Ooh, I’d missed this

I have blogged extensively about the 2009 disappearance and death of Abraham Shakespeare from Florida.

In a nutshell, he was a man who’d been broke all his life until he won a $30 million jackpot in the lottery. This was the worst thing to ever happen to him: all sorts of people swarmed in like cockroaches and relieved Abraham of his millions within a shockingly brief time period. Then Dorice “Dee Dee” Moore stepped in, ingratiated herself with him and offered to “help” him “manage” the $1.3 mil he had left. (Shakespeare had barely any education and was barely literate. It was said that at the time of his lottery win, he didn’t even know how many zeroes were in a thousand.) She spent the rest of Shakespeare’s money on herself. By the time of his death, he had only $14,000 to his name.

Then Shakespeare disappeared without a trace, and Dee Dee moved into his house and concealed his absence by various means for more than six months, then told all sorts of wild stories after the deception was discovered. He eventually turned up buried under a concrete slab in her backyard. He’d been shot twice in the chest. Dee Dee started flinging blame in all directions, even implicating her own fourteen-year-old son at one point. (I should mention that, before she ever encountered Shakespeare, she got in trouble for filing a false report with the police saying she’d been carjacked and raped. She had wanted to collect the insurance on her SUV. Despicable.)

The last time I had written about the case was in March 2010, when Dee Dee pleaded not guilty to murder. Well, I didn’t find out about it until now, but her trial concluded last month. To the surprise of no one, she was convicted of first-degree murder. The jury deliberated only three hours. The prosecution, for some inexplicable reason, did not seek the death penalty — though the case, to me, sounds like it’s just the sort of case the DP is meant to take care of. Dee Dee was instead sentenced to life in prison without parole, plus 25 years for her use of a firearm.

The defense went with the “reasonable doubt” thing. Wisely, Dee Dee did not testify. One editorial sums it up very nicely:

This probably falls under the attorney/client privilege, but you have to believe it didn’t take long after the start of DeeDee Moore’s first-degree murder trial that her lawyer, Byron Hileman, had to think to himself: “I’d have an easier time getting Jack Ruby acquitted.”
It was likely not a good sign things were going to turn out well for Moore when her entire defense strategy seemed to be impersonating Glenn Close’s deranged, hysterical, Alex Forrest from Fatal Attraction…
But perhaps the real mystery surrounding the Shakespeare case is: Why did this thing ever go to trial in the first place?
With all due respect to Assistant Hillsborough State Attorney Jay Pruner, who prosecuted Moore and is a very fine lawyer, let’s face it: An Irish setter could have tried this case and won a conviction. […] Sheesh, Guy Fawkes had a greater shot at walking.
When it came time to mount a defense of Moore, Hileman might have been better off to stand up before the jury and plead candor with: “Folks, I got nothing.”
Instead, the mouthpiece offered the rather tortured argument that because DeeDee already had stolen all of Shakespeare’s assets what was the point of killing him? Well, you have to give him a nod for at least trying.
Otherwise, Hileman never entered a single piece of evidence, or called a witness.

I don’t envy the defense attorney in cases like these. Every accused criminal is entitled to a defense, and it’s the legal, moral and ethical obligation of their lawyer to try their damndest to get them off. And in cases like these, the lawyer winds up having to look like an idiot, or even more despicable than their client, or both. If they don’t provide a good defense, there’s a chance the conviction will be overturned for ineffective counsel, and the trial will have to happen all over again and the victims re-victimized, etc.

This reminds me of a rather infamous case from last fall, involving the trial of a man who, with 19 others, had gang-raped an eleven-year-old girl. The incident was captured on videotape, so there was no possibility of the accused person convincing the jury he hadn’t done it. So his attorney said the preteen victim had asked for it and compared her to “a spider luring men into her web.” I wouldn’t have been surprised if, after having made those statements in court, that attorney went off into the toilets and vomited. If he had any conscience at all, that is. Of course, he was vilified for his statements, and I don’t much like them myself, but he had to provide some kind of defense, and victim-blaming was pretty much the only one available. The jury didn’t buy it of course and the rapist got life in prison. (Why there was no plea-bargain I don’t know. That’s what most defense attorneys would have done if stuck with a case with that. Maybe the defendant didn’t agree.) Anyway, Byron Hileman was kind of stuck in a similar situation with Dee Dee, except Abraham Shakespeare’s murder wasn’t filmed.

Hileman was quoted as saying, “I can sleep good at night because I know I had done the very best job.” I once talked to a former prosecutor (now in private practice) and she said a lot of defense attorneys representing despicable, guiltier-than-OJ clients at trial do their damndest to present a vigorous defense, not only because it’s their duty, but so the inevitable conviction can’t be overturned because of incompetent counsel and the victims forced to go through the awful process again.

At her trial, Dee Dee had several emotional outbursts and was reprimanded by the judge multiple times, but when came the verdict and sentencing she had no reaction at all. Stunned beyond words, probably. The trial judge called her “cold, calculating and cruel” and “probably the most manipulative person this court has seen.” Offhand (and I must emphasize that I have no formal education in abnormal psychology but I have read about it a lot), she strikes me as a narcissistic sociopath with a possible borderline personality disorder on top of that.

