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tv   Dateline  MSNBC  August 31, 2019 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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tonight. we'll have updates throughout the night and tune in tomorrow 6:00 p. 6:00 a.m. for the latest. good night from new york. >> she's like poise on candy, at track attractive on the outside but poison on the inside. >> she had everything she wanted, but she longed for one thing more. >> i'm 5,000% sure. >> this guy was going to be
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killed. >> then it happened. her new husband, police said, murdered in her townhouse. >> something happened at the house and she needed to get to the house fast. >> was this crime all that it seemed? >> a surprise was coming. >> you didn't know what to think. >> and it would arrive from beyond the grave. >> oh my god. >> there has not before been a story like this ever in palm beach county history. is she the villain, is she the victim? that's what makes her riveting. she is infamous and probably will be forever. >> when dahlia and mike met it
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was fireworks that turned into a fatal attraction. was dahlia diabolical or an unwitting pawn in things gone wrong. here's dennis murphy with the sting. >> the mesmerizing story begins in a place where conspicuous consumption and the humidity index is high. >> it is a winter wonder land. you can drive over the bridge and feel the rarified air, the mansions, the hedges that hide the mansions. >> most people on the mainland are influenced. that richness is right there. and how can they get a piece of
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it. >> over the bridge past the interstate newlyweds dahlia and mike lived outside of love. aspirational, at the very least. she, had a $20,000 dollar diamond engagement ring. he had a porsche in the garage. their story for public consumption, the g-rated version, was love at first sight. mike was an internet entrepreneur and dalia the businesswoman he fell head over heels for. three months after their first meeting, marriage was inevitable. there was a teensy problem in their paradise, mike dippolito was married. lawyers jason brodie and josh friedman arranged a quickie divorce so the ballad of mike and dalia could begin. >> he fell in love with her. he thought she was the end-all, be-all. he felt as though, "this was it. and i'm gonna have a family with her and we're gonna grow old together."
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>> he thought she was the real deal? >> they hit it off right away. they had a lot of things in common. they enjoyed the same things. >> dalia is a real estate agent? >> yes. >> and that's what attracted him to her. was that she was, successful on her own and didn't need him. >> are we talkin' about sexual attraction, or is there more going on here? >> oh, there's sexual attraction. yeah, absolutely. >> reporter: with the divorce in hand, mike and dalia dashed to the courthouse to marry, and soon fell into comfortable routines. morning workouts at the gym, steamy date nights at five-star hotels and love notes on the fridge. he seemed to be dalia's dream guy. and three months into the marriage, according to michael, she told him she was pregnant. he was thrilled. life was good. but early one morning in august 2009, it all came to an end for the two, with a finality as certain as crime scene tape strung across the front of the condo. dalia had been located at her 6:00am workout by the boynton beach police. >> this is sargent frank ranzie,
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boynton beach police department. >> is everything okay? >> ma'am, i need to talk to you. it's very urgent. when you come home, it involves your husband. there's been an incident. >> reporter: she was instructed to get home right away. when she arrived, she saw police cars out front, everything that spells disaster just ahead. it just so happened a camera crew from the tv show "cops" was there, filming an episode with boynton beach police, when dalia got the awful news. >> ms. dippolito? i'm sgt. ranzie. i'm the one that called you. thank you for coming. i'm sorry to call you. listen, we had a report about a disturbance at your house. >> reporter: the officer was direct with dalia. he said there'd been an intruder in the house and several shots were fired. >> is your husband michael? okay, i'm sorry to tell you, ma'am, he's been killed. he's been killed ma'am. >> oh no! oh no. i want to see him. >> i can't let you see him, ma'am. we have to do our job. >> reporter: michael dippolito, her husband of six months, gunned down in their townhouse. the cops were telling her, but she would not be allowed to go
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inside to see the body. >> i need you to go with these detectives okay? >> oh no. no. >> does he have enemies? is there anyone who would want to hurt him? >> oh no. no, no. >> if you want to help out your husband you need to go to the station and tell these gentlemen and tell us everything you know about who he knows and who he's connected to. >> reporter: the investigation was only minutes old and the officers told dalia they'd need her cooperation in understanding what had happened. >> we're gonna do everything we can okay. so we need your help. we need to get your husband's killer ma'am. >> reporter: dalia was whisked off to the police station where she'd soon find out that the detectives thought they knew much more about the details of the crime than they were letting on. this case was about to get very complicated, oh yes.
