When it comes to certain jobs, it is best to hire a professional, and that’s just a fact. After all, there are a lot of dangerous jobs out there that require very specific training. There are also a lot of jobs out there that really need to be done right the first time, and having a person killed is one of those jobs.
We’re certainly not condoning murder, of course; however, if true crime television programs have taught us anything, death is messy. Therefore, if you want to take the life of another person, it is probably a good idea to hire someone equipped to deal with the mess left behind.
Hiring a hitman or hitmen is a tricky matter