An innocent life's price

For whoever poisoned a lottery winner, apparently that price is $425,000

A tough guy in a recent movie is asked how he sleeps at night after his bad acts. No coffee after 7 p.m., he says dismissively.

It’s a terrific line, but some people have seen too many movies – where people are callously killed
for money or passion and the perpetrators, who often get away with it, have no problems sleeping at night.

Real life is different. For one thing, it’s very difficult to get away with murder. For another thing, even if you did, how could you sleep at night? You’d have to be part reptile.

Moreover, most real-life killers aren’t sophisticated enough to walk away without leaving a trail.

We hope whoever poisoned and killed a Chicago lottery winner has been watching a lot of overnight television lately, wide-awake from either nagging guilt or the torment that he or she soon will be caught.

We believe the guilty party will be found out.

In a photograph taken after he scored a $1 million scratch-off ticket, Urooj Khan is the picture of happiness – an apparently nice guy who, for once, finished first. An immigrant from India, he worked in the dry-cleaning business before owning several stores of his own. He was living the American dream.

Reports indicate he jumped around the store after winning and tipped the clerk $100. He took an optional one-time $600,000 payment that was to net him $425,000 after taxes.

That is, until he turned up dead July 20 – one day after accepting his winnings.

Authorities initially ruled his death natural, but after a relative’s pleading took a second look and discovered he was poisoned with cyanide. They moved to exhume the body to start building a case against the killer.

Cyanide killings are rare in this country, and hopefully soon to become even rarer when the perpetrator is nabbed.

No matter what you see in the movies, no amount of money is worth an innocent life – and few ever get away with such cold-blooded murder.

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