Photo exposes wife’s ‘chilling’ murder plan
WARNING: Graphic Content
A MAN who faked his own execution after learning his wife had hired a hitman to kill him said he had to 'sleep with the enemy' to ensure she was jailed.
Ramon Sosa joined forces with detectives in 2015 to prove ruthless Maria 'Lulu' Sosa was offering $2700 to have him killed during a contentious divorce.
The 50-year-old from Houston said he felt "numb" after hearing his wife's plans to get her hands on his cash.
But rather than confront her, he hatched a plan that would see Lulu put behind bars for the next two decades - however, it meant he'd have to carry on living under the same roof.
'ONE EYE OPEN'
Speaking to The Sun, Ramon said: "Those moments when I first heard that Lulu wanted to have me killed were surreal.
"The words kind of hung in the air for a split second and when I began to process the message, the words fell into my brain one by one.
"From that point on, so many thoughts began crossing my mind! It's as if my synapses were on rapid fire! And then there was doubt, of course. I didn't want to believe it at first.
"After the reality it set in I became angry, sad and confused; a whole mix of emotions, each fighting the other to be the dominant feeling.
"And then it hit me that I still had to live under the same roof with the person planning to have me murdered.
"Yes, I slept with the enemy and with one eye open, all while trying to act as 'normal' as possible so Lulu would continue with her plan. Keep in mind, that was the only way we could catch her in the act."
ORGANISING A HITMAN
Unfortunately for Lulu, she had approached a guy called Gustavo to see if he could organise the hit, without realising he and Ramon were friends.
The would-be criminal then joined forces with Ramon - and on his next meeting with Lulu, he hid a microphone inside his clothing and taped their conversation, before handing the incriminating evidence into Houston cops.
But it wasn't enough, so police suggested Ramon pretended to be dead for a photograph that they could show Lulu.
With the support of the FBI, officers painted bloody makeup on Ramon, so it looked as though he had been shot through the temple.
Describing the image, Ramon, who has three kids from a previous marriage, said: "It was chilling. Utterly and indescribably chilling.
"That picture, to this day, reflects one of the most difficult things I have ever done in my life. The thought of me lying in a shallow grave in my underwear with a bullet hole through my temple is mind boggling.
"All of this drama to prove to Lulu, my beloved, that I was dead. One will never be able to wrap their mind around that kind of madness.
"I still remember what I was thinking while I was posing for that picture: My kids and my parents; what they were going to think whenever they saw the gruesome images.
"My daughter Mia still has a hard time looking at that picture. She knows that it's staged but it reminds her that it could have really happened if Lulu had gotten her way."
A 'hitman', who was actually an undercover police officer, later met Lulu in a parking lot and showed her the pictures.
Ramon said: "Lulu [was] laughing when the undercover officer showed her the picture. She had the nerve to ask him if I was really dead or if I was going to get up."
JAILED FOR 20 YEARS
Lulu was later arrested and pleaded guilty to solicitation of murder at the District Court in Conroe, Texas. She was jailed for 20 years in October 2016.
Looking back at his relationship with his wife, Ramon said he feels 'lucky to be alive'.
He added: "I never, ever for one moment thought that Lulu would want to kill me. Our divorce was very difficult and contentious, but at no time did murder of any kind cross my mind.
"In hindsight I can tell you that she not only wanted to have me murdered, but she had been planning to destroy the life I worked so hard to build for some time.
"After I received all the evidence that the authorities had collected from Lulu, I can honestly say that l am very lucky to still be alive.
"Lulu was the proverbial wolf in sheep's clothing. Little did I know."
Now, three years on from Lulu's sentencing, Ramon says he is focusing on dedicating his life to being a public speaker on behalf of domestic abuse victims.
The dad, who has also released a book on his story, said: "My hope is that my book helps every man and woman that [may] find themselves in an abusive relationship, to find the courage to speak up and seek help.
'PLEASE GET HELP'
"Whether it is physical, mental or emotional abuse… please get help, immediately.
"I was fortunate to live through an abusive relationship. Lulu tried for months to destroy my life. When all her plans didn't work she decided to have me killed. I have dedicated my life to being a public speaker advocating on behalf of victims of domestic abuse.
"Men are more reluctant to come forward and report domestic abuse to authorities because of shame, fear, and the stigma attached to men who admit they have been beaten or berated.
"That's why I'm using every platform available to me to spread my message to all the men that are victims of domestic abuse. You are not alone".
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission