Produced by Alec Sirken, Josh Gelman and Chris O’Connell
QUINCY, Ill. –For Curtis Lovelace and his family, Feb. 14, 2006, may seem like a long time ago. But, for the second time in two years, the husband and children of Cory Lovelace are about to relive those difficult days after she died. This time is in a different courthouse, in a different city:
“The defendant’s first wife, Cory Lovelace, was suffocated… That will be our medical evidence,” Prosecutor David Robinson told jurors in his opening statements. “The way I describe circumstantial evidence is as follows … I like to look at it as pebbles in a mosaic. …And you’re gonna step away from that mosaic … and you know what it’s gonna say? Murder.”
“Opening statements are about what the evidence is gonna show. The State had an opportunity to explain to you what evidence they have that Curt Lovelace murdered his wife Cory Lovelace. And they didn’t present it. Because there is none,” defense attorney Jon Loevy told the court. “In the age of supposed fake news, this is a fake case and there are fake witnesses… No evidence of any homicide.”
But first you need to know how this all got started.
It’s Friday night in Quincy, Illinois, and thousands have come out to cheer for the home team. Local journalist Bob Gough swaps his keyboard for a microphone and moonlights as an announcer.
“If you’re a local sports star, you know people are always wanting to know about you,” he said.
And at Quincy High in the 1980s, there was no bigger star than Blue Devil’s Hall-of-Famer Curtis Lovelace, both on the field and in the classroom.
“Curtis Lovelace was a very hard working kid, smart kid,” said Gough.
The University of Illinois gave Lovelace, No. 54, a scholarship to play football.
But he wasn’t just any player. Lovelace, a business administration major, was considered one of the top offensive linemen in the Big Ten –…