WARNING: GRAPHIC PHOTO
Ramon Sosa was stunned to find himself in a shallow grave with a gunshot wound to his right temple. Except it was all an act to fool his wife, who plotted to kill the former pro boxer by hiring a hitman.
“When investigators told me the plan, my first thought was, ‘You gotta be kidding me, man’” Sosa told Fox News Digital. “I thought they had enough evidence to arrest her. They told me, ‘Yeah, we do have enough evidence, but she’s a beautiful lady. She’s a mother of two, a member of the community. We don’t want to take a chance going to trial and one of the jurors feeling sorry for her. We want to show her a photo of you dead, get a reaction, and use it as evidence.’ And that’s how it all went down.”
Sosa is recounting his story in Investigation Discovery’s (ID) popular true-crime series “Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry?” The show, which premiered in 2010, explores the stories of people who say “I do” to their “soulmates,” only to learn their spouses have a shocking secret.
“I don’t want other couples in difficult situations to go through what I went through,” Sosa explained. “And, to this day, people still tell me, ‘Wow, I can’t believe that happened to you.’ It did happen to me. It could happen to you. It could happen to anybody.”
Sosa, the son of a professional wrestler, launched a successful boxing career in his native Puerto Rico. As a teen, he moved to Texas, where he turned pro at age 17. But after bad management, he no longer wanted to be inside the ring. So, he began training fighters in Houston.
After finding himself unlucky in love, Sosa met a woman whose beauty packed a punch. It was 2007 when Sosa, then 40, met a knockout at a local Latin nightclub.
“I wasn’t dating anyone at the time,” said Sosa, whose first marriage ended in 2000. “But she immediately caught my eye. The way she carried herself, I couldn’t stop staring. She just captivated me. Not only was she very beautiful, but she could dance, too. She then walked in front of me and, all of a sudden, she stepped on my toe. And she’s wearing these 6-inch heels. I bent down, and she was so apologetic. All I could say was, ‘Would you dance with me?’ And we danced the night away.”
The mystery woman was Maria de Lourdes Dorantes, also known as “Lulu.” The buxom brunette, originally from Mexico, entered the U.S. on a visitor visa with her son and daughter. She was eager to start a new life in Houston, and she happily doted on the father of three. The romance was swift, and Sosa found himself on bended knee once more. This time, to propose. She became Lulu Sosa in 2009. The couple opened a gym together in 2010.
But, within the third year of their marriage, Sosa said he “started seeing the cracks.”
“Once she got her American citizenship, she started changing in the way she talked to me and carried herself,” Sosa explained. “I remember she told me, ‘I’m an American now. I have all the benefits that you have in this country.’ I just thought to myself, ‘What does that mean?’ It was difficult. I was still trying to make our marriage work. I was trying to be a father figure to her son as he became more rebellious toward me. But it was hard.”
A client who went by the name “Mundo” started training at the couple’s gym. He had grown up on the tough streets of East Houston and wanted to turn his life around. Sosa became a mentor. Mundo was also friends with Lulu, who started to complain about her husband to him. She eventually filed for divorce.
One evening, Mundo overheard a conversation she was having with her teenage daughter. It was about a “big shot” who “cuts up bodies” in Mexico. It was then when Mundo heard Sosa’s name. The next day, he confronted Lulu, who claimed Sosa was physically abusive. She then said, “I wish he’ll disappear,” referring to her estranged husband. Fearing for his friend’s life, Mundo told Lulu he believed her allegations and volunteered to help hire a hitman.
Mundo hurried to warn Sosa. He was determined to be in his corner.
“He already knew that we were going through a difficult divorce,” Sosa explained. “But when he told me what he heard, I just couldn’t believe it. I was hurt. I was angry. I was in shock. We were still living under the same roof. I had a big two-story home. She was living upstairs with her kids and mother. I was living downstairs. I had to go home and see this lady who wanted to kill me. I had to look at her in the face.”
Sosa said he knew why Lulu wanted him dead.
“It was all about the money,” he said. “She knew how much money I was worth dead. The business had started to go downhill. She took over the business and a lot of our members canceled their memberships. Money wasn’t coming in. She was very frustrated because the divorce wasn’t going her way. She then was trying to ruin my life by making these false accusations that I was abusive to her, that I was a drunk. I guess she felt she had no other choice.”
Sosa contacted the police but was told they needed more evidence. He and Mundo teamed up to do their own amateur detective work, gathering texts and recorded daily conversations with Lulu under the guise she was hiring a hitman. The evidence of the murder-for-hire plot was presented to investigators.
“The police got involved when they realized this was very serious, and she wanted me dead as soon as possible,” said Sosa. “The divorce was about to be finalized, and she wanted me dead before then because she knew how much money she was going to get. If I died after the divorce, my kids would get everything. So she wanted me out quickly. They then brought their undercover investigator.”
But to keep the sting going, police needed a photo of Sosa dead as proof the deed was done.
“They showed me all these photos of dead men with bullet wounds to their heads,” Sosa recalled. “It was horrific. But I just thought, ‘Let’s do it, let’s go.’”
Sosa posed as if his hands were tied. Investigators even threw dirt on his head for a realistic shot. An undercover agent posing as the hired hitman showed the photo to Lulu during an arranged meeting at a parking lot. She laughed and discussed paying him $3,000 in cash, and even offered jewelry and Sosa’s white pickup truck. It was all secretly caught on camera.
Lulu was arrested in 2015.
“The first thing I remembered when she walked into the packed courtroom was hearing the sounds of the chains,” said Sosa. “I could hear the sounds of those shackles on her wrists and ankles. I remembered looking down at her feet and seeing those $1 state shoes they give to prisoners. This lady ended up in this country because she wanted a better life. She was living well. I bought her expensive shoes. She wore fine clothes. And now she’s in a jumpsuit and chains. It didn’t have to be this way.”
Sosa said that after she pleaded to second-degree solicitation of capital murder, he forgave her. She’s now serving 20 years in prison.
“I had so much anger towards her family,” he said. “I was a ticking time bomb. I slept with a loaded gun. I had loaded guns in my house, in my car at all times. I was constantly looking behind my shoulder. When I chose to forgive her, it was like as if all the air was left out of a balloon. I was holding on to so much hatred. It was bottled up inside of me. And then it was released. And if it felt so good to no longer be so angry. Not once did she ever look at me. The last thing I remember was the sound of those chains as they took her away.”
Life for Sosa today is “wonderful.” He’s even found love again and is engaged to a woman “who brought life back into me.” He’s also written a book published in 2019, “I Walked on My Own Grave.”
“If [Lulu] had just gone through the divorce, she would’ve gotten half of everything we owned together,” said Sosa. “But no, she was very greedy and wanted more. But today I’m here. And I’m hoping my story will encourage others to walk away from a difficult situation and take back their lives.”