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After Wife Hired Hitmen to Shoot Husband, the Couple Stayed Together. "We Have Been Blessed"

They called it a “rough patch” in their marriage.

They say true love endures—but does it survive five murder attempts? For one Allentown, PA ,couple, the answer is yes. Tony Toto and his wife Frances have been married for 57 years and inspired the hit 1990 movie I Love You To Death. The couple consider themselves to have had an exceptionally blessed marriage, with the exception of the "rough patch" where Frances hired teenage hitmen to help her try and kill Tony not one and not two, but five times, WFMZ reports. Here's what the couple have to say about their relationship, rough patch and all.

The Good Old Days

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The Toto's memorialized their marriage in a basement gallery, reminding them of the good (and not so good) times. "Everything you see is a memory," Tony told WFMZ. "We have been blessed that we had all these years, there was that one time when we had a rough time."

A Woman Scorned

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Ah yes, that "rough time." In 1983, Tony and Frances had three children and a pizza business. Tony made the mistake of cheating on his wife, she found out, and vengeance was swift. Frances hired not one but five hitmen to help get rid of her husband—and she was almost successful.

Multiple Attempts to Murder Tony

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So how exactly did Frances and the hitmen try and "off" Tony? By blowing up his car, attacking him with a baseball bat, putting sleeping pills in his food, and having him shot. "Twice, one in the back of my head, and one of the bullets went right through my chest," Tony says about the time he got shot. "I don't think I was thinking straight," Frances says. "It was like a love-hate kind of a thing."

Poisoned With Sleeping Pills

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Tony felt sleepy and run-down because of the sleeping pills mixed into his food and believed his wife when she told him he had just had the flu. Five days later, police arrested Frances and her co-conspirators, and Tony ended up in the hospital for twelve days. But as soon as he was out of the hospital, he bailed out Frances.

A Celebrity Couple Who Traveled the World

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Tony and Frances reconciled after he bailed her out of prison. "We both cry and we say to each other, 'You know, from now on, let's talk. Let's talk. Let's communicate better,'" Tony says. "Something that we should've done before, so that was what was missing." After I Love You To Death was released, the Totos traveled around the world, attending premieres and giving interviews. Tony believes in their specific situation, "love conquers all."

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more
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