A Michigan lady who used a bogus hitman website to hire an assassin to kill her ex-husband was recently convicted of soliciting murder.
The internet is incredible. If you put in the effort and do some research, you can discover almost any type of information or service, but when it comes to hiring someone to be your hitman, you may want to avoid the obvious possibilities. Wendy Wein, a 52-year-old Michigan lady who wanted her ex-husband dead, failed to do so. She came across the website RentAHitman.com and felt it was a legitimate company where vindictive people like her could get experts to do their dirty deed for them. It should come as no surprise that this was not the case, and she is now facing at least nine years in prison.
RentAHitman.com guarantees confidentiality, brags about complying with HIPPA, which appears to stand for the non-existent “Hitman Information Privacy & Protection Act of 1964,” features testimonials from satisfied customers, including women who caught their husbands cheating, and provides access to a network of over 17,000 “field operatives.” And obviously, that’s more than enough for people to hire a hitman…
Bob Innes, a 54-year-old Northern California man, developed the bogus assassin-hiring website not as a joke or a honey-pot for persons with criminal tendencies, but as part of an Internet security firm that never took off. On February 5, 2005, he registered RentAHitman.com and pondered starting a network security company. He eventually placed it up for sale in the hopes of making a profit, but that didn’t work out either, so he simply forgot about it.
Then, three years later, he decided to check an email address associated with the domain name and was astounded to see 200 to 300 emails, many of which were one-liners asking queries like, ‘How much for services?’ ‘Do you do business in this or that country?’ and so on.
Innes was astonished by all of these letters, but he didn’t do anything with the domain name until 2010, when he received an email from an English woman claiming she had been duped out of her inheritance and wanted them all dead. She stated that her situation was urgent and that she had no problem disclosing the names of her victims. Bob could tell she was serious, and the names she named in her communications all seemed to be relatives of hers.
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But, before turning the woman in to the authorities, Bob Ines gave her the opportunity to alter her mind, just as he does for anyone who appears serious about hiring a hitman through his website. He asked whether she still needed the service and if she wanted to speak with a field operator. She said yes and was imprisoned for four months before being deported to the United Kingdom.
“It’s a strange world,” Innes said in an interview with the Washington Post. “Obviously, the Internet is a dangerous place.” And this website attracts low-hanging fruit that is out there seeking to damage others.”
A decade after RentAHitman.com duped its first real customer, hundreds more have fallen victim to it, the most recent of whom was Wendy Wein. She, too, had the opportunity to back out of her plan to have her ex-husband assassinated, but she did not take it. She did comment that finding the webpage so readily was strange, but she went ahead with her plan in the end.
“It’s a little strange that your company isn’t on the deep or dark web,” Wein replied to Innes. “I’d rather not go to jail.” Thank you for taking the time to read this.”
Unfortunately, she went there after the owner of RentAHitman.com denounced her to the authorities. After pleading guilty earlier this month to soliciting murder and using a computer to commit a crime, the 52-year-old now faces a minimum of nine years in prison. Her sentence is set to begin in January.
“I don’t get it, folks are just stupid,” Bov Innes succinctly summarised the entire RentAHitman.com situation.