NBC’s ‘Dateline: Lone Star Obsession’ and ’20/20: This is Revenge’ details the latest developments in the murder case of Dr. Joseph Sonnier. This Lubbock, Texas, pathologist was found slain in his own home in the summer of 2012. Subsequently, as the investigators searched for answers, they discovered simmering jealousy and a love triangle that changed the lives of everyone involved. In the middle of this murder-for-hire plot was Dr. Joseph’s girlfriend, Richelle Shetina, as it was her former lover, Dr. Thomas Dixon, who orchestrated the brutal crime in the first place. Curious to know more about Richelle? Here’s all that we know!
Who Is Richelle Shetina?
Richelle Shetina’s story, in connection to this murder case, starts from July 2011, when, as a passionate dancer, she began taking classes at D’Venue Dance Studio in Lubbock and ended up meeting a tall, handsome, and rich pathologist by the name of Joseph Sonnier. Her dance partner quickly became her friend, and soon, their relationship blossomed into a romance, which Richelle has described as the love of her life.
As time went on, the pair overcame hurdles, fell deeper in love, and traveled the world together, even going to Paris for Richelle’s 50th birthday. “I loved the way that he made me feel,” she told ABC’s ’20/20.’ “I absolutely loved it,” adding that Joseph was the one for her. But soon, Richelle started noticing weird things. She felt as if somebody was constantly watching her at her local gym, and in February of 2012, she even came home to an ominous note, apparently from Joseph’s ex-girlfriend.
However, believing that someone was messing with the couple for fun, they let it go, until Joseph was found dead, and it turned out that Dr. Thomas Michael Dixon was behind it all. Prior to dating Joseph, Richelle had an affair with Thomas, which his then-wife found out about, making her immediately file for divorce. Even though Thomas was happy to divorce his wife in favor of a future with Richelle, the latter broke up with him shortly after the ordeal. Later, Richelle insisted that she had fallen out of love with Thomas, and her meeting with Joseph Sonnier showed her what real feelings were about. Yet, Thomas, who claimed to still be in love with Richelle, hated such a development and was determined to get his “love” back. Hence, he hired David Shepard and asked him to cause issues between Richelle and Joseph. However, when that did not work, David received instructions to murder Joseph in cold blood inside his house.
Richelle Shetina is Moving Forward in Life Today
Although Thomas believed Joseph’s death would make Richelle come back to him, he could not have been further from the truth. Richelle considered her ex to be an evil person and was determined to move on in life. Nevertheless, Richelle is 58 years old as of the time of writing, and although it seems like she still resides in Lubbock, Texas, she prefers to live her life quietly and away from the public spotlight. In 2016, this former halftime dancer for the Kansas City Chiefs even sued the Texas Monthly magazine over an article that detailed the alleged love triangle between her and the two physicians. She sought $2 million in damages, the highest possible amount, as the article reportedly described her as a “gold-digging, marriage wrecking divorcée” who became involved with rich men so that she could use their money.
Apparently, it also included many more false details about her life, her childhood, her career, her marriages, and the relationships that followed. Today, Richelle is trying her best to move on with her life and deal with the loss she suffered. As she revealed on ’20/20,’ she now knows exactly what happened, and she’s better prepared for it. “Evil followed me straight to Joseph’s door. This good and kind and decent and loving man. Like it or not evil followed me right there.”
She also added, “There are real sociopaths and psychopaths that walk amongst us…They’re charming, and they are witty. And they sit at the dinner table with you and your children. And sometimes they sleep in your bed with you. They’re not capable of feeling love for you or empathy for anyone… When the mask starts to slip– when you see that, don’t ignore it. Don’t try to rationalize it… And get out as fast as you can. Truly. Run as fast as you can.”
Read More: Where Is David Shepard Now?