At least now, she will never see the light of day again and hopefully won’t be able to hurt any more people. But she’s already caused so much irreparable harm to so many people and she doesn’t seem to be one bit sorry for any of it.

Dee Dee Moore pleads not guilty

In the most recent development in the Abraham Shakespeare murder case, Dee Dee Moore has pleaded not guilty and claims God knows she’s innocent. One article says:

“I have an impetuous notion to let my voice be heard,” she writes, “because there’s got to be a reason for this life-altering trauma happening to me. I inwardly chastises myself for opening up so please don’t criticize me. The picture you paint of me in the news, I would not want to hang around myself.”

The media, she writes, have treated her harshly.

Maybe the this “life-altering trauma” is happening to her is because she is, by her own admission, a liar, and almost certainly a thief and a murderer in the bargain. It’s not as if Dee Dee’s voice hasn’t been heard before; she gave extensive media interviews before her arrest. And no wonder the media has treated her “harshly,” seeing as how she fed them a pack of lies before his body was found, then admitted she’d known its location all along. I think the thing to do that would make her most unhappy now is to cease paying attention to her and to cease printing her garbage in the news. Shakespeare’s brother anticipates more arrests and the police have said as much; it’s unlikely she acted alone.

If Dee Dee is smart — and she doesn’t seem to be — she’ll cop a plea. Florida is a death penalty state and this is the kind of murder the death penalty is designed for: premeditated, calculating, a vulnerable victim (illiterate and naive), and committed for financial gain. Whoever actually pulled the trigger (and maybe it wasn’t Dee Dee) shot Shakespeare in the chest, meaning they had to look at his face when he died. And they shot him twice — hard to explain that away as an accident.

Palm Beach Post
Tampa Tribune
MyFox Tampa Bay

Dee Dee Moore charged with Abraham Shakespeare’s murder

Ladies and gentlemen, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: Dee Dee Moore has FINALLY been charged with Abraham Shakespeare’s murder. Ten months after he disappeared, four months after his disappearance was reported, almost a month after his body turned up under a concrete slab on Moore’s boyfriend’s property. It’s a fair guess that others were involved in this as well, but so far Moore’s the only one facing charges.

The more I hear about this case the sadder it seems to become. Shakespeare sounds like an unpretentious, genuinely nice man. Too nice to keep his money. Too nice to live. A lot of people tried to help him by recommending accountants and financial advisers, but Shakespeare was barely literate (one article says he didn’t even know how many zeroes were in a thousand) and he was intimidated by finance people and tried to avoid them. But I think even a more educated person would easily get in over his head, with that kind of money and those kinds of people circling him like sharks anxious for a piece.

Now Shakespeare’s older son is in counseling, the other is only a baby and will never know his father. And his mother, Elizabeth Walker, is now saying she has to forgive Dee Dee Moore because it’s what God wants, and in any case she will never get her son back.

Good luck on that, Mrs. Walker.


About.com Crime and Punishment
The Lakeland Ledger
MyFox Tampa Bay
The Lakeland Ledger again

Abraham Shakespeare’s funeral

Abraham Shakespeare’s funeral was today. Dozens of relatives attended, including Shakespeare’s eight-year-old son. (I’m not sure just how many kids he had; at least two.) There were a lot of very angry people there crying out for justice. They’re not ready to forgive yet. Two of the cops who investigated the case got a standing ovation.

It seems unlikely that there will be much in his estate, and no doubt the lawyers will spend forever squabbling over it. I really hope Shakespeare’s children will not be left in poverty. I read he created a $1 million trust fund for one of his sons; I hope that fund still exists and didn’t get stolen also.

Another article says Dee Dee Moore will not be getting any support from her family:

Her parents, Linda and Patrick Donegan, said Wednesday night that the [bail] money won’t be coming from them. “None of our family has any money to bail her out,” the mother said.

The Donegans said they feel bad for Shakespeare’s family.

“If she’s responsible for it, she’s going to answer to the man upstairs,” Moore’s father said.

People tend to get bailed out of jail this way: they contact a bail bondsman and give him ten percent of whatever the bail might be — in Dee Dee’s case, her bail is $1 million, so she must give a bondsman $100,000 (I believe this can be cash, or property in the equivalent). This money is his to keep, forever. The bondsman comes up with the remaining 90%. He gets it back at the end of the trial, provided the defendant doesn’t skip town. As one of the commenters noted, Even if she comes up with the 100,000, she’s still got to find a bondsman willing to take a 900,000 chance. The woman sounds like she’s a bottle short of a six pack and, given the likelihood of a murder charge, a real flight risk. So, yeah, Dee Dee isn’t going anywhere.

But in the meantime…when will someone actually be charged with Shakespeare’s murder? That hasn’t happened yet.

