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Jeff Lytle

Valentine’s Day Edition: Cupid’s arrow misses, but so does the hit man

by Alan Duke, Reporter & 'Crime Stories With Nancy Grace' Co-host

When Cupid’s arrow misses the mark, a loveless spouse might seek a hit man with deadlier ammo. Fortunately, sometimes the angry lover’s aim can be as hapless as Cupid.

Jeff Lytle is accused of trying to hire someone to kill his wife, but the husband’s cell phone skills allegedly foiled his murderous plot. The Monroe, Washington, man’s text message — allegedly intended to seal the deal with the hit man — was sent to his former boss. The boss, shocked by the message offering money to kill the wife and young daughter, called police. Lytle, who is awaiting trial, suggested his four-year-old might have composed the text and sent it.

Then there is Dalia Dippolito. The Boynton Beach, Florida, woman allegedly paid a hit man to kill her husband, but it turned out the hired killer was really an undercover cop. Police faked the husband’s murder and used hidden cameras to capture Dippolito’s reaction when they told her he had been shot to death.

The video became a viral sensation because of the woman’s dramatic reaction. Her lawyer argued the police sting was concocted by officers who wanted to be on a “Cops” TV episode. Despite video purporting to show Dippolito hiring the hit man, a jury deadlocked 3-3 and a mistrial was declared. A new trial is on the way.

Nancy Grace and Alan Duke explore these ‘love gone bad” cases in this Valentine’s Day edition of “Crime Stories with Nancy Grace.”

[Feature Photo: Facebook]

Alan’s journalism career began as a way to pay for his plan to become a lawyer, but he soon realized being a courtroom reporter was a lot more fun than sitting at a defense table. Duke covered many of the nation’s most sensational crime stories over his 26 years at CNN. Duke’s closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat, much of his time was spent talking to cops, coroners and lawyers. His reporting on the investigation that followed Michael Jackson’s death — and two subsequent trials — included many revelations about the singer’s life and death.   Since leaving CNN in 2014, Duke has contributed to the Reelz Channel “Copycat Killers” documentary series. He is a co-founder and editor-in-chief for LeadStories.com.