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>> 'is your husband michael? okay, i'm sorry to tell you, ma'am, he's been killed. he's been killed ma'am. >> oh, no! oh, no. >> reporter: dalia was rushed to the boynton beach police department for the start of interviews. she began by telling the detectives that michael, her deceased husband, wasn't exactly squeaky clean. >> he's been trying to get off probation.
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>> uh-huh. >> and it's just been nothing but problems the whole time that he's been trying to get off. >> reporter: mike dippolito, she said, was a convicted felon, a swindler who'd bilked thousands of dollars from gullible investors by selling them phony currency securities. >> it was for taking money of -- like, he explained like "boiler room", kind of where they would take money from people. >> reporter: in other words, her murdered husband was a guy with enemies. when he was released from prison after seven months, he was still looking at more than twenty-five years of probation. he'd been ordered to make restitution to the victims he'd fleeced, an outstanding i.o.u. of $191,000. >> people weren't happy that he was getting off probation, because it's a lot of money he's got to pay back. >> reporter: find out who he owed, suggested dalia, and you'll find the killer. the cops listened, but changed the focus of their questioning to the couple themselves, dalia and michael, the newlyweds of six months.
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>> we're fine, like there's nothing, you know -- >> you have no problems between you guys. no financial problems no -- i mean with your family, you and him. >> no, there's nothing. i mean, we, you know, we're going through -- his business has slowed down like anything, you know. >> reporter: but the cops were toying with dalia, holding back their best cards. they thought they knew so much more about the newlyweds. did they ever. let's freeze the action in the interview room for a sec and roll everything back a few days. that's when a man walked into the boynton beach p.d. with a lurid story to tell. his married lover, he said, was shopping for a hit man. detective alex moreno didn't know what to make of this walk-in. >> at first, when he's giving you this information, you don't know what to think, you know. here's a guy who's claiming that he's sleeping with a guy's wife. and now, she's trying to get somebody to kill him. >> it's a pretty juicy story. >> exactly. >> reporter: detective moreno had the tipster run his story down from the top. the man was named mohamed and he
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said he was a part-time actor who worked at a convenience store. as he told it, he'd been friends with benefits with a woman for years. they met for the occasional casual sex. then she asked him for help in finding a hit man to kill her husband. >> he says, "you know what, yeah. i'm sleeping with this guy's wife. but at the same time, i didn't want this guy to be killed." and that was his concern. he couldn't sleep with that whole idea that this guy was gonna get killed. >> reporter: but the detective wondered if he was being sold a cock and bull story since this mohamed guy didn't seem to even know very much about the woman he claimed to be sleeping with. the detective challenged him: >> all the information he had was her first name. he didn't know where she lived. he didn't even know who her husband was. >> reporter: while they debated whether or not the tipster's story was credible, they knew that a life may be on the line. so the detectives took it to the next level. they enlisted mohamed as a confidential informant, and gave him a story to tell his part-time lover, that he'd found
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her a hit man who could pull off the job. >> two things coulda happened. either this guy was lying to us or it was true. we hadn't validated the information yet until he actually makes contact. >> reporter: mohamed, the tipster, set up an assignation with the woman for the very next day. the car that he drove to the gas station meeting point had been rigged by police technicians for pictures and sound. undercover agents nearby would be watching the whole time to find out who this woman was, where she lived, who her husband was and just what the heck was going on. >> she came down the street. came into the gas station. immediately, we picked up the car. and not only are we watchin' her, we're also hearing what's goin' on in the informant's car, live. >> hey, what's up? >> i love you. >> i love you, too. >> reporter: running down the license plates and registration yielded the name of a 26-year-old woman --dalia dippolito, the same woman who would later be seen on that videotape as the grieving widow.
