"We are dealing with fools but we are dealing
with dangerous fools," said the prosecutor.
They were a couple in Ireland – PJ Howard was wealthy, Sharon Collins was not. He wouldn’t marry her because he was worried about his two sons losing out on his wealth.
She wanted his money, so she bought a fake marriage certificate from a Mexican website to fake their marriage.
She wanted to kill him, so she found a hitman on the internet (www.hitmanforhire.net). The hitman was a Las Vegas poker dealer named Tony Luciano. She sent him money.
Ms. Collins used the online pseudonym "Lying Eyes."
The plan was to kill Mr. Howard and his two children from a previous marriage. He’d kill the sons with ricin poison while they were drinking in a local pub, and push her husband off a roof in a "suicide" prompted by his grief over his son’s deaths.
Mr. Luciano traveled to Ireland with his ex-wife, Teresa Engle. But he decided to double-cross his client. He contacted one of the sons and said he’d call off the hit if the son paid him. The son contacted police.
Hitman "Tony Luciano" turned out to be a pseudonym for an Egyptian named Essam Eid. His ex-wife, Ms. Engle, became the prosecution’s key witness.
Despite numerous emails and phone calls linking Ms. Collins and hitman Mr. Eid, Ms. Collins claimed she was innocent, and that she was being blackmailed by Maria Marconi, an online writing tutor, who was never found.
The man she was trying to kill, PJ Howard, still loves her and believes she is innocent. He appealed to the court not to send her to prison. He thinks this was all part of a plot to blackmail him, run by Teresa Engle.
Ms. Howard and Mr. Eid were both sentenced to six years in prison.
– Husband pleads for Sharon Collins as she is jailed for trying to kill him, The Sunday Times>>
– Sharon Collins and her lying eyes, The Sunday Times>>