Abraham Lee Shakespeare (April 23, 1966 – 2009) was an American casual laborer who won a $30 million lottery jackpot, receiving $17 million in 2006. In 2009 his family declared him missing, and in January 2010 his body was found buried under a concrete slab in the backyard of an acquaintance. Shakespeare's troubles after winning the lottery were profiled in the American E! television program Curse of the Lottery.
Shakespeare dropped out of school after seventh grade, and as a result was illiterate. He was jailed after being convicted of a string of burglaries. Subsequently, he worked various labor pool jobs.
The Florida Lotto winning ticket worth $30 million was sold at a Town Star convenience store in Frostproof, Florida, on November 15, 2006.
On that day Abraham Shakespeare and co-worker Michael Ford were headed toward Miami when they stopped briefly at the convenience store in Frostproof to buy drinks and cigarettes. Ford got out of the truck and asked Shakespeare if he wanted a soda. Shakespeare instead asked Ford to buy him two Lottery tickets. Shakespeare said that he paid Ford $2 for the tickets out of the $5 he had on him that day.
Michael Ford later approached Shakespeare demanding a share of the jackpot of no less than $1 million, which Shakespeare refused to pay, prompting Ford to sue Shakespeare accusing him of stealing the two tickets from his wallet.
Shakespeare chose a one-time, lump sum cash payment of $17 million, before taxes, instead of 30 annual payments totaling $30 million. He moved out of his working-class neighborhood in Lakeland, Florida and into a gated community. Several months after his lottery win, apart from a $1 million home, his only other major purchases included a Nissan Altima and a Rolex watch from a pawnshop. By late January 2010 the sheriff involved in the investigation of Shakespeare's disappearance told AP that the lottery money "is gone now."
Friends stated Shakespeare had grown frustrated with the apparently constant appeals for money from both hangers-on and strangers. He told his brother, "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 of these was Dorice Donegan "Dee-Dee" Moore, who launched a business with Shakespeare, Abraham Shakespeare LLC, giving herself control of the firm's funds. Moore subsequently withdrew $1 million and bought herself a Hummer, a Chevrolet Corvette and a truck before going on vacation. She later claimed that the money was a gift from Shakespeare.
Missing status and death
On November 9, 2009, Shakespeare's family reported him missing, stating that they had not seen him since April of that year. Family and friends had originally hoped that he had taken his money and was living on a beach in the Caribbean Sea. A tip-off led investigators to the backyard of Moore's boyfriend Shar Krasniqi, where Shakespeare's body was found buried in five feet of dirt under a newly constructed concrete slab. Shakespeare was 43.
Hillsborough County detectives say Shakespeare died April 6 or 7 in the single-story ranch home in Plant City. Police took Moore into custody on February 2, 2010 in connection with the murder of Shakespeare and a judge set a $1 million bond. She was charged with being an accessory after the fact in first-degree murder. Police state Moore tried to convince an acquaintance to unearth the body and move it a week after the death, and continued to try to convince others that Shakespeare was still alive. On February 19, 2010 Dorice Donegan Moore was arrested on a charge of first degree murder.
Before police found Shakespeare's dead body, Moore claimed Shakespeare decided to leave town and went to Texas, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Orlando, Florida or was sick in a hospital. Moore even claimed that Shakespeare was sick of people asking him for money, so she helped him leave town. Moore told police different versions of what happened to Shakespeare, after they found his body under a concrete slab, in the backyard of the home she put in her boyfriend's name. Moore claimed drug dealers killed him, a lawyer did him in and then blamed her 14-year-old son. She also claimed she killed Shakespeare in self-defense.
Soon after Shakespeare disappeared, Moore, who was living in Shakespeare's house, kept using his cell phone and sending text messages to his friends and relatives, as though she were Shakespeare. Moore would text messages, which people thought did not sound like him and were suspicious because Shakespeare was illiterate. When people texted Shakespeare's phone back with questions that could not be answered by Moore, no response was given.
During the same time that Moore was trying to make it appear that Shakespeare was alive, she tried to find a person who would take the blame for Shakespeare's death, for $50,000. She also offered to pay someone to dig up and move Shakespeare's body to another location.
Somehow, property records show that Moore's company, American Medical Professionals, bought Shakespeare's house. Moore told investigators she paid Shakespeare $655,000 for his home and bought $185,000 for loans which were actually worth much more, which people owed him; however, there is no evidence showing she paid Shakespeare anything.
Moore offered the mother of a son of Shakespeare's, a $200,000 home if she would lie to detectives and tell them she had seen him recently. She also paid a relative of Shakespeare's, $5,000, to give his mother a birthday card, implying it was from him.
Through the investigation of Moore, it was learned that she had once staged a scene to fraudulently keep a Lincoln Navigator, of which she was in jeopardy of having repossessed, after falling behind on the payments. She had someone store the car in a garage and then pretended she was kidnapped, sexually assaulted and carjacked. Investigators claimed she taped her wrists and threw herself from someone else's car to make a scene. She even took a rape exam. She later pleaded no contest for the charge and received probation.
The difficulties Shakespeare experienced as a result of winning the lottery, including his murder, were the focus of the American E! television program Curse of the Lottery and part of an episode of Lottery Changed My Life.
- November 15, 2006 - Shakespeare's co-worker Michael Ford buys two tickets (including the winning ticket) on the request of Shakespeare at Town Star convenience store in Frostproof where they stopped briefly so Ford could buy cigarettes.
- January, 2007 - Shakespeare buys a $1.1 million home in a gated community in North Lakeland.
- April, 2007 - Michael Ford sues Shakespeare for stealing the winning ticket from him.
- October 19, 2007 - Jury took only a little over an hour to rule that Shakespeare did not steal winning ticket from Michael Ford's wallet.
- October, 2008 - DeeDee Moore arranges to meet Shakespeare for the purported reason of writing a book about him.
- January 9, 2009 - The ownership of Shakespeare's home is transferred over to American Medical Professionals, DeeDee Moore's company.
- 2009 - Polk County records show Shakespeare's home and other properties were sold or assigned to American Medical Professionals. Of $570,000 debt owed to Shakespeare more than two-thirds were owed by American Medical Professionals.
- February 21, 2009 - Dee Dee Moore buys a 2008 Chevrolet Corvette at a Chevrolet dealer for her boyfriend in the amount of $70,390.86. She paid with a cashier's check from her American Medical Professionals LLC, business account.
- March 2, 2009 - Dee Dee Moore buys a 2009 Hummer for about $90,000.
- April, 2009 - Abaraham Shakespeare was last seen in Lakeland area, Florida.
- April 6, 2009 - According to detectives, this was the last day Shakespeare used his cell phone.
- August, 2009 - Cedric Edom, Shakespeare's cousin, delivered a card with $100 and a cross enclosed to Elizabeth Walker, Shakespeare's mother. Walker claimed the signature on the card looked like Shakespeare's, but that Edom did not say who gave him the card.
- November 9, 2009 - Cedric Edom filed a missing person's report on Shakespeare with the sheriff's office.
- November 12, 2009 - Possibly the first interview conducted by detectives with Dee Dee Moore. In this interview detectives tried to learn how Moore appropriated Shakespeare's assets. Moore told investigators she paid Shakespeare in cash in regard to why there was no proof in her bank accounts for payments of Shakespeare's assets.
- November 24, 2009 - Another early interview of Dee Dee Moore with detectives. Moore claimed the reason Shakespeare was taken off the Abraham Shakespeare LLC account was that he did not want to pay taxes. She also could not give a reason for why the account which had almost $1 million was soon withdrawn from the account days after Shakespeare's name was removed.
- November 24, 2009 - The Polk County sheriff's office declares Shakespeare missing.
- December 3, 2009 - In an interview with Dee Dee Moore and detectives, Moore claimed that the reason that some of Shakespeare's assets went into Moore's business account, American Medical Associates, was because Shakespeare did not want to pay child support.