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police officers didn't have to wait long before the informant's story was confirmed. this woman in the car really appeared to be in the market for a trigger man. >> less than a minute or so, she begins talkin' about hirin' somebody to kill her husband. >> unprompted? he's not doin' dental work to get this story out of her -- >> no. which, you know, which shocked us. >> honestly, you think it's worth you know killing over that much money? >> it's not even over the [ bleep ] money. like you don't [ bleep ] get it? like it's not even about the [ bleep ] money. like, you know that money, we'll spend it, like, in the [ bleep ] blink of an eye. >> reporter: the meeting seemed to be all business. dalia produced photos of her husband for mohamed to hand over to the hit man. >> i brought pictures. >> no, just give me one picture of him. i don't want to carry too much paper. >> reporter: dalia brought something else the hit man had requested -- cash to buy the gun that would be used. >> i brought twelve hundred. he's asking for twelve hundred? >> yes. >> when are you going to give him the money and [ bleep ]? >> today. he's coming by the store. >> she turns the money over? >> yes. >> is that a crime, detective, at that moment? >> it's not enough yet.
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we didn't have enough yet. we wanted to go a little bit further with this case. >> reporter: the police were about to test dalia to see if she was determined to have her new husband killed. coming up -- >> you definitely want to do this? >> i'm positive, like 5,000 percent sure. >> reporter: another undercover sting! and a plan is set in motion for a deadly house call. moving is hard.
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>> reporter: with the help of a confidential informant, the boynton beach police department had apparently confirmed that a woman named dalia dippolito wanted to hire a hit man to kill her husband. and it all seemed to be caught on tape. >> you're sure, though, that this [ bleep ], like, it's solid? >> yo, this guy's a professional. it's not [ bleep ]. all he does is get it done and that's it, you know? >> right. all right, good. >> reporter: so the police instructed their informant, a man named mohamed, to help set up another meeting with dalia. this time it would be with the hit man who would be, of course, an undercover police officer -- an agent. same drill again. a meeting place outside a store. and a car wired for video and audio. >> hey? >> hey. >> we're staying in here, right? >> all right, yeah, yeah. >> okay. >> man, you look good. >> thank you. >> reporter: in that meeting they began making plans. she also tells our hit man where they live.
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she provides a schedule where her husband goes -- comes and goes in the morning, where he's going to be the next day. >> it shows her intent. and the fact that here she is meeting with a complete stranger who she believes it's a hit man -- she actually goes as far as saying, "hey, i'd rather if it happened here." >> how are we gonna do it successfully -- if we go ahead and do it at, like, at the house, like, how do we -- how do we -- how soon could you do it? >> she just wants it done and the sooner the better. >> reporter: does your agent give her a door out at this point? >> yes. he asked her more than once if she was sure if this is what she wanted done. she laughs about it and says, "yeah, once i set my mind to do somethin', i do it." >> you definitely want to do this? >> i'm positive, like, 5,000% sure. >> reporter: the pretend hit man told her he'd use a gun. >> give him a tap-tap. >> he gets two in the head. that's it. you know? >> our undercover agent tells her, "hey, i'm gonna put two in his head," meaning two shots to the head, and it doesn't even phase her.
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no remorse. >> reporter: dalia and the hit man, who was really an undercover cop, seemed to agree that he would kill her husband in two days time. he told her to be prepared to go to the gym early that morning. >> by the time you get back from the gym, you are going to find two things -- his dead body in the house, all right, or nothing. >> all right. >> reporter: the day before, he called dalia with further instructions. >> tomorrow morning, you gotta be out by 6:00. >> okay. >> doesn't hesitate, doesn't change her mind, none of that. she just says, "okay." and that's it. >> reporter: the next morning, everything was going according to plan. dalia left for the gym. undercover cops tailing her. >> one of our sergeants makes a phone call while she is at the gym. and then we inform her that something happened at her house and she needs to get to the house fast. >> she doesn't know details. she just knows something has happened, get home quickly. >> yes. and she shows up at the house, and once again, she makes contact with our sergeant. and she's informed of her husband's death, that he's been killed. >> i'm sorry to tell you, ma'am.
