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In August 2009, former madam Dalia Dippolito conspired with a hit man to arrange her ex-con husband's murder. Days later, it seemed as if all had gone according to plan. The beautiful, young Dalia came home from her health club to an elaborate crime scene, complete with yellow tape outlining her townhome and police milling about. When Sgt. Frank Ranzie of the Boynton Beach, Florida, police informed her of her husband Michael's apparent murder, the newlywed Dippolito can be seen on surveillance video collapsing into the cop's arms, like any loving wife would—or any wife who was pretending to be loving would. The only thing missing from her performance were actual tears.
... And the only thing missing from the murder scene was an actual murder.
Tipped off by one of Dalia's lovers, an undercover detective posing as a hit man met with Dalia to plot her husband's murder while his team planned, then staged the murder scenario—brazenly inviting the reality TV show Cops along for the ride. The Cops video went viral, sparking a media frenzy: twisted tales of illicit drugs, secret boyfriends, sex-for-hire, a cuckolded former con man, and the defense's ludicrous claim that the entire hit had been staged by the intended victim for reality TV fame.
In Poison Candy, case prosecutor Elizabeth Parker teams with bestselling crime writer Mark Ebner take you behind and beyond the courtroom scenes with astonishing never-before-revealed facts, whipsaw plot twists, and exclusive photos and details far too lurid for the trial that led to 20 years in state prison for Dalia Dippolito.
About the Author
Elizabeth Parker began as a prosecutor in the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office in 1998 where she quickly rose through the ranks and achieved the position of Chief Assistant State Attorney in which she litigated high-profile cases.
She has appeared on Dateline, Snapped, Sins and Secrets, Nothing Personal, and In Session for her role as the lead prosecutor in the Dalia Dippolito case. In 2011, Parker opened her own victim advocacy and criminal defense firm in Palm Beach County, Florida.
As a criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor, Elizabeth has appeared on Nancy Grace, In Session and in USA TODAY as a legal analyst on high profile cases such as Jerry Sandusky, George Zimmerman, John Goodman, Adam Kauffman, and Tammy Smith.
Mark Ebner is an award-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author of titles including Hollywood, Interrupted, Six Degrees of Paris Hilton, and We Have Your Husband.
"This is an engagingly told, eyebrow-raising story of a nice guy with a bad past; a manipulative, brazen almost-murderess; and thugs, both softhearted and heartless, that is spiced with trial excerpts and the intricacies of Florida's legal system."
Eloise Kinney, Bookist Online
"Like a real-life story by James M. Cain, Poison Candy has a beautiful dame who's full of venom and a trusting mug who's too blinded by her charms to know she's taking him for all he's worthor that she's planning to kill him. Told from the perspective of a tough-talking woman prosecutor, Elizabeth Parker, and veteran crime writer Mark Ebner, this tale of greed and manipulation in Palm Beach County is impossible to put down."
Nancy Jo Sales, Vanity Fair, author of The Bling Ring
"Start with a South Florida trifecta of cash, cocaine, and call girls. Throw in Nancy Grace, street gangs, and even a cop reality show. Then top it off with an absorbing courtroom drama starring the beautiful aspiring black widow. A great readand it's all true."
Roy Black, senior partner at Black, Srebnick, Kornspan & Stumpf, P.A. and legal commentator
"Elizabeth Parker presented a compelling case at trial, and now gives us all the juicy tidbits banned from the courtroom. Poison Candy proves the adage that truth is stranger than fiction. This is a must-read for true-crime aficionados."
Beth Karas, Legal Analyst and former Correspondent for Court TV's In Session
"Not even Hollywood could come up with a character as evil and calculating as Dalia Dippolito! For anyone who wants to truly understand how diabolical criminals operateand get away with what they doPoison Candy is a must read. I couldn't put it down!"
Diane Dimond, investigative crime reporter and author
"Poison Candy is an essential read. Destined to become a true crime classic."
Mandy Stadtmiller, XOJane.com
"Elizabeth Parker, the prosecutor who convicted Dalia Dippolito, tells the behind-the-scenes story of what really happened behind the femme fatale sting and subsequent trial. One of Florida's most skilled and experienced criminal trial attorneys, she unfolds little known details of the case in a narrative that is rich with the insights of a veteran litigator and is very hard to put down. Parker and co-author Mark Ebner have produced a captivating account of one of Florida's most notorious cases."
Bob Butterworth, Former Florida Attorney General
"The only thing more riveting than having experienced this already legendary Florida crime saga in real time is reliving it via Parker and Ebner's page-turner. Who needs fiction when you can devour Poison Candy?"
Billy Corben, director of Cocaine Cowboys, The U, and Raw Deal: A Question of Consent
"If the Coen Brothers ever decide to do an up-to-date version of Billy Wilder's cynical, similarly caustic Ace in the Hole, they need look no further than Poison Candy."