Early on the morning of November 4, 1989, at 4:54 a.m., the Daytona Beach police received an emergency call. On the phone there was a man who initially sounded calm and said: “I heard shots outside my house. Please send someone immediately, 2505 North Halifax.”

“Are you sure it was gunshots, sir?”

“Yes, in front of the house.”

“What’s your name?”

“Dino Paspalakis.”

Then it becomes hectic, a babble of voices in the background, the man now excited, his voice cracking: “My sister was shot, my sister was shot. My God, call an ambulance too.”

A short time later, the police arrive on Halifax Avenue, a stately building, white pillars in front of the entrance, now bathed in the rotating blue and red lights of the police cars and ambulances. The officers enter the building and are confronted with a disturbing scene. In a second-floor bedroom, a woman lies in bed with a head wound but conscious; to her right, on the floor under the window, a young man in a pool of blood.

A man in his underwear sits next to the woman and strokes her head. He cries. They are Lisa Paspalakis and her husband Kosta. The fact that Lisa is alive is a miracle.

More than three decades later, District Attorney David Damore will speak on the phone about the case of his life, “so many different strands and characters, so many twists and turns, too shrill and weird to be a script.” For this reason alone it is the biggest case of his career, which is not short on big cases.

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