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he's been killed. he's been killed, ma'am. >> oh, no! no. dear god, no. >> if you look at that video, she begins to react before she's even told the whole story. according to that sergeant who was actually making contact with her, he didn't see any tears. >> reporter: and when they brought her to the police station, investigators were curious to see how far dalia would push her scenario blaming the murder on one of her husband's former enemies. the detectives were carefully watching her interview on a tv monitor in a nearby room. >> people weren't happy that he was getting off probation because it's a lot of money he's got to pay back. >> she mentioned how he had enemies, he was on probation. she didn't even bother to ask how it happened. >> reporter: to their experienced eyes and ears, dalia was making a few mistakes in how she was telling her theory of the crime. but they wanted to push her some more, see if they could get her to confess to her suspected murder plot then and there. would she be obviously rattled when they led in a familiar face, the person she believed to be the hit man?
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>> bring this guy in here. get over here. get over here. you know who this guy is? >> no. >> you've never seen him before. >> i've never seen him before, ever. >> reporter: the man before her, actually the undercover police officer, was presented to dalia here as someone they'd just nabbed for the killing of her husband. >> do you know her? >> mm. >> put your head up and look at her. put your head up. >> i've never seen him. >> reporter: the detectives finally put their cards on the table. they told dalia that they knew this was the supposed hit man. and that meeting where they planned to kill her husband? all recorded on tape. >> that's an undercover police officer. we filmed everything that you did. we recorded everything that you did. you're going to jail for solicitation of first-degree murder of your husband. >> i didn't do anything. >> did you hear what i just told you? >> i heard what you said, but i didn't do anything. >> everything you -- listen to me. everything has been recorded. you are photographed in the convertible when you sat at his
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car in the front of cvs. what do you want to do? >> oh, my god. >> reporter: rock steady to all appearances, dalia swore up and down she had nothing to do with the death of her husband. but the police had another surprise for her, truly a humdinger. they were about to walk a ghost to the doorway of the interview room. coming up. someone is back from the grave. you wouldn't accept an incomplete job from any one else. why accept it from your allergy pills? flonase relieves your worst symptoms including nasal congestion, which most pills don't. flonase helps block 6 key inflammatory substances. most pills only block one. flonase.
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>> reporter: imagine for a minute you're dalia dippolito. homicide detectives in a police interrogation room are accusing you of plotting your husband's murder. dalia didn't know it then, but her husband michael dippolito was still very much alive, and was about to come face to face with his wife of six months, who seemed to want him dead. >> i'm thinkin' in my head, "i'm lucky. i'm lucky." but i'm like, "i'm so screwed right now." the worst day in the world. >> reporter: before waking up that day, michael dippolito was clueless police thought his wife of six months had hired a hit man to kill him. instead, he believed he and dalia had begun a loving new chapter together. they were about to start a family. she told him she was pregnant. dalia was at the gym when those tv cameras from the reality show "cops" captured the moment
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police knocked on mike's front door. >> police department open your door! sorry, i'm srgt. sheridan from the boynton police department. >> yes, hi. >> can i talk to you? >> yes, for sure. >> we say, "hey, listen, this is what we're doing. we've been conducting an investigation." >> he says, "your wife is gonna have you killed today. you have to come with us." and i just looked at him. and i'm like i mean, it hit me. >> you don't hear those words every day? >> no. >> reporter: the officers told michael he had to come with them right away to the boynton beach police station before his wife got back from the gym. >> so, "grab your stuff, get in the car. we're outta here." >> yes. >> reporter: meanwhile, outside his townhouse, the police were starting to stage-dress a phony murder scene, all to trick dalia into thinking the hit man she had apparently hired had successfully completed the job. >> reporter: boynton beach police recorded those moments, as did the crew from the cops tv show. but the murky involvement of a tv show would later complicate accusations against dalia.
