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Newlywed Tries to Hire Hitman to Kill Husband: "I Really Hate Him and Want to See Him Rot"
Dalia Dippolito's reaction to her husband's "murder" was even caught by the show Cops, as they were following the Florida police department at that time.
Newlyweds Dalia and Mike Dippolito were young, beautiful, and just beginning their life together in South Florida.
There was only one problem: Dalia wanted Mike dead.
“She had everything she wanted, but she longed for one thing more, a hitman to take out her husband. I’ve seen a lot on Dateline, but this one pretty much takes the prize,” reporter Dennis Murphy said on Oxygen’s Dateline: Unforgettable, dubbing the shocking case a “personal favorite.”
Dalia went to great lengths to put a cold-blooded murder plot into place, but it would turn out to be far from the perfect crime.
Who are Dalia and Mike Dippolito?
When Dalia and Mike first met it seemed like love at first sight. Mike, an internet entrepreneur, said Dalia was working as an escort (a claim she would later deny) when they met at his office and quickly hit it off.
Mike — who was already married — was so smitten, he arranged for a quick divorce, then married Dalia the same week his divorce was finalized. They lived together in a $250,000 condo in Boynton Beach, just down the road from Palm Beach, the “the winter wonderland of the wealthy,” as one reporter described it to Murphy.
The couple could often be found working out together in the mornings or hitting South Florida’s hottest night spots on date nights together.
“The Happiest I’ve ever been!” Dalia wrote in a love note she left on the fridge for her new husband. “Completely unreal. My dream guy! Love you Now, always & Forever.”
Just a few months into the marriage, Dalia told Mike she was pregnant and Mike was eagerly awaiting the birth of their first child.
But just six months into the marriage, their seemingly picturesque relationship took a shocking turn.
Who tried to kill Mike Dippolito?
In August 2009, Boynton Beach police came knocking on Mike’s door just before 6 a.m. with a stunning claim.
Dalia — who had already left for the gym that morning — had arranged for a hitman to kill Mike that day in what was designed to look like a botched home invasion.
What she didn’t know was that the alleged hitman was really an undercover police officer.
Police quickly rushed Mike out of the condo and then staged the outside of the condo to look as though a crime had been committed, with crime scene tape and multiple police cars lining the street.
Sgt. Frank Ranzie then called Dalia at the gym and told her she needed to come home because something “very urgent” involving her husband had taken place.
To add to the drama, the television show Cops just happened to be following the police that day and had cameras rolling as Dalia arrived at the scene.
Ranzie explained to her that an intruder had broken into their house and shot Mike.
“Is your husband Michael? OK, I’m sorry to tell you, ma’am: He’s been killed,” Ranzie said.
Dalia immediately began to wail and shouted, “No, dear God. No!”
She was taken down to the station, and still believing her husband was dead, quickly began to come up with a possible list of suspects for police, pointing to Mike’s past legal troubles.
He was a convicted felon after bilking thousands of dollars from investors by selling phony currency securities. After serving seven months behind bars, Mike still had more than 25 years of probation and owed $191,000 in restitution to his victims.
He had been looking for a way to get off probation when the plot went down.
“People weren’t happy that he was getting off of probation because it’s a lot of money he’s got to pay back,” Dalia told the investigator.
What was the murder plot?
Dalia insisted her marriage to Mike was solid — but investigators already knew that wasn’t the case.
Dalia was seeing Mohamed, a part-time actor who worked at a convenience store, and had actually been the one to first go to police after she asked him to help find someone to kill her husband.
She and Mohamed had been friends with benefits for years and the relationship didn’t stop when she tied the knot. Despite their lengthy relationship, Mohamed couldn’t let her get away with murder and turned to police for help.
They convinced him to arrange to meet with Dalia to talk about her request, while hidden cameras secretly rolled inside his vehicle.
Mohamed told Dalia he had found someone to do the hit and she provided photos of her husband and $1,200 in cash to buy a gun.
A short time later, she met with the supposed hitman in a parking lot. Once again, hidden cameras captured her giving the hitman her address, providing her husband’s schedule, and talking about her desire to have him killed inside their home.
“You definitely want to do this?” the undercover officer asked her at one point.
“I’m positive,” she responded. “Like 5,000% sure.”
When the undercover officer told her that her husband would get “two in the head,” Dalia had little reaction.
“It doesn’t even faze her,” Det. Alex Moreno said. “No remorse.”
Was Dalia Dippolito convicted?
Back in the interrogation room, investigators finally played their hand, telling Dalia that everything had been recorded and she was being arrested for solicitation of first-degree murder.
After she was placed in handcuffs, they brought Mike to the door and she learned her husband wasn’t dead after all.
“Oh my god,” she gasped, before begging him to come see her. “Come here, please. Come here.”
“I can’t,” Mike is heard telling her in the interview footage. “You can’t fix it.”
Mike later told Murphy he was shocked to learn of his wife’s devious plan.
“I had just purchased a home and we’re gonna start a life together and we talked about traveling and doing things and you know, we had like a future planned,” he said, adding he later learned the pregnancy had been a hoax too.
As for a possible motive? Prosecutors believed Dalia tried to kill her husband for money. Mike had recently given the deed to the condo to Dalia after a lawyer recommended it could help his financial issues. He’d also given her $100,000 he believed she was giving a lawyer to pay off the restitution he owed, but Mike’s attorney never received the money.
Before hiring a hitman, prosecutors said Dalia tried for months to get him arrested on a parole violation, even planting cocaine by the wheel of his car and then tipping off the cops in the hopes that he would be sent back to prison. When that didn’t work, she decided to take more drastic measures.
“I really hate him and want to c him rot,” she wrote in one text message to one of two lovers she had on the side.
When the case went to trial in April 2011, Dalia’s attorney argued that the whole plot had really been cooked up by Mike himself as part of a bizarre plan to get on a reality television show, calling it just a “bad prank.”
He argued that Dalia was simply acting during the recorded meetings and believed it was all part of their effort to get a reality show.
The jury didn’t buy it and she was convicted of solicitation of first-degree murder and sentenced to 20 years behind bars. But just three months after sentencing, a judge agreed to let her out on a $500,000 bond and place her on house arrest as she waited for the outcome of an appeal.
Three years later, she was granted a new trial after an appellate court determined jurors had not been filtered for potential bias in the case.
In December of 2016, she went on trial again. This time, she hired a new defense attorney, Brian Claypool, who argued that police had been so fixated on trying to create content for Cops that they botched the investigation.
“This never really was a credible police investigation; rather, Dalia Dippolito was used as a pawn by the Boynton Beach Police Department to manufacture good TV for the Cops TV show,” Claypool told Murphy.
Dalia also insisted to Dateline that she never wanted her husband killed and placed the blame on police.
The jury was unable to reach a verdict and was hopelessly deadlocked. The second trial ended in a mistrial, but Dalia was convicted in a third one and sentenced to 16 years behind bars.
She and Mike are now divorced.