Sometimes it's hard to tell if the site you're on is legit. But if you stumbled on HitManForHire.net, what would you think? A joke, right? Turns out its owner was dead serious. I can't believe I have to explain this, but: If you plan to commit crime, don't announce it online. OK?
The Los Angeles Times has a great story about the hapless hitman who started the site. (It's now owned, it seems, by someone else,) Almost everyone who saw HitManForHire.net, including the web developer who built it, thought it was a joke because it's ridiculous, but Essam Ahmed Eid definitely saw this as his ticket into the murder-for-hire game. He even fashioned a homemade silencer and learned how to make poison online. That's scary, but what's worse is that people actually sought out his services. Eid's computer revealed that:
Through the website, people around the world had written to Eid - some clearly more serious than others. A fifth-grade girl in Kentucky wanted another girl in her class dead. Several volunteered to kill for hire. One woman wanted help committing suicide.
The story ends very dramatically, and it seems like Eid was more of a scammer than anything else: He'd take the hit money, turn around and demand money from targets in exchange for their lives. Eid gets busted, and nobody dies, thank goodness.
Since this ended with everyone safe and sound and the bad guy locked up, let's take a moment to see what we learned, shall we? If you're trying to hire a hitman, don't. But especially don't hire one who's a clear and present idiot. And if you're going to start a nefarious business -- or any business, for that matter -- advertise carefully. You don't want to attract the wrong clientele. Like, say, the FBI. [LA Times via Steve Silberman]