Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Lita McClinton Sullivan Murder Case

Highs and Lows

Having successfully evaded criminal charges and paying alimony, Sullivan was free to enjoy the high life. In fact, he'd already been enjoying it for some time. When he learned publicly of Lita's murder he was playing tennis and that very evening, he and his new girlfriend, the exotic, thrice divorced socialite Hyo-Sook "Suki" Choi Rogers, 33, dined out at an exclusive restaurant. Some may have found it tasteless, but Sullivan didn't seem to care.

Wedding photo of Jim Sullivan and Hyo-Sook "Suki" Choi Rogers
Wedding photo of Jim Sullivan and Hyo-Sook "Suki" Choi Rogers

Sullivan was enjoying his rising social status in the upper echelons of Palm Beach society and was even "appointed to a prestigious seat on Palm Beach's Landmark Preservation Committee," MacQuarrie reported. Life was good. It got even better when he married Suki Rogers in September 1987, just eight months after Lita's murder. Yet, the good times wouldn't last.

In 1990, Sullivan was pulled over by police for a traffic violation and was found to have an expired registration. He was summoned to traffic court and during the hearing his wife Suki testified that it had been she who had been driving the car, not her husband, and that the police officer made a mistake in the citation. She lied at Sullivan's request because he wanted to "keep suspicion off him in light of the continuing investigation into Lita Sullivan's death," Emanuella Grinberg reported for Court TV. The judge didn't buy the contrived story and angrily sentenced Sullivan to one year of house arrest for perjury. Soon thereafter, he was sentenced to yet another year and a half house arrest for weapons possession after agents found four guns at his residence.

Just when things couldn't seem to get worse for Sullivan, Suki reached her breaking point and filed for divorce from him that November. Things turned very nasty very fast. The divorce initiated an all-out war between the two competing personalities, transforming the courtroom into a battlefield and the media into the jury. Suki landed the final blow when she alleged that Sullivan confessed to her that he arranged Lita's murder. She said that she feared she would be next. Her testimony was just the evidence for which investigators had been hoping.

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