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West Palm Beach


On the morning of the shooting, Sullivan's lawyer called him to announce that Lita was dead. That day Sullivan lunched with a business associate. At about 8:00 p.m., he dined with his girlfriend, South Korean-born Hyo-Sook Choi "Suki" Rogers at Jo's, a posh French restaurant.

Later, according to prosecutor Brad Moores, authorities found a note in Sullivan's diary that said, "Suki and I celebrate with champagne and caviar at Jo's." Another note, scrawled on December 12, 1986 (a month before the shooting), simply said, "pistol."

Eight months after Lita's death, Sullivan married Suki Rogers, her fourth marriage, his third. A recent divorcee, sexy Suki was reportedly as ambitious as Sullivan, and together they made progress on the Palm Beach social circuit.

It didn't take long before the life he'd so carefully crafted started to crack. In March 1990, three years after Lita's death, Sullivan got into a three-car fender bender while driving his Rolls-Royce. His driver's license had been revoked in 1989 due to more than a dozen traffic violations. Rather than dealing with the fines, he took the matter to court and said Suki had been the one driving. The traffic cop told the court that Suki wasn't even in the car.

Sullivan was convicted of two counts of perjury and sentenced to house arrest for a year, confined to his home except for "tennis court therapy" prescribed by his doctor. During that year, still seeking clues into Lita's death, federal agents searched his house and found four guns, including a sawed-off shotgun. Convicted on felony charges for firearms possession, Sullivan was sentenced to spend the remaining nine and a half months of his house arrest in the Palm Beach County Jail.

By this point, Suki had filed for divorce. At her divorce trial, she testified that after they got arrested for perjury, Sullivan admitted his role in Lita's death. In choppy English, she explained: "He turned the TV high. He say anybody can listen to this conversationso he tell me he hired person to kill LitaHe said let's sell this house as soon as possible and he say, we go anywhere you want, anywhere in the world." She later told lawyers, "He mention in Georgia in countryside you can hire those people for nothing, you can do anything you want to have done."

While in jail, Sullivan got into a jailhouse scuffle with convicted robber Paul O'Brien, who broke Sullivan's nose.



Slaton Drive, Buckhead | The Best American Crime Writing 2005 | Fulton County