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Atlanta


Once free of Palm Beach, Lita enjoyed her life in Atlanta. She cherished close friends, having her family near. She dated some men and entertained at her townhouse. She worked for different charities, and was heavily involved in arranging decorations and entertainment for the 1986 New Year's Crescendo Ball for Cystic Fibrosis, held at The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead.

The only constantly hovering cloud was her divorce. New lawyers, new motions, new court dates, new fears. Though she had almost no contact with Sullivan, their lawyers volleyed back and forth. Sullivan had attacked her character, alleging that she was an adulteress, a thief, and a drug addict. He said he found dollar bills with cocaine residue sitting in the curve of a shoehorn in her medicine cabinet. Said she stole two diamonds that were hidden in the bottom of a shoe closet. It was one thing after another; her lawyer even had her taking monthly urine tests so they could refute the drug allegations in court. She often feared someone was spying on her, and that she'd been followed.

In March 1986, Lita's longtime friend and former Spelman classmate Poppy Marable discovered that her husband, Marvin Marable, had wiretapped Poppy's phone, listening in on her conversations, many of which were with Lita. Poppy filed for divorce from her husband, who was later indicted on invasion of privacy charges. According to the FBI, Sullivan, a friend of Marvin Marable's, later admitted that he'd received copies of the tapes, sent to him in a big box to his Palm Beach home.

On January 16, 1987, a judge was going to address a pretrial motion on division of property and determine the validity of the Sullivans' postnuptial agreement. Judged in her favor, Lita stood to get half of Sullivan's assets.



West Palm Beach | The Best American Crime Writing 2005 | Slaton Drive, Buckhead