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From Rags to Riches to a Cement Grave — The Disturbing Case of Abraham Shakespeare

Abraham Shakespeare was a lotto winner who got killed for his winnings
Abraham Shakespeare was a lotto winner who got killed for his winnings
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One of the biggest true crime stories in the United States, is also one of the saddest, and is the case of Abraham Shakespeare who was murdered for winning a lottery. In 2006, Florida’s Abraham Shakespeare experienced a dramatic life transformation after winning $30 million in the lottery. This sudden wealth lifted the 40-year-old Lakeland resident out of poverty, enabling him to support his community. However, the influx of people seeking a share of his fortune soon became overwhelming, as noted by his friend Greg Smith and others close to him. “When Abraham won that money, it wasn’t just a win for him—it felt like the whole community hit the jackpot,” Smith remarked.

Three years later, when Shakespeare vanished, suspicions of foul play quickly arose among investigators.

Abraham Shakespeare Wins the Lottery

We all fantasize about winning the lottery—imagining millions to ease our lives, shower loved ones with extravagant gifts, and enjoy a respite from work. However, the reality for many lottery winners is far from idyllic. Studies reveal that 70% of winners find themselves broke within seven years. And that’s only for those who live to tell the tale.

The winning Florida Lotto ticket, worth thirty million dollars, was sold at a Town Star convenience store in Frostproof, Florida, on November 15, 2006. On that day, Abraham Lee Shakespeare and his co-worker Michael Ford were on their way to Miami when they made a quick stop at the store to buy drinks and cigarettes. Ford, stepping out of the truck, asked Shakespeare if he wanted a soda. Instead, Shakespeare asked Ford to purchase two lottery tickets for him, giving Ford $2 from the $5 he had with him.

Abraham Shakespeare on the left, and Michael on the right during the trial where Michael swore that Shakespeare stole the ticket

Abraham Shakespeare on the left, and Michael on the right during the trial where Michael swore that Shakespeare stole the ticket

After the lottery win, Ford demanded a share of no less than $1 million, which Shakespeare refused. This led Ford to sue Shakespeare, claiming that Shakespeare had stolen the lottery tickets from his wallet. The jury did not believe Ford’s story, and Shakespeare won the case. Opting for a one-time lump sum, Shakespeare received $17 million. He moved from his working-class neighborhood in Lakeland to a gated community. Aside from buying a $1 million home, his major purchases were modest: a Nissan Altima and a Rolex watch from a pawnshop. By late January 2010, the sheriff involved in Shakespeare’s disappearance case informed the Associated Press that the lottery money “is gone now.”

Deedee Moore Comes Into Shakespeare’s Life

Friends reported that Shakespeare became increasingly frustrated with the relentless requests for money from both acquaintances and strangers. He confided in his brother, saying, “I’d have been better off broke,” and told a childhood friend, “I thought all these people were my friends, but then I realized all they want is just money.” One such individual was Dorice Donegan “Dee-Dee” Moore, who started a business with Shakespeare, Abraham Shakespeare LLC, and gave herself control over the company’s funds. Moore withdrew $1 million, using the money to buy herself a Hummer, a Chevrolet Corvette, and a truck before taking a vacation. She later claimed the money was a gift from Shakespeare.

On November 9, 2009, Abraham Shakespeare’s family reported him missing, stating they hadn’t seen him since April that year. Initially, family and friends hoped he had taken his money and relocated to a beach in the Caribbean. However, a tip led investigators to the backyard of a home purchased by Dorice “Dee-Dee” Moore, where Shakespeare’s body was discovered buried under nine feet of dirt beneath a newly constructed concrete slab. Shakespeare was 42 years old.

Hillsborough County detectives determined that Shakespeare had died on April 6 or 7 in a single-story ranch home in Plant City. On February 2, 2010, police took Moore into custody in connection with Shakespeare’s murder, and a judge set her bond at $1 million. Investigators revealed that Moore had attempted to persuade an acquaintance to exhume and relocate Shakespeare’s body a week after his death and had continued to try convincing others that he was still alive. On February 19, 2010, Moore was formally charged with first-degree murder.

Dorice DeeDee Moore

Dorice DeeDee Moore, who was charged Tuesday Feb. 2, 2010, as an accessory after the fact to first-degree murder in the slaying of Florida lottery winner Abraham Shakespeare.

Before Shakespeare’s body was found, Moore claimed he had decided to leave town, offering various locations such as Texas, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, or Orlando, Florida, and even suggested he was ill in a hospital. She asserted that Shakespeare had grown tired of people asking for money and that she had helped him leave town. However, once his body was discovered under the concrete slab at the home registered in her boyfriend’s name, Moore provided multiple conflicting accounts, blaming drug dealers, a lawyer, and even her 14-year-old son. She eventually claimed she killed Shakespeare in self-defense.

After Shakespeare’s disappearance, Moore, who had moved into his house, continued to use his cell phone to send text messages to his friends and relatives, pretending to be him. However, the recipients were suspicious as the messages did not sound like Shakespeare, who was illiterate. When they responded with questions only Shakespeare could answer, Moore failed to reply.

During this period, Moore sought someone to take the blame for Shakespeare’s death in exchange for $50,000 and offered to pay someone to move his body. Property records revealed that Moore’s company, American Medical Professionals, had purchased Shakespeare’s house. She claimed to have paid Shakespeare $655,000 for the home and $185,000 for outstanding loans, though there was no evidence of these payments. Moore also attempted to bribe the mother of one of Shakespeare’s sons with a $200,000 home to falsely claim she had seen him recently and paid $5,000 to a relative to give his mother a birthday card, implying it was from him.

Further investigation uncovered Moore’s previous fraudulent activities, including staging a carjacking to avoid repossession. She hid the vehicle in a garage, pretended to be kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and carjacked, even going so far as to tape her own wrists and throw herself from someone else’s car. She took a rape exam and later pleaded no contest to the charge, receiving probation.

The police retriving the body of Abraham Shakespeare

The police retrieving the body of Abraham Shakespeare from the concrete slab

 

Ultimately, the facade crumbled when Moore’s conflicting stories and attempts to manipulate those around her were exposed. She was formally charged with first-degree murder on February 19, 2010, and was later convicted, bringing some measure of justice for the tragic end of Abraham Shakespeare.

Next, read about the case of Randy Adams, and then, about the story of the Lykov Family in Russia!

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Written By

Abin Tom Sebastian, also known as Mr. Morbid in the community, is an avid fan of the paranormal and the dark history of the world. He believes that sharing these stories and histories are essential for the future generations. For god forbid, we have seen that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

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