1. Archive

Man admits strangling wife for insurance

A man who racked up huge debts from his obsession with a stripper pleaded guilty Thursday to strangling his wife for insurance money.

Craig Rabinowitz, his body heaving with sobs, said he decided to come clean after three dead loved ones _ his wife, his father-in-law and his father _ came to him in a dream, "put their hands on my hand and said, "Craig, it's time for you to do what's right.' "

He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Until Thursday, Rabinowitz, 34, claimed someone entered their house in suburban Philadelphia on April 29 and killed his wife, Stefanie, 29, a lawyer.

Police found Rabinowitz was fascinated with exotic dancer Shannon Reinhart, nicknamed Summer. Rabinowitz spent at least $100,000 on Reinhart after they met a year ago, tipping her heavily during frequent visits to a strip club.

Police also determined that his career as a latex salesman was a sham and that he cheated friends out of $223,000 in a pyramid scheme.

He said he couldn't put his family and 17-month-old daughter through a painful trial, which started Thursday.

"My life had become such a sham and a fake and a fraud, and the hole that I had been digging for myself became . . . deeper and deeper," he said. "Right became wrong and wrong became right. . . . There were no excuses. I offer none."