Man fakes his own death after wife hires hitman
Given the current divorce rate in the USA, it seems likely that very few marriages could be described as happy ones, and even fewer - if any - would be recognised as perfect.
However, while a great deal of people have their issues, many of them find a way to resolve them in an amicable and practical manner. Sometimes that means going to a relationship counsellor, other times it just means rethinking the relationship a little bit, and, quite often, it results in the couple simply calling it quits and moving on.
Of course, there are rare occasions where a spouse finds a more extreme way of cutting ties from their significant other - and it almost never ends well.
In a series of events befitting of a far-fetched crime drama, Maria 'Lulu' Sosa, a 43-year-old personal trainer, hatched a plot to kill her husband, Ramon. Fortunately for him, it went horribly wrong.
Up until 2015, the Sosas' marriage had been a seemingly happy one, but financial worries were beginning to put a strain on the relationship. Ramon later explained that they had wanted to divorce, but their money troubles prevented them from doing so.
However, rather than talk through the issues with her husband or, you know, just be a decent human being about the whole situation, Lulu reportedly went to drastic measures... by seeking the services of a contracted killer.
But there was one problem with her plan: the man she approached to carry out the hit was actually an old friend of Ramon's.
"I knew [the hitman], because I'd coached him. He'd been in trouble in the past, but had turned his life around," Mr. Sosa explained. "At first, when he called and said he needed to see me, because someone 'wanted to kill me,' I thought he was joking."
Unfortunately, he wasn't. Lulu had offered the man $2,000 to do the deed, and had appeared "deadly serious" upon making the request.
Obviously, this came as a huge shock to Ramon, who had previously described his marriage as "paradise". But, instead of making a hasty decision on how to seek justice against his wife, the boxing coach and former gym-owner decided to make a plan that would ensure she would face punishment for her actions.
"We devised a plan for him to wear a wire and tape her offering money to have me killed, before turning the evidence over to the cops," Ramon said.
But it got a lot more elaborate than that.
After handing the recorded evidence over to police, law enforcement decided to fake Ramon's death.
With the help of the FBI, Ramon staged a murder scene in order to fully convince Lulu that the hit had been carried out. Texas Rangers gave him a fake bullet wound in his temple, drove him to the desert, and buried him in a shallow grave before taking pictures to show his wife.
Ramon was then hidden in a hotel for three days, in which time an undercover officer posing as a hitman showed the evidence of the crime to Lulu - and she was apparently thrilled at the news.
According to cop who posed as the killer, the woman actually laughed upon seeing the "corpse" of her husband.
However, she wasn't laughing for long, as it was soon revealed that the whole thing had been a hoax in order to expose her intentions. Lulu was arrested and charged, and eventually pleaded guilty to solicitation of murder in October last year. She was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Speaking on how the ordeal affected him, Ramon recalled that actually having to fake his own death was a "terrifying" experience, and the knowledge that his wife was intent on killing him has left the 50-year-old somewhat traumatised.
"Lulu was silent in court, but justice has been served," he said. "Still, it would be wrong to say this hadn't had a lasting impact on me. I'll never be the same man again."