What is it about the backseat of a taxi that makes it feel like an anything-goes confessional? Or perhaps that is just the case for this crazed and none too murder-savvy Queens woman, Veronica Escalona, 54, who was arrested on Wednesday in a sting set up by the cab driver to whom she announced, "I want him dead!" 'Him,' of course, being her maybe-unfaithful husband.
The "short and portly" housewife, according to the Post, had been hiring 49-year-old cabbie Rachid Rakhis to trail her husband since early June, in hopes of finding him in the arms of another woman. But their findings were lackluster, says Rakhis; "Sometimes he'd shop. Mostly, he'd sleep." These amateur PI investigations racked up cab fares of over $1,000, until Escalona announced her intentions to hire a hit man, saying she wanted "Someone cheap."
The cabbie, thinking quickly, told the clearance rack killer he could get her just the guy for the job for a mere $2,000. He then went to the cops, who sent an undercover posing as a hit man, whom an unwitting Escalona met in Leisure Time Bowling Alley inside Port Authority—where else?—and gave a $500 down payment for the hit. Rakhis decided to save the life of the husband based on his month of watching the apparently faithful man. "I said to myself, 'This guy is innocent. I've never seen him with another woman.'" Perhaps, had the man's life been a tad less boring, the story may have been a bit more grim.