True Crime Tuesday: Family Feud Edition

Shirley Jackson's The Lottery
Welcome to the first TCT of 2013! How were your holidays? Get any nifty presents? Get in any fights with family members?

Urooj Khan was, unfortunately, long gone before the year rolled over, but, if they celebrated, I’m sure his family had a gift-packed tree – and a tense holiday feast.

From CNN, emphasis is mine:

One day, Urooj Khan literally jumped for joy after scoring a $1 million winner on an Illinois lottery scratch ticket.

The next month, he was dead.

To be fair, however, it wouldn’t be much of a True Crime Tuesday if a month later he was sunning on the beaches of Morocco.

The Cook County medical examiner’s office initially ruled Khan’s manner of death natural. But after being prompted by a relative, the office revisited the case and eventually determined there was a lethal amount of cyanide in Khan’s system.o issue an amended death certificate that (established) cyanide toxicity as the cause of death, and the manner of death as homicide,” Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Steve Cina said Monday.

It’s interesting, perhaps, that the tip was called in by a relative, but I find it even more so that cyanide poisoning slipped through the first sweep for causes of death.

On June 26, Khan was all smiles at a 7-Eleven in the Rogers Park section of Chicago. Surrounded by his wife, daughter and friends, he held an oversized $1 million check and recalled his joy upon playing the “$3 million Cash Jackpot!” game, where tickets sell for $30 apiece.

He would have to wait a few weeks to collect his actual winnings, which amounted after taxes to about $425,000. According to CNN affiliate WGN, that check was issued July 19, but Khan never got to spend it.

I wonder what sort of daydreams Khan entertained in that money-less month? A new car? A new house? A new bride?

Whatever the case, someone was preparing a special sort of celebratory meal:

The next night, Khan came home, ate dinner and went to bed, according to an internal police department document obtained by the Chicago Tribune. His family later heard him screaming and took him to a local hospital, where he was later pronounced dead[.]

If it was, as I suspect, his wife, Khan really picked a winner – but to murder him the day after collecting the money? That takes Powerballs.

Ten Detective Aces 1936