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>> reporter: at the station, the detectives cued up their own surveillance videos showing mike the husband dalia's two meetings as she seemed to shop for a hit man. >> i'm positive, like five thousand percent sure. >> reporter: then the police allowed michael to watch his wife's real-time police interrogation going on in another room. dalia, who had no idea her husband was alive, told her police interviewer she had nothing to do with whatever had happened to him even after they brought in the undercover cop who posed as her hit man. >> put your head up and look at her. >> put your head up. >> i've never seen him >> i'm watchin'. and i am just watching and i'm waitin' for her to give it up. and you know what? the girl never gave it up. >> we're going to go ahead and arrest. >> reporter: dalia was arrested and handcuffed. and cameras were still rolling when police walked a very-much alive michael into the doorway of the interrogation room. >> oh, my god. >> he's alive. >> and they say, "you know this guy?" and i'm standin' there, probably from twice the distance of us. >> come here please. come here. >> i can't. you can't fix this. >> why not? i didn't do anything to you.
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>> i heard you. >> mike, come here please. come here. >> and that's when she says, "come here. i love you. i love you." and -- and i told her. i said, "look, i can't." you know, i said "you can't fix this." >> reporter: now it was michael's turn to tell the police his story warts and all, correcting for the record that love at first sight fairytale. >> i -- i can tell ya i didn't meet her in a church. >> she is actually an escort. that's how i met her. she came to my office one day. >> reporter: dalia denies she was an escort. and though mike describes ordering her up from an escort service, he claims even now there was a mutual attraction that went far beyond that initial transaction. >> when i met dalia we seemed to connect instantly. we hit it off right away. >> it wasn't just bed? >> no. it was everything about it. we just clicked, you know, be it our sex life, be it just our spare time, be it the things we liked, all that. and it just happened. >> reporter: three-months after they met, michael divorced his first wife and married dalia
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that same week. >> i had just purchased a home, and we're gonna start a life together. and we talked about traveling and doing things, you know, and we had, like, a future planned. >> reporter: but there was a hitch to michael's future, the terms of his probation prevented him from leaving south florida. so the couple consulted a lawyer and his advice was pay off that $191,000 you owe in restitution and you have a fair chance of getting the probation lifted. >> so that was your ticket to freedom? >> pay back the money and yeah. and get my freedom. you know, and dalia said she would help me with some of the money, about $90,000. and i'm like, "absolutely, let's do it." >> reporter: michael says he and dalia agreed that they would pool their money to pay off dipollito's debt. >> "this is great." you know, she's pushing me forward, too. i thought, like, "okay, i'm gonna get off probation. it's very exciting for me." >> then the plan to get michael out of hock changed again. according to michael, another lawyer said to him, look, you own your townhouse free and clear, why not just turn the title over to dalia?
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then she can do money things for you, no problem. so michael gave her the deed to the town house as well as $100,000 cash. his part of the payback of the restitution debt. the money was supposed to go to his attorney but it never got there. >> i'll tell ya where it unraveled. as soon as i got dalia that $100,000 is where it went downhill. >> reporter: and he says, after dalia got that nice sized chunk of change, he started to have a string of run-ins with the police, including one night after dinner out with dalia. they left the restaurant to find the police swarming michael's vehicle. after a search, they found cocaine stashed beneath a spare tire. >> i actually started crying to this cop. and i'm like, "look man, i haven't done anything in five and a half years." i don't know how, why or what happened. they let me go. i couldn't even believe it. >> and you would've gone back to prison because you violated probation? >> uh, yeah. yeah, absolutely. >> reporter: now he didn't want to think that light of his life could be behind something as nefarious as getting him thrown
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back in prison but the idea was there, maybe dalia. >> i said to her, i said you know, only when i'm with you. my life isn't this exciting. in five and a half years on probation, i didn't have one run in with the police. i'm with this girl six months. and the whole police department knows me. i might as well glow fluorescent >> so, you're lookin' at her sideways? >> i'm just like, i'm doin' the best i can to be a good husband, give her a chance. >> no reason to believe she's faking it with you? >> no. i mean, she may have been a bad actress the day they caught her on camera, but as far as with me, she was an academy award winner. >> reporter: he says dalia also seemed to be playing the role as an expectant mother. >> there never was a baby, was there, mike? >> never was a baby. >> reporter: another thing dalia was not expecting was the formal charge being filed against her, solicitation to commit first-degree murder with a firearm. >> hello. >> hello. >> hey, it's me. >> reporter: but even after her arrest, dalia phoned michael from jail, pleading with him to get her an attorney, claiming the cops had gotten it all wrong.
