300!) but Miami Police say that the supermarket security guard she hired told the target, Samuel Pierre-Bien-Aime about the plot, then offered to split the money. That $150 would have made a down payment on the hundreds of thousands that Samuel claimed his wife had stolen from him, but he decided to just call the cops before she found a more qualified assassin.

So take heed, those of you mulling the murder of your spouse. It's not a job for amateurs. And even when you think you're hiring a professional, you're probably not.

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