Wednesday, April 22, 2009

True Crime: Sex, Money and Murder in Daytona Beach

(Lee Butcher, Pinnacle Books, 1993)
Another book that proves that America is truly the land of the proud, the brave, the intelligent, the moral, the superior. In other words, more true crime idiocy, this time in the midst of the lowlife scum of the Daytona Beach boardwalk and the area's much better off Greek-American community. From page one it becomes obvious that there was no way in hell the idiots there were going to get away with it. Kosta Fotopoulos, a gun-happy fool with a definite superiority complex comes to the USA from Greece and ends up tying the knot with Lisa Paspalakis, a rich woman of Greek descent, heir (with her brother) to a money-making family business. Intelligent or not, likes so many a woman she obviously had no taste in men, for she definitely married the wrong one. Obsessed with becoming a crime king and assassin, Kosta read one too many comic books and copies of Soldier of Fortune, and tried to build his Crime Reich. Not satisfied with a ton of counterfeit money and the dough his wife would share with him, he bathed in the seamy side of the area and hooked up with an egotistical, self-centered but good looking psycho case named Deidre Hunt. It seems they told a thousand people of their plans to kill Lisa, and when they finally got around to implementing it, they did it with about as much finesse and success as Laurel & Hardy would have, had the latter couple had been psychopathic. What boggles the mind most when reading this book is how many people, both "respectable" and "non-respectable" seemed to know of Kosta's illegal activities or his plans but didn't do or say anything. Even Lisa comes across like either being a blind idiot or, at least in regards to Kosta's many activities, oddly complacent. As for all the lowlifes, well, there is no honor amongst thieves either it seems – nor brains – so no death, no confession, no witness is all that surprising. Somewhere along the way, Deidre shot an old friend to death for Kosta, who filmed it on video and then actually left the tape someplace where it was relatively easy to find, which of course happened after the ridiculous attempt on Lisa's life. Lisa now walks around with a bullet in her head, but she is alive, which can't be said of the dude who shot her. Kosta nailed him before he left the bedroom, a bullet through the head, execution style. Typical of people who believe themselves superior to everyone around them, the two made a thousand mistakes along the way that guaranteed their eventual conviction. A quick read and unbelievable story, with the typical amount of typos and general bad proof reading expected in a Pinnacle publication.

Update: Kosta Fotopoulos lost his February 15, 2008 attempt to get off death row when a prior reversal in the case was overturned, which now brings Fotopoulos one step closer to never-never land. His ex-wife Lisa has since remarried, and Deidre Hunt’s death sentence has been converted into a life sentence (she is now prisoner DC# 161918 at Homestead Correctional Institution).

Images: (Top to bottom, and, as always, trawled from the Web): The book cover, a thinner and older Kosta, and Deidre Hunt smiling for the camera.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

This brings back vivid memories of those years in Daytona Beach, FL. Never read the book, but know of the case very well. It was quite the news story in it's day.

Anonymous said...

brings back too many memories for me i was in my teens i was dating kevin when this all happen if i would not have gotten put in a drug rehab. i would be dead too

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