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>> what they're saying is not true. >> you said you wanted to have me killed. i heard that. what's your problem? >> that's not true. that is not true. >> how is it not true? they're charging your [ bleep ]. don't you get it? >> mike, i didn't do anything. >> she won't give it up. "i didn't do it. i didn't do it. why aren't you helping me?" you know, "i love you," and over and over. and i'm like, "are you kidding?" i said, "well what do you want me to do?" >> you're supposed to get me an attorney please so i can talk to you. >> reporter: even though she would later be released under house arrest, while still in jail dalia begged the guy she was accused of trying to kill, to help her find a lawyer to beat the charge. michael saw the phone call as an opportunity to play let's make a deal. >> i said, "get me my house back, less of all the problems and legal bills." i said, "and i'll get you a lawyer." >> so listen, sign my property back to me and i'll help you. ok? >> i'm not signing anything. >> so i can't help you. >> reporter: and because of florida's strong open records laws, her jail house phone calls
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and all the police surveillance tapes made by the boynton beach cops would become public. they were out there, viral, on youtube. >> reporter: those images of dalia boo-hooing online would be seen by thousands of viewers who lambasted her in the comments section. but the people with the only opinion that mattered weren't convened on youtube. they were in a west palm beach, florida, courtroom. what would a jury of her peers make of dalia and michael? coming up -- >> reporter: liz, it was like something out of a movie, it was unreal. could this whole thing be a hoax? with this one little nexgard chew comes the confidence, you're doing what's right, to protect your dog from fleas and ticks
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try mr. clean magic eraser. just wet, squeeze and erase tough messes like bathtub soap scum and caked-on grease from oven doors. now mr. clean magic eraser comes in disposable sheets. they're perfect for icky messes on stovetops, in microwaves, and all over the house. for an amazing clean, try mr. clean magic eraser, and now, new mr. clean magic eraser sheets. reporter: what started as a tentative police sting operation -- >> oh, my god! >> reporter: -- was now being argued in front of a jury in the west palm beach, florida, courthouse. 28-year-old dalia dippolito was accused of solicitation to commit murder in the first degree. conviction could get her up to 30 years in prison. she pleaded not guilty. lead prosecutor liz parker would introduce a trove of evidence, photographs, audio recordings and videos including that sting in which dalia tells an
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undercover cop posing as a hit man that she wanted her husband mike dippolito dead, a.s.a.p. >> i'm positive, like 5000% sure. >> it was unreal. it was like something out of a movie. >> reporter: dalia had already spent almost two years under house arrest in her mother's home by the time the trial began in april of 2011. >> they say love is blind. in this case, love was blind, deaf and dumb. >> reporter: the jury would hear the prosecution argue that the six-month marriage of michael and dalia was a fraud from the beginning. >> she made him believe that this was an amazing marriage. he never wanted to believe that his wife, the person that he loved more than anything, wanted to have him killed. >> reporter: the prosecutor said dalia was juggling two lovers on the side and was trying to enlist each of them in getting her husband bumped off. >> she's playing all of these guys. they're all thinking they're the one. and the only person that she
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cared about was herself. >> reporter: detective alex moreno read back text messages dalia wrote about her husband to her lovers. >> i really hate him and want to see him rot. >> just want my life with you. let's get this -- arrested. >> reporter: to the prosecution, her scheme was apparent -- plant drugs on michael, tip the cops and get him busted back to prison on a parole violation. >> she tries for months to have him arrested. >> reporter: the alleged motive -- greed. prosecutors said she wanted to keep michael's condo and his money all for herself. but when the schemes didn't work out, argued the prosecution, dalia settled on the fatal solution. she'd simply have michael killed so everything would be hers. >> sure you want this dude killed? >> reporter: the prosecution's case looked airtight with all those mesmerizing tapes of dalia plotting out a murder, and also that video from the "cops" tv show with her looking unglued as she learned of her husband's murder.
