STANDING over a shallow grave in a remote desert location an FBI agent takes a photo of a man's body.
The victim is covered in blood from the apparent bullet wound in the side of his head and has been stripped down to his boxer shorts with his hands tied in what appears to be a brutal execution.
But as the law enforcement agents finish their crime scene photos at the isolated site outside of Houston Texas something extraordinary occurs.
The ‘corpse’ of Ramon Sosa slowly gets up and walks towards the officers having faked his own death to prevent being murdered.
And while this might sound like the plot to one of your favourite soaps for the dad-of-three it was his frightening reality.
Ramon is sharing his death-defying story with Fabulous as part of our new series My Life’s a Soap in which we talk to people whose lives could be plotlines in your favourite shows.
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In this exclusive interview the 54-year-old explains: “I had to fake my own death.
“My life is a real life soap opera after my wife agreed to pay a hit man $14,000 (£11,500) to have me murdered rather than just divorce me.
“Thankfully my Oscar-winning performance means I’m still alive and she’s behind bars.
“I can’t tell you the shock and horror I felt when I learnt about my ex’s plan.
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“It still chills me to this day.”
Boxing coach Ramon was divorced and father to Mitchell now 31, Cris, now 29 and Mia now 26, when he met Maria ‘Lula’ then 34 in a nightclub in Houston Texas in 2007.
Lulu, as she preferred to be called, was a divorced mum-of-two and had moved to Texas from Mexico and was living in the US on a short term visa.
Ramon says it was their shared interests and history that initially drew him to Lulu.
“We were both divorced,” he says.
“She was into fitness, as was I and we both had kids, we hit it off and I thought it was love.”
The couple married at a courthouse on 6 July 2010 with a small reception afterwards.
“On our wedding day Lulu’s mum hugged me and whispered ‘ Lulu is your problem now’,” Ramon recalls.
“I thought it was a joke, in fact it was a chilling warning of things to come.”
After the wedding Lulu was granted US citizenship and the pair opened a boxing gym together.
According to Ramon the first three years of the marriage was a ‘honeymoon period’ and the pair lived in blissful happiness.
The gym was doing well with Mundo, an ex -gang member, who Ramon had previously mentored, helping the pair out.
“Mundo, who is known only by his first name, was like my third son and it felt like everything was going well,” he says.
“Lulu and I argued like any normal couple but in the fourth year of marriage real cracks started to show.
I slept with the enemy and with one eye open, all while trying to act as 'normal' as possible so Lulu would continue with her plan
“Lulu would criticise me if I asked about the gym's financial situation as that was the side of the business that she handled.”
Ramon explains his wife had developed an expensive taste for clothes and handbags.
“She had become a lady who lunched, spending money on posh clothes and hanging with her rich pals,” he says.
At the same time Ramon discovered Lulu was starting to spread rumours he had a drinking problem and was abusive.
In 2015, Lulu surprised Ramon when she demanded a divorce.
“She served me with papers, it was ruthless and I was stunned,” Ramon admits.
“She and the kids moved to the second storey of our home while I lived on the first floor.
“I found the stress of that almost unbearable.”
It was then that Mundo, Ramon’s trusted friend, came to him with a shocking claim.
“Mundo called me in July 2015 and I still remember the conversation as it was one that saved my life,” he says.
“He explained he’d been walking past the gym office and overheard Lulu and her daughter talking about hiring a hitman from Mexico to chop me into pieces.
“Mundo was fiercely loyal to me and street smart, I am so grateful he was on my side.
"Those moments when I first heard that Lulu wanted to have me killed were surreal, I thought it was a joke at first.
"The words kind of hung in the air for a split second and when I began to process the message, the words fell into my brain one by one.
"And then it hit me that I still had to live under the same roof with the person planning to have me murdered.”
Luckily, quick-thinking Mundo had come up with a plan.
When the gym was closing he went to Lulu and said he’d overheard the conversation and he could ‘arrange a hit.
With his background in a gang, Mundo knew all the right terminology and Lulu was convinced he was the man for the job.
“He’d tape a conversation with her confirming her death plan,” Ramon says.
"I slept with the enemy and with one eye open, all while trying to act as 'normal' as possible so Lulu would continue with her plan.
“That was the only way we could catch her in the act."
In their bid to stop Lulu, Mundo hid a microphone inside his clothing and taped their next conversation, before handing the incriminating evidence to cops.
But it wasn't enough, so it was then that the police suggested Ramon pretended to be dead for a photo.
“I was gobsmacked,” Ramon says.
“I felt like I was living a soap opera or a James Bond style 007 movie
With the help of the FBI and Texas Rangers Ramon headed to the desert.
The crime fighters had brought in specialist makeup artists who created fake wounds on Ramon’s head to imitate that of a bullet wound.
Ramon admits that lying in a grave intended for him was a chilling experience.
“When I saw the photos they looked so real,” he says.
“I remember lying in the grave thinking how did marrying the love of my life end with me faking my own death with the help of the FBI?”
Ramon was then stashed in a hotel for two weeks. He wasn't allowed to leave or even use the internet.
“I was told I had to seem dead. No one but Mundo and my solicitor knew.
“My parents and kids had no idea but it had to be that way if the FBI were to arrest Lulu.”
The so-called ‘hitman’ Mundo organised for Lulu , who was actually an undercover officer, who later met Maria in a parking lot and showed her the pictures.
Ramon said: "Lulu was laughing when the undercover officer showed her the picture.
“She had the nerve to ask him if I was really dead or if I was going to get up.
“What's even worse is Lulu handed the hitman $2000 (£1,643) and then said she was having cash flow problems.
“She gave him some jewellery and said she’d pay the rest once my life insurance cleared, she was essentially giving my ‘hitman’ an IOU.”
Maria was later arrested and pleaded guilty to solicitation of murder at the District Court in Conroe, Texas.
Ramon attended Maria's trial and in a bid for some closure between them told her that he forgave her.
He said: "I stood up there in a packed courtroom. A lot of people were surprised when they heard me say that I forgave her.
"She never looked at me. She never apologised.”
Then aged 42, she was jailed for 20 years in October 2016.
However, the day that Fabulous spoke to Ramon he exclusively revealed that Lulu has been released due to good behaviour having served just seven years of her sentence.
“She walked out of jail today,” he says.
“I was shocked but I knew even in prison she’d work the system.
“The prisons are overflowing and she is now walking free on supervised release.
“She’s got strict release conditions but I fear one day she’ll come for me to get revenge.
“I am constantly looking over my shoulder as she will want payback for me turning the tables on her.”
Ramon however has moved on bravely built a new life
He is engaged to a fifty year old doctor, Beth, who he met in 2018 with the pair planning to wed next year.
“Beth’s amazing. She was stunned when she heard my story and is supportive and amazing,” he says.
Ramon has also written a book about his experience called I Walked on My Own Grave.
He has travelled the world lecturing and supporting male domestic violence charities.
“I am dedicating my life to helping men who are victims of violence in relationships and to show you can get through it,” he says.
“I want to show men and women even when love turns to horror you can find a way throughout.
“I know I am lucky to be alive all thanks to my friend Mundo.
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