Jeanne Marie Laskas on the sad world of murder for hire:
The hit man will sit listening to this stuff, agreeing to the terms, cash, guns, drugs, puppies, whatever. Sometimes people want proof before they’ll pay. For example, photos, which can be a pain. The hit man will have to stage the crime scene, fake blood, fake gunshot wound—a whole Hollywood production. The hard part is teaching the intended victim how to play dead.
When the cops swoop in for the takedown, Hunt will get busted along with the bad guy so as not to blow his cover, and when the coast is clear, he’ll reemerge on the streets, ready to resume his dirtbag work. Other federal, state, and local law-enforcement agencies have undercover units, but hit-man work is an ATF specialty.
It is impossible to know how many of the 6,000 unsolved murders that occur in the U.S. each year are the result of real hits by real hit men.
Some cases bother Hunt more than others. A few years back, an FBI agent contacts him about a woman in the Southwest who is offering $5,000 to murder her former son-in-law. Hunt gets the number and calls: “I hear you need some help.” She’s a teacher. She wants to stop the man who she says is molesting her grandchild. Her former son-in-law. He’s going for custody. She has to stop him. Can the hit man make it look like an accident? A gas leak? A car wreck? You have to do something. The hit man agrees, as he always agrees: “This is my line of work.” The teacher sends a package in the mail. Pictures with yellow Post-it notes indicating who is who. “[Granddaughter] and her mom (protect).” The address. Maps. Explicit instructions, “rewrite info…burn this,” where the monster will be, when, date of birth, and two $50 bills for a down payment.
Law-enforcement officers pick her up the next day. The charge is federal murder for hire.
Full Story: GQ: Oops, You Just Hired the Wrong Hitman