So it’s all done bar the shouting. The Devil in the Red Dress is almost ready to hit the shelves and several months of stress and hard work is finally nearing fruition. My story of lyingeyes98 and hire_hitman has finally come close to being complete, apart from a last bit of polishing.
The last couple of days, writing an end to the story and composing and epilogue, not to mention giving interviews in the first throws of publicity for The Book, I’m really beginning to appreciate the absurdity of this story.
Now there’s been a lot of discussion around the country about whether the jury were right or not to convict the Clare housewife of plotting to kill her millionaire boyfriend and his two sons. I’ve heard a lot of arguments about whether Sharon Collins is innocent or guilty and naturally enough the conspiracy theories started flying before she’d even hit the prison yard.
I’ve spent the past couple of months researching the subject. It comes in handy when you’re writing a book on the subject. I also sat in court every day of that 32 day trial. I have read all the emails sent to and from the website hitmanforhire.net, both those from Sharon to the mysterious Tony Luciano or Essam Eid, who may or may not have been a hitman (even a jury couldn’t agree on that one) and the ones from the two hapless guys who contacted the website looking for work (?).
No matter what you think of the hapless Mr Eid, who entered into a life of crime only to be arrested on both outings, the emails sent by “Bernie Lyons”, the woman who kept forgetting not to sign herself Sharon, point in one direction only.
There are a lot of emails. It makes fascinating reading – it’s not often you get to read a plot from beginning to end. But one thing is clear, at least one of these parties was absolutely sure what she wanted.
During the trial both defence teams made a lot of effort to prove that neither Collins nor Eid had actually written those emails. But when the emails from Tony Luciano are written in the bouncy but broken English that mirrored exactly the language in the statements made to gardai after his arrest in September 2006. The emails from Lying eyes also have a haunting familiarity for anyone who sat through Sharon Collins trial.
I spoke to her several times during those eight weeks, I watched her give evidence over two days. I’ve spent months poring over those emails and I’ve come to one inevitable conclusion. Either the person who wrote them was a Pulitzer worthy author or an Oscar ready method actor or a certain blonde 45-year-old woman from County Clare simply didn’t cover her tracks sufficiently.
I know that it’s easy to look at a story this complex and see some hidden conspiracy but sometimes Occam’s Razor is the way to go. As the gardai pointed out at Sharon Collins sentencing on Monday, she is the ONLY person who could have sent EVERY email to the wannabe hitman and who was also in the right country to place EVERY phone call to Mr Luciano.
There will no doubt be an appeal at some stage and they will find as they do, but I’ve read a hell of a lot of evidence during the writing of this book and anyone who could have set up Sharon Collins could have commanded a hell of a lot larger prize than the mere €100,000 demanded by Eid when he landed up on her “step-sons” doorstep and demanded money to drop the hit. We’re talking world class hackers here.
I suppose I’m just asking the general population to look at the facts before they cry conspiracy. It’s a complex case, believe me! But the outcome certainly appears pretty straightforward when you look at the evidence given in court.
We’re not talking about an innocent little ingenue here. We’re talking about a 45-year-old divorcee and mother of two grown up sons who knew what side her bread was buttered on and wanted to secure her position.
Nothing wrong with that…but I wouldn’t recommend you look for the ultimate solution on Yahoo, or Google for that matter. As Sharon Collins found out, there are an awful lot of fakes on the Internet!