U.S. MARINE MURDER MYSTERY -- TRAGEDY OR POISONING BY ARSENIC? -- ON ABC NEWS' "20/20," FRIDAY, APRIL 6
Wife's Unusual Behavior After Her Husband's Death Leads to Murder Conviction
And: Lottery Curse � Man Who Wins Biggest Single Lottery Payout Finds Heartache and Trouble
Plus: Man Jailed for Smoking Joint Set Free After 17 Years
Is Cindy Sommer a dedicated mother and wife, or is she a black widow murderess who used arsenic to poison her husband for the money from his life insurance policy? Sommer spends her days in a San Diego jail cell � the last place she says she belongs � convicted of poisoning her husband and watching him die. Her husband, Marine Sgt. Todd Sommer, was the father of Cindy's youngest child, and her three children from a previous marriage also called him dad. "I loved my husband. I did everything that I could for him� that was the last thing that I wanted. He was my life. And our family was my life," she tells "20/20." Mary Fulginiti reports on "20/20," FRIDAY, APRIL 6 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.
Before Todd's death, most who knew the couple thought Cindy and Todd were very much in love. But according to Cindy's close friends, who spoke exclusively to "20/20," there was also a less wholesome side to Cindy and Todd's relationship. A few friends had intimate knowledge of Cindy's life, much of which would eventually be used against her during the trial. After Todd's funeral, friends and family gathered at Cindy's house to mourn Todd's death. Mourning led to drinking, and later that night Cindy and her friends left the somber gathering and headed to a strip club.
The prosecutor says Cindy is no grieving widow but a cold-blooded killer who did it for profit � Todd's Marine Corps benefits include a $250,000 insurance policy. Shortly after her husband's death, Cindy used part of the money for breast implants. She was convicted of murdering Todd in January and now awaits sentencing.
Also: It is the ticket to unimaginable riches and good fortune, delivered by random numbers � winning the lottery. But not for Jack Whittaker, the winner of a $314 million Powerball lottery in December 2002, the biggest single lottery payout of all time. Even as Whittaker celebrated, he was embarking on a journey that would lead to tragedy, misfortune and the loss of everything he counted most dear: His granddaughter died of a drug overdose, he got divorced, his company was sued hundreds of times, he started drinking, he has been burglarized, and he was sued by the father of an 18-year-old boy -- a friend of his granddaughter's -- who was found dead in Whittaker's house. "It certainly has been a curse to me� Since I won the lottery, I think there is no control for greed. I think if you have something, there's always someone else that wants it� I wish that we had torn the ticket up," he tells "20/20." Martin Bashir reports.
Plus: Tyrone Brown was sent to a Texas jail cell for life 17 years ago for violating his probation by smoking one marijuana joint. After "20/20" reported his story last year, viewers took action by ousting the judge who sentenced him. Brown was then issued a conditional pardon and is now a free man. Jim Avila reports.
"20/20" is anchored by Elizabeth Vargas and John Stossel. David Sloan is the executive producer.