- December, 2009 - DeeDee Moore, posing as Abraham Shakespeare, wrote to his mother saying he was fine, even though Shakespeare could not read or write.
- December 5, 2009 - Dee Dee Moore, who had bought a Hummer only 10 months before, sells it to a friend of an owner of a Chevrolet dealer for $49,000. She had told Chevrolet she needed quick cash.
- December 27, 2009 - Elizabeth Walker, Shakespeare's mother, receives a phone call from someone pretending to be Shakespeare, while she eats out with Dee Dee Moore.
- December 28, 2009 - Gregory Smith, one of Shakespeare's friends, had borrowed money from Shakespeare and was paid by Dee Dee Moore to make calls to Shakespeare's mother pretending to be her son. Smith is approached and interviewed by detectives and decides to start cooperating with law enforcement.
- January, 2010 - Dee Dee Moore contacts Gregory Smith and asked him if he knew anyone who would admit to law enforcement that they were responsible for the killing of Shakespeare.
- January 21, 2010 - Officer Mike Smith of the Lake Wales, Florida police department, working undercover is introduced to Dee Dee Moore by Gregory Smith. Moore agreed to pay Mike Smith $50,000 if he told law enforcement that he was responsible for Shakespeare's death. Mike Smith agreed to this but told Dee Dee Moore he needed to know where Shakespeare was buried.
- January 25, 2010 - Dee Dee Moore meets with Gregory Smith, who is cooperating with undercover officer Mike Smith, and shows him the concrete slab under which Shakespeare was buried. Moore also gives Gregory Smith a .38 Smith and Wesson revolver which was used to kill Shakespeare.
- January 25, 2010 - In an interview with Dee Dee Moore and detectives, Moore claimed the reason she did not pay Shakespeare for his house was because he had a drug problem and the money would be used to buy drugs.
- January 27, 2010 - Police searching for missing lottery winner find a body at Plant City house a day after digging at the site
- January 28, 2010 - James Moore, Dee Dee Moore's ex-husband was interviewed by detectives. James Moore claimed that Dee Dee Moore had called him during the first 2 weeks of April, 2009, asking him to dig a hole in her yard. Dee Dee Moore claimed the hole was needed to bury concrete and trash in. James Moore claimed he dug a hole and after he left the yard, was called back 2 hours later by Dee Dee Moore, asking him to return to fill the hole. James Moore, who was being paid to do other yard work by Dee Dee, claimed he returned to fill the hole, but could not see what was in it, since it was dark.
- January 29, 2010 - A body found at backyard of a Plant City property was identified as that of missing Shakespeare
- February 3, 2010 - Judge sets bond at $1 million for Dorice "DeeDee" Moore.
Dee Dee Moore's first degree murder trial is scheduled to begin on November 26th in 2012.
- ^ a b c d "Body of lottery winner found buried in Florida". BBC News. 30 January 2010. Archived from the original on 31 January 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8489582.stm. Retrieved 31 January 2010.
- ^ a b Curse of the Lottery 2; E!; September 11, 2010
- ^ a b c d e f g h i Stutzman, Rene (30 January 2010). "Polk man's sudden millions led to celebrity -- and tragedy". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on 4 February 2010. http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/breakingnews/os-dead-lottery-millionaire-profile-20100130,0,5892259,full.story. Retrieved 31 January 2010.
- ^ "Florida Lotto Winning Number"
- ^ a b c d "Lawsuit: Millionaire Stole Lotto Ticket"
- ^ Lush, Tamara (3 February 2010). "Judge sets woman's bond at $1 million in lotto winner's slaying". The Associated Press. http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/100203/world/us_dead_lottery_winner. Retrieved 4 February 2010.
