Ibi and her husband, Joseph were already rich so their $5million win was the cherry-on-top-of-the-cake. But when Ibi was found dead, not everything turned out to be what it seemed.
Ibi Roncaioli and her husband Joseph were happily and comfortably married. They were a wealthy couple. Joseph worked as a gynaecologist earning a good salary of almost $20,000 a month, so when Ibi won $5million on the lottery in 1995 it made their seemingly great life even greater.
Ibi always looked after their finances, so her husband really didn’t have much to worry about. They lived a rich couple’s lifestyle after all.
Like several other lottery winners down the years, suspiciously shortly after the win, Ibi died. She was found on the couch of their million dollar mansion in Thornhill. It had come out that Ibi had spent their entire fortune, without her husband’s knowledge.
After the lottery win Ibi became even more frivolous. She would go on gambling splurges where she would spend up to $1,000 in one day. She bought her son a $270,000 house along with $100,000 cash, a glass-mirror business worth $260,000 and a condo. She gave her first son from a previous marriage $2 million and another unspecified large amount of money to her third son, also from another man.
When Ibi was found, most people assumed her death was down to her heavy drinking and smoking. But something about the case was odd and raised some suspicions among he investigators and it wouldn’t have been the first time a lottery millionaire had been murdered following a win. On further investigations, doctors discovered needle marks in her legs and feet, somewhere nurses would not have been injecting.
In 2003 Joseph appeared in court on suspicion of her murder.
In court their youngest son, Joseph Roncaioli Jr, said: “”She was a mean drunk. Some people get gay and giggly when they drink. My mother was the (other) type, she was on the dark side when she drank. She could be normal one second and out of it the next.”
He told the court: “They needed each other, but they didn’t like each other,”
An autopsy showed Ibi had no signs of chronic alcoholism such as a fatty liver or cirrhosis, and no natural cause of death although there was alcohol in her system at the time of her death.
Their son told the court that his father was a brilliant and dedicated doctor who left all financial dealings in Ibi’s hands. He said he was “shocked but wasn’t surprised” when he learned his family’s money was gone. “The lottery was a small part of the picture,” he said. “It just blew my mind that it was all gone.”
Affter Ibi’s death Joseph found that she had forged his name on bank documents and put the property in her name.
Dr. Roncaioli testified that the needle marks were on Ibi’s legs because he had injected her with painkillers so he could numb her arms and in turn draw blood from her to investigate her health, which he had.
It was determined that Joseph had poisoned his wife. He was found guilty of manslaughter despite pleading not guilty. He was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2008.