Photos show how man staged his own murder after his wife hired a hitman to kill him

Photos show how man staged his own murder after his wife hired a hitman to kill him

People who are easily disturbed might be alarmed by the following image. If you didn't know any better, you might accuse us of exploitation, by showing what appears to be the half-naked corpse of a man lying in a shallow grave, blood-dribbling from a gunshot wound to the head.

But please be assured that the image of what looks like a brutal assassination, as grisly as it is, is fake. It's been staged. Now, before you dismiss it as a hoax, you might want to know why the police would go to the trouble of bluffing a murder. After all, you'd think they're kept busy enough with actual homicides. But the story behind the picture is one more insane and ballsy than the most audacious crime story.

Boxing coach Ramon Sosa, who hails from Huston, Texas, collaborated with police to stage his own assassination attempt in order to prove that his wife, Maria ‘Lulu’ Sosa, was trying to hire a hitman to kill him. Black widow Lulu wanted to murder her spouse because of the financial strain put on the couple after the gym business they operated together went bust in 2015.

Ramon Sosa's faked assassination. Credit: Press Association

Lulu, who had emigrated to the US from Mexico (and obtained her green card by marrying Ramon) told him she wanted a divorce, but the couple's financial situation forced them to be together. After Ramon learned from a friend that he was a potential target, he contacted the authorities, who hatched an ingenious scheme.

The FBI and Texas Rangers worked together on the case, painting gory makeup on Ramon to make him look dead, before driving him out to the desert and burying him in a freshly-dug shallow grave. They took pictures of the scene and then sent Ramon into hiding for three days, before questioning Lulu and confronting her with the images. Lulu, thinking that the police had her bang to rights, soon broke down under interrogation and confessed everything.

Commenting on the situation, Ramon stated: "[Lulu]  had approached a guy called Gustavo to see if he could organise the hit, without realising we were friends. I knew him, because I’d coached him. He’d been in trouble in the past, but had turned his life around. At first, when he called and said he needed to see me, because someone ‘wanted to kill me,’ I thought he was joking. Then 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."

A picture of Ramon Sosa. Credit: Press Association

He added: "After recording his meeting with her, where Gustavo pretended to know two hitmen, we took the tape to the police, who were shocked – but came up with a great plan. They asked me to pretend to be dead, so we could show the pictures to Lulu ... Lying in the dirt, pretending to be dead, was terrifying. When I first met Lulu, I certainly didn’t expect our relationship to end like that .... Lulu was silent in court, but justice has been served. Still, it would be wrong to say this hadn’t had a lasting impact on me. I’ll never be the same man again."

Happily, Ramon is now in a better relationship with a new woman, and Lulu will spend the next 20 years in prison for her crimes. It's like the old saying goes: crime doesn't pay.