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‘Calculating' Florida Woman Manipulated, Then Killed Generous Lottery Millionaire
Winning the lottery seems like incredible luck. But for Abraham Shakespeare, it led to his murder.
After winning the lottery, a Lakeland, Florida man eerily went from multimillionaire to missing person.
In November 2016, Abraham Lee Shakespeare won a life-changing $30 million lotto jackpot. A day laborer who never finished school, he took a lump sum payout of $17 million, according to NBC News.
“He always dreamed of living in a big mansion in north Lakeland,” Det. Dave Clark, of Polk County Sheriff’s Office, told “Floribama Murders,” airing Saturdays at 9/8c on Oxygen.
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The jackpot enabled Shakespeare to make that dream a reality. But in November 2009, 42-year-old Shakespeare vanished. He was reported missing by his cousin, Cedric Edom, who hadn’t seen him in several months.
Investigators began their search with Shakespeare’s relatives and inner circle, including Greg Massey, who said he’d last spoken to his friend in April. The newfound multimillionaire had asked Massey for advice about managing his money, according to “Floribama Murders.”
“Abraham Shakespeare was so generous with his money that he was known for paying for rent, groceries, funerals, anything that anybody needed,” said Merissa Green, a reporter for The Ledger.
But constant requests for money took a toll, leading Shakespeare to distance himself from people. Detectives didn’t know if he had left on his own or if he was dead.
They did know that people owed him cash or were angry he never gave them any, so investigators followed the money. Who was in debt? If Shakespeare was gone, they wouldn’t have to make payments.
This strategy led detectives to Edom, who lived near Shakespeare. Why had he waited seven months to file the missing persons report? But after a thorough review, Edom was cleared from suspicion.
Detectives then focused on Shakespeare’s phone records. Up until April 9, 2009, he was bombarded by calls from money seekers. After that date, he only made contact with Dorice “Dee Dee” Moore, who claimed she was lending him financial advice.
During her interview with investigators, she assured them that Shakespeare was fine. She said she’d tell him to reach out to them. Investigators waited days for a response that never came.
In the meantime, as rumors spread about what might have happened to Shakespeare, Moore reached out to the media.
“She emphatically said he’s not dead,” explained Green, adding that Moore came in for a three-hour interview.
In the interview, Moore said she met Shakespeare in 2008, when she offered to write a book about his rags-to-riches life and help him get a grip on his money situation, according to NBC Miami.
By the time she met him, Moore said, Shakespeare had burned through $11 million, most of which he’d loaned or gave to family and friends.
Moore took control of Shakespeare's finances and he let his debtors know that, according to Green, who said, “Before he went missing, Abraham went around introducing Dee Dee to the people who owed him money.”
Green shared her interview with investigators, who called Moore in for another interview. She shared a videotape dated April 9 of Shakespeare expressing his desires to leave Lakeland.
At this point, investigators subpoenaed Moore’s phone data, which showed that she and Shakespeare were together during every call after April 9, said Clark.
He asked her if she had Shakespeare’s phone, and she initially said no. But when pushed by investigators, she admitted she had Shakespeare’s phone but she recently tossed it out her car window, claiming he didn’t want to be found.
“We realized that Dee Dee is definitely a manipulator, a liar,” said Clark. But they needed more evidence. They led her to think they needed her help.
Detectives told her that Shakespeare’s mother was eager to hear from him on Christmas, a request that was ultimately fulfilled — though Shakespeare’s mother told police her son didn’t sound like himself. The caller had said he wasn’t feeling that well.
Investigators determined that the call made to Shakespeare’s mom was from a phone owned by Greg Smith. They tracked Smith’s phone to a crowded shopping mall parking lot, where they saw him and Moore seemingly exchanging money.
Authorities interrogated Smith, who said that Moore paid him to call Shakespeare’s mother and that Smith owed Shakespeare $63,000. He’d met Moore when she came to collect a payment.
Smith agreed to become a confidential informant for police, who concocted a ruse in which Smith would tell Moore that he had a cousin headed to prison for 30 years on a drug charge who would take a murder rap if she had done something to Shakespeare.
Undercover officer Mike Smith posed as the cousin and told Moore that he needed $50,000 and she had to tell him how Shakespeare was killed so that his story would stand up if the body was ever found. She agreed.
“This was the first admission that we had by Dee Dee that Abraham was dead,” said State Attorney Andrew Warren. “She had been so careful about so many things leading up to this point.”
The next day Moore met with Greg Smith, who was secretly recording, and handed over a gun. She also gave him a map marking the location of Shakespeare’s body in Plant City.
Moore was eventually arrested and interrogated by officers, after which she confirmed Shakespeare was dead. However, she said he was shot by drug dealers.
On January 26, 2010, a recovery team with the map began searching for Shakespeare's body, which was found beneath a concrete slab, reported NBC affiliate WFLA. Clothes in the burial site were the same ones he was wearing in the April 9 video.
An autopsy showed that Shakespeare was shot twice in the chest. Additionally, blood was found in Moore’s Plant City house, confirming that’s where he was shot.
In February 2010, Moore was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, to which she pleaded not guilty.
Dee Dee Moore’s trial began in November 2012. She ended up “playing the drama queen in the courtroom,” investigators said.
The judge called her “cold, calculating and cruel,” the Associated Press reported. Dee Dee Moore was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
To learn more about the case, watch “Floribama Murders,” airing Saturdays at 9/8c on Oxygen. You can stream episodes here.
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