The CNBC’s Blood & Money docuseries by famous Law & Order creator Dick Wolf premiered on 7th March 2023. Each episode covers murders committed out of greed and financial advantage. Episode 2 of the docuseries covered the infamous murder of Sheila Bellush, a mother of 6 who was killed by a shooter hired by her ex-husband.
The murder of Sheila Bellush shocked the community and left everyone wondering how could this gentle mother have been targeted?
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Sheila Bellush, 35, married Allen Blackthorne in 1982, and they conceived daughters, Stevie and Daryl. Blackthorne was a wealthy businessman, earning millions through selling medical equipment. According to reports, their marriage wasn’t happy, with Allen Blackthorne often acting violently toward Sheila.
As a result of this, they went through a divorce which was far from amicable. Their custody battle spanned over ten years, with accusations from both sides regarding infidelity and abuse of their children. With Allen already bitter after the divorce, things worsened when Sheila was granted full custody of their children and financial gains, including 20% shares of his company.
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In 1993, Sheila married Jamie Bellush, and together they had quadruplets. The couple and their children were forced to move to Sarasota, Florida, to escape Blackthorne’s constant stalking and surveillance.
On 7th November 1997, Sheila’s daughter Stevie, 13, came home to something no child should ever have to witness. Before Stevie lay her mother, who had been shot and had her throat slit open. What was worse was her four quadruplets were walking around in their mother’s blood, leaving bloody footprints around the house.
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The Sarasota police arrived immediately after Stevie dialed 911, informing them of her mother’s murder. After extensive police work and locating the string of suspects, the police narrowed down on Allen Blackthorne even though he had an alibi for the day Sheila was murdered.
It turned out that Balckthorne had hired a PI to find out where the Bellush couple had moved to. Upon pinpointing their exact location in Florida, Blackthorne, with the help of his golfing acquaintance, Daniel Alex Rocha, hired Jose Del Toro, who was ready to carry out the murder for $14,000.
Allen Blackthorne was found guilty after a 33-hour deliberation and was charged with two consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole. Sheila Bellush’s tragic murder has received consequent media attention, including an episode titled “Justice for Sheila” being aired by 48 Hours and two books titled “Every Breath you Take” and “The Truth is Stronger than a Lie.”