Dee Dee Moore finally charged in Shakespeare’s death

I realize that, as Shakespeare is no longer missing, technically he isn’t within the provence of this blog anymore. However, I’m always talking about off-topic stuff. It’s my blog. So *phhbt*

So Dee Dee Moore has been charged with being an accessory to murder after the fact. I guess that’s all they can pin on her right now, but she’s not getting out of jail anytime soon. Her bond is set at one million dollars, and she’d have to come up with ten percent of that — $100,000 — in cash before she can be released. And I bet they won’t let her use any of Shakespeare’s money for that purpose.

A quote from this article: Asked if she had been cooperative, prosecutors said Moore has given four different stories about who killed Shakespeare. She has blamed a relative of Shakespeare’s, her 14-year-old son, a drug dealer, and finally herself in an act of self-defense. Ooh, nice one lady, try to send your own kid to jail for murder. She claims he was shot, but so far the cops are only saying he died of “homicidal violence.” Well, duhhh. It also says she tried to find someone who would take the rap for murder in exchange for $50,000.

The woman is clearly a psychopath. She has no regard for anyone but herself.

Dee Dee Moore tries to dig her way out

Dee Dee Moore, getting ever more desperate, has now admitted to covering up Abraham Shakespeare’s death. However, she swears she did not personally kill him. That part may actually be true. Dee Dee doesn’t strike me as the kind of person who would get her hands dirty if she could avoid it. But it doesn’t really matter — under American law, if Dee Dee Moore was an accomplice in Shakespeare’s death, she gets punished just the same as if she were the actual killer.

This is like the ten billionth story she’s told about Shakespeare. First he was alive and still hanging around the area. Then he was alive and she’d helped him disappear and didn’t know where he was. Then he was dead, but she didn’t do it, no, it was Colonel Mustard in the ballroom with the wrench!

The police were calling her a “person of interest” which is a euphemism for “suspect.” Now, it seems, they’re calling her a “person of intense interest.” What’s that a euphemism for? “Person who is guiltier than OJ” perhaps? Though I really don’t like that article/editorial. The author seems to be saying that Shakespeare deserved what happened to him because he couldn’t handle all his money. Shakespeare couldn’t have read the guy’s advice book anyway.

There’s a good article in the Lakeland Ledger about the latest developments. I love how the headline is just “Moore Denies Killing Him.” No more specifics needed. You can also view the video Dee Dee made as evidence that Shakespeare had just walked out of his life.

Me, I think Dee Dee Moore is an excellent candidate for a profile on People You’ll See in Hell. Of course her deadly sin would be Greed.

Dee Dee Moore has some ‘splaining to do

The Plant City Courier and Tribune interviewed Dee Dee Moore, who claims it was HER tip that lead the cops to Abraham Shakespeare’s body on her boyfriend’s property. Of course, she’s innocent of murder and any other wrongdoing, and only guilty of trying to help a guy out. She doesn’t explain how she knew Shakespeare’s body would be buried under that concrete slab (which she admits she had poured).

Keep digging, Dee Dee.

Shakespeare’s cause of death probably known by tomorrow

A Plant City Courier and Tribune article says the police hope to learn Abraham Shakespeare’s cause of death today, which probably means they will announce it tomorrow. Toxicology results won’t be back for some weeks, but the cutting-him-open-and-looking-inside part of the autopsy is over. I hope there’s some kind of obvious indication of murder — not that it’ll be hard to prove. The guy didn’t dig himself a five-foot hole, bury himself and pour a concrete slab on top of himself, now did he?

The aforementioned article has some discussion going on in the comments section, including a few people who claim to have known Abraham Shakespeare or DeeDee Moore personally. One commenter asks, “Doesn’t anybody use lime any more? Or is that quicklime?? I keep forgetting which one gets rid of the evidence and which one preserves it.” For your information, commenter, quicklime can both preserve a body and help disintegrate it faster. Plain quicklime sprinkled on a body acts as a preservative; it mummifies instead of rotting. You must mix the quicklime with water if you want it to speed up the decomposition.

Not that I, personally, know anything about that. I’ve just heard stuff. There’s no reason to go looking underneath the concrete floor of my basement. None whatsoever.

And it ain’t no surprise…

Fingerprints have identified the body as Abraham Shakespeare. A correction from my last entry — it seems the body was found on Dee Dee Moore’s boyfriend’s property, not her own property. Not that that will make much difference, will it?

I think it’s likely that more than one person was involved in Shakespeare’s murder. Unless he was shot, I think it would take more than one person to overpower a 6’5, 185-pound man. I’m sure charges will be shortly forthcoming.

Abraham Shakespeare’s remains probably found

The police have found a body buried on property owned by Dorice “Dee Dee” Moore, the prime suspect in the disappearance of Abraham Shakespeare. They have yet to identify the body, but if it turns out it isn’t Shakespeare’s I will be very surprised.

If you’re trying to identify a body, there are certainly advantages to burying it on your own land. You will probably get privacy during the internment, and, unless the cops can get a search warrant (which isn’t easy), it’s unlikely the body will be discovered as long as you maintain control of the property. However, there’s a pretty huge disadvantage: if and when the body is found, it will be very easy to tie it back to you.