- ^ "Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Lotto winner hasn't altered frugal lifestyle"
- ^ "True Crime Report: Abraham Shakespeare, Missing Florida Lottery Winner, May Be Dead"
- ^ a b c "'Helper' arrested in killing of Lotto winner Abraham Shakespeare". St. Petersburg Times. Feb 3, 2010. http://www.tampabay.com/news/helper-arrested-in-killing-of-lotto-winner-abraham-shakespeare/1070291.
- ^ a b c Green, Merissa (Feb 3, 2010). "Judge Sets 'DeeDee' Moore's Bond at $1 Million". The Ledger. http://www.theledger.com/article/20100203/NEWS/2035023?p=1&tc=pg.
- ^ a b c d e f Martin, John (Sept 17, 2010). "Lotto murder case records: DeeDee Moore's mother describes 'erratic behavior'". http://www.tampabay.com/news/courts/lotto-murder-case-records-deedee-moores-mother-describes-erratic-behavior/1121938.
- ^ "Friend charged with hiding Tampa lotto winner's death". Gainsvile Sun. Feb 3, 2010. http://www.gainesville.com/article/20100203/ARTICLES/100209843?p=1&tc=pg.
- ^ Jenkins, Colleen (Feb 10, 2010). "Lotto case suspect DeeDee Moore has record of staging schemes". tampabay.com. http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/crime/lotto-case-suspect-deedee-moore-has-record-of-staging-schemes/1072046.
- ^ a b Green, Merissa (Nov 24, 2009). "Lakeland Lottery Winner Missing". The Ledger. http://www.theledger.com/article/20091124/NEWS/911245058.
- ^ "Famed Attorney and Client Victorious in $30 Million Lottery Trial". Los Angeles Sentinel. Nov 1, 2007. http://www.lasentinel.net/Famed-Attorney-and-Client-Victorious-in-$30-Million-Lottery-Trial.html.
- ^ a b Green, Merissa (Jan 7, 2010). "Sheriff: Lottery Winner May Be Dead". The Ledger. http://www.theledger.com/article/20100106/NEWS/100109879?p=1&tc=pg.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Abraham Lee Shakespeare - 02/19/2010 Probable Cause Affidavit". acandyrose.com. Feb 19, 2010. http://www.acandyrose.com/deedeemoore-021910Affidavit.htm.
- ^ Geary, Jason (Feb 17, 2011). "Suspect 'DeeDee' Moore Fights to Keep Lotto Winner's House". The Ledger. http://www.theledger.com/article/20110217/NEWS/102175032?p=1&tc=pg.
- ^ Green, Merissa (Dec 5, 2009). "Woman Says Missing Man Publicity Upended Life". The Ledger. http://www.theledger.com/article/20091205/NEWS/912055047.
- ^ "Dorice "Dee Dee" Moore Interview 11/12/2009". acandyrose.com. Nov 12, 2009. http://www.acandyrose.com/deedee_moore111209.htm.
- ^ "Detective Christopher Lynn Report 02/02/2010". acandyrose.com. Feb 2, 2010. http://www.acandyrose.com/christopher_lynn020210-1200pm.htm.
- ^ "Elizabeth Walker Interview 12/28/2009". acandyrose.com. http://www.acandyrose.com/elizabeth_walker122809-0800am.htm.
- ^ "Variety of stories leads to murder charge for Dee Dee Moore". www2,tbo.com. Feb 19, 2010. http://www2.tbo.com/news/plant-city/2010/feb/19/moore-charged-killing-lottery-winner-shakespeare-ar-79608/.
- ^ Mitchell, Robbyn (Feb 20, 2010). "DeeDee Moore charged with first degree murder in lottery winner's homicide". St. Petersburg Times. http://www.tampabay.com/news/deedee-moore-charged-with-first-degree-murder-in-lottery-winners-homicide/1074609.
- ^ "Woman pleads not guilty in death of lottery winner". CNN. Mar 16, 2010. http://articles.cnn.com/2010-03-16/justice/florida.lottery.death_1_lottery-millionaire-hillsborough-county-abraham-shakespeare?_s=PM:CRIME.
- ^ 
An archive of found materials related to Abraham Shakespeare can be found here.