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what no one could have predicted, though, was dalia's defense. >> we live in a world where people seeking their 15 minutes of fame lose all sense of judgment and common sense. >> reporter: dalia's defense attorney michael salnick said this whole crazy story was in fact all about dalia's husband's vanity -- and his thirst for fame. it was mike who was really behind the faked murder, its mastermind, just so he could be known beyond boynton beach. >> mike dippolito's hoax to orchestrate his own murder to achieve fame and fortune was a bad prank. it was never anyone's intention to harm anyone. >> reporter: the defense argued it was all a tv pitch, michael auditioning for his big break. >> the evidence will show that the plot for the contract killing of mike dippolito was never real. mike dippolito hoped to capture the attention of someone in
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reality tv. >> reporter: the defense attorney argued that dalia was in on the reality show idea the whole time . that scene out front of dalia wailing? acting, said the defense. >> dalia knew that mike wasn't harmed and hers is a fake reaction to a fake event. >> reporter: the defense pushed michael dippolito hard on cross-examination, accusing him of dragging dalia down with his stupid idea of being a tv star. >> this whole reality thing was actually orchestrated by you, wasnt't it? >> i don't know what you're talking about. >> the silliest thing i've ever heard. i mean, uh, completely made up. >> all right, lets bring in our jury, please. >> reporter: and after two weeks of trial testimony, the jury agreed. >> we find the defendant guilty of solicitation to commit first-degree murder. >> reporter: in the end, the judge sentenced her to 20-years, and gave dalia a piece of his mind before sending her behind bars. >> it was weeks and months that you continued with these different schemes to try to rid
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yourself of your husband. it was pure evil. >> reporter: but that wasn't the final note in the ballad of mike and dalia. in a move that surprised the prosecution -- just three months after sentencing, the judge who called dalia "pure evil" allowed her to post a $500,000 bond. she was released from jail and was again placed under house arrest while she appealed her conviction. fast forward three years, and dalia won her appeal for a new trial. >> the judge in her first trial failed to properly filter jurors for potential bias and exposure to pretrial publicity. >> reporter: brian claypool is one of dalia's new lawyers. >> some of the jurors said she was guilty in front of the entire jury pool, which contaminated the jury pool. >> reporter: and so -- more than seven years after dalia dippolito was charged with hiring a hit man to kill her husband, she would go on trial again. >> when she heard the news that
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she had been granted a retrial, she was extremely overjoyed because she felt like she would have a second chance to have the truth be told. >> reporter: she would speak exclsively to "dateline." and oh, what a story she'd tell, this real housewife of boynton beach. so much better than reality tv. started manufacturing all of these things and creating so you have ten years experience... i do. but no phd? first kid here's all the numbers, food's in the fridge, oh and lucas likes to pull on jewelry so you might want to lose the nose ring. by their second kid, parents are more likely to choose luvs. live, learn, and get luvs.
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reporter: now: the season finale of the dalia and michael dippolito show. more than seven years after
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dalia's outburst went viral -- >> reporter: and five years after dalia was sentenced to 20 years for hiring a hitman to kill her husband, she was back again in court on the same charge -- facing a possible 30-year stretch. >> good afternoon, ms. dippolito. >> afternoon. >> reporter: first, at a pre-trial hearing in february as they tried to get the entire case dismissed, dalia's new team road-tested a new reality tv defense, this time dalia was blaming her former lover mohamed -- the informant and sometimes tv extra. and so we were all gonna work on an actor's presentation to put up on social media. >> reporter: those in-car meetings weren't about arranging a hit, she said. they were all about that tv pitch. >> the purpose of meeting him was to discuss the presentation and, you know, taping what was gonna be on there. >> reporter: she claimed she had wanted to back out of the purported tv project, but she insisted mohamed was having none of that. >> and at that point, he lifted his shirt and showed me his gun. and he threatened me.
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he threatened to hurt me. he threatened to hurt my family. >> reporter: mohamed the informant denies threatening her -- or participating in a reality tv production. >> the reality tv defense seems to play into this whole story. >> reporter: "palm beach post" senior editor jan tuckwood says dalia's defense was weirdly appropriate. >> it just seems to make total sense because the whole story doesn't make sense. so, you just throw in that angle. "i wanna be famous, so let's do this stunt," if it was a stunt. it just adds to the weirdness. >> reporter: the story didn't fly with the new judge, and the motion to dismiss was thrown out. and so just last week, dalia showed up at the palm beach county courthouse once again -- new trial, new jury and dalia's
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>> it is based 100% on mrs. dippolito's words, her actions and her intent -- 100% >> reporter: we have it all on tape, he said, dalia hiring a hitman to kill her husband. >> for 4,700 bucks she wanted two bullets put in her husband's head -- for nothing. >> reporter: then it was dalia's turn, with the defense presented by los angeles attorney claypool, saying police didn't do their job. >> you can't break the rules and then be rewarded by breaking the rules. and that's really what this case is about. everybody is entitled to a -- to a police investigation that has integrity. 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. >> reporter: dalia's defense attorneys said boynton beach police undermined its own investigation when the public
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information officer had the video posted online. >> so within several hours of video footage by cops and boynton beach p.d. you went over back to the police department and you posted this on youtube. correct? >> correct. >> and you knew at that time that there was a pending criminal investigation of dalia dippolito. correct? >> correct. >> reporter: then the officer p.d. had violated dalia's constitutional rights. jurors, they said: look at the motives of the men running the surveillance video and find their target, dalia, not guilty. >> this was a police department in love with publicity and by virtue of that they tossed dalia dippolito under the bus. >> a police department can't toss a client's constitutional rights under the bus to make good television. and if the jury can see this
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and dalia waited for a jury of six to decide her fate. meanwhile, dalia -- flanked by her attorneys looming large -- spoke exclusively to "dateline." >> for the past seven years, i mean, this has been a complete nightmare. >> reporter: she told us her nightmare began as the victim of domestic abuse -- an accusation her now ex-husband michael strongly denies. into this big production for a cops, you know, tv show deadline that they had. and they just started manufacturing all of these things, and creating these scenarios, and -- and putting me in these situations that look horrible. >> reporter: the police say they did not ignore a domestic abuse case. they were trying to stop a murder-for-hire plot. and those "cops" tv cameras didn't change the substance of their investigation. >> did you wanna have your husband, mike, dead? >> no. >> were you soliciting his -- his murder as you're charged
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with in this courthouse. >> no, absolutely no, no. >> reporter: and after nearly ten hours of deliberation, her prayers were answered -- in part. >> to the judge: we, the jury, after further deliberation still cannot reach a unanimous verdict. and the judge was forced to declare a mistrial. "what do these people need to see?" you know, she's on video sayin' she wants to have me killed to two different people, one bein' a police officer. >> so what i'm sayin' to you is, everybody in the world, sad to say, she's basically beat the legal system twice now. >> do you think she should do hard time? >> honest answer, i'd like to see her go and taste it. >> reporter: so for now, dalia can go home -- again under house arrest -- to her new baby boy,
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he had already told me that guys were flying up from florida, the black ops. at that point, it got a little scary. they're here to do a job, and they're going to kill someone. this is crazy. >> in a marriage, three is a crowd. >> you're seeing another woman. >> right. >> what do you think it was? >> chemistry. >> and chemistry can be explosive. >> you're off with your girlfriend in the bahamas! >> this is now the marriage from hell. >> enter the hitman. >> what you're asking to do is not cheap. two hundred thousand?


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