The police of Fortaleza, the capital city of the northeastern state of Ceará, in Brazil, seem convinced that a saleswoman who was assassinated in that coastal town ordered and paid for her own murder. Lidiana Severo de Oliveira is believed to have paid 500 Brazilian reais (US$ 275) to her killer, street vendor Ricardo do Nascimento Alcântara, 40.
Oliveira, 30, used to work for a large car dealer in Ceará. She was pretty, liked to talk and loved a party. She was also owner of a beach house in Taíba, not far from Fortaleza and a Toyota Corolla.Â Her Orkut site lists over 200 friends.Â
This is how her boss described her: "She always was an extremely extroverted person and friends with everybody."
From the evidence he gathered until now, police chief Andrade Júnior, from the civilian police's Anti-Kidnapping Division (DAS) has created what he thinks is the most likely scenario. Lidiana, he says, in the morning of August 10, last Monday, stopped her Corolla at Rogaciano Leite avenue, an area where street vendors congregate and a region also known for robberies.Â
The woman, according to Andrade, bought a cover for her cellular and told who wanted to listen that she was looking for someone to kill her and that she was offering 500 reais for that. That's when Ricardo do Nascimento, better known as Ricardo Moiteiro (someone who acts stealthily) offered to do the job. The traffic cameras in the area show Moiteiro getting inside Lidiana's car at 10:51 am. The scenes don't show any violence.
Moiteiro says that he was only working as a hawker while he waited for some job as a bricklayer. Selling whatever he could find he used to make about 600 reais (US$ 330) a month. He is married and has two children. He's got no criminal record to his name.
According to his story, he had never seen Lidiana before. When asked, in his jail cell, why he killed her he repeats: "I don't know." And then adds: "Every little money helps. All I did was to take the gun she gave me and then shoot her." He apparently shoot the woman twice from the passenger seat of the Corolla.
The street vendor tells that before committing the crime he spent the day driving around town with Lidiana who told him she was tired of living. They had lunch and drank together. He had "four, five beers," he says. He even tells that the woman gave him a clean shirt so he could wear it in case he were bloodied during the murder.
Moiteiro told police that Lidiana wrote a note saying that she had asked to be killed, but he burned it because he believed that would serve to incriminate him. The criminal also said that he tried to discourage Lidiana from getting killed. "She was pretty," he recalls. According to his story, it was about 7 pm, already dark, when Lidiana gave him the .38 caliber revolver and asked him to shoot her.
From the 500 reais that Moiteiro says he was paid only 102 reais were found by the police. They also found the revolver, a laptop computer, a pair of earrings, a necklace and a watch. The street vendor was arrested the day after the murder.Â
A relative of the man says that he had mental problems. The family of Lidiana, however, hasn't been heard by the police, who are waiting the mourning period to pass to start that part of the investigation.
Family members heard by reporters consider the story "totally absurd," but the police chief maintains that he is 100% convinced that the crime was ordered.