When James Polites and Joseph Fiammetta were found dead at their New York State homes in August 1994, the police had no idea that the crimes were connected. However, an efficient investigation soon proved that a gang of robbers led by Ivie DeMolina was responsible for the double homicide. Hulu’s ‘The Lesson is Murder’ takes the audience through Ivie’s crime and even follows the investigation that brought her to justice. Well, let’s delve into the details surrounding the incident and find out where Ivie DeMolina is at present, shall we?
Who Is Ivie DeMolina?
Born and brought up in Brooklyn, New York, Ivie DeMolina is of Puerto Rican descent. Sources claim that Ivie discovered her passion for fashion design at a very young age and was on her way to starting her boutique and introducing a fashion line. Besides, she was looking to make a mark on the music industry as an aspiring singer and was even employed as a stockbroker by a Wall Street firm. However, Ivie’s life changed drastically once she became involved with a gang of robbers, and her connection to a double homicide ruined her chances of a better life.
Although Ivie worked as a sex worker initially, she, along with her accomplices Jamie Farthing and Thomas Christopher James, hatched a plan in 1994 to carry out a series of robberies that would allow them to live luxuriously. The group decided that Ivie and Jamie would seduce their way into their target’s apartment while Thomas would help incapacitate their victims. The group would then loot the house clean before moving on.
On August 3, 1994, the group targeted a man named Robert Hippman, who was one of Ivie’s previous clients. Unfortunately, Robert became a victim of the trap, and the trio was able to rob him without any issues. The very next day, Ivie set up a meeting with a New Jersey man named James Polites, who was robbed the same way. However, reports mention that the police later found James murdered inside his own apartment. Meanwhile, Ivie and her accomplices moved to Long Island, where they targeted Joseph Fiammetta. Surprisingly, even Joseph was discovered stabbed to death, which led to a full-fledged police investigation.
Naturally, the initial investigation was pretty challenging as law enforcement officials had no leads or witnesses to work with. However, they soon found evidence that suggested that the two homicides were connected. The evidence from the crime scene and Robert Hippman’s police report helped detectives piece the picture together, and they realized that Ivie and her friends were responsible for the crimes. Incidentally, Robert had also provided authorities with an accurate description of the robbers, eventually leading to Ivie’s arrest.
Where Is Ivie DeMolina Now?
When presented in court, Ivie pled not guilty and insisted on her innocence. However, a jury believed otherwise, and she was convicted of the second-degree murder of Joseph Fiammetta along with a charge each of first-degree robbery, second-degree assault, and first-degree burglary. As a result, the judge sentenced her to 25 years to life in prison in 1994. Subsequently, she was also produced in a New Jersey court and was sentenced to 30 years to life for the James Polites’ murder. On top of it, the court ruled that she would have to serve the sentences consecutively.
Readers would be surprised to know that Ivie’s stay behind bars had been quite memorable to date. She mentioned that in the initial days of her prison sentence, she was extremely depressed and had no will to live. In fact, sources state that Ivie tried to die by suicide in two instances, but both her attempts were unsuccessful. Although she forced herself to carry on from that day, her life took a pleasant turn about 26 years into her sentence when she met a Canadian man named Stefan through an online pen pal site for prisoners. While she met the man in question through a mutual friend, Ivie was immediately captured by his charm, intelligence, and wit.
Moreover, Ivie mentioned that in the first few months of their correspondence, he encouraged her to seek psychiatric help, and in turn, Ivie was even offered a job as a peer supporter in the prison’s pilot program for suicide prevention. Stefan and Ivie continued their correspondence for eleven months before deciding to tie the knot. Moreover, about six months into their marriage, the couple got express permission from the government to enjoy their honeymoon at a trailer located on the Bedford Hills prison grounds.
Subsequently, Ivie detailed her experience of finding love in her book ’25 to Love: A True Pen-Pal Fairytale,’ published in March 2017, and even had one of her essays published in Harper’s Baazar magazine in 2021. At present, Ivie remains behind bars at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women in Bedford, New York, and although she has been eligible for parole since 2021, her next hearing is in April 2023. Besides, readers will be glad to know that she is still married to Stefan, and the couple tries to meet every six weeks at the prison trailer, where they are allowed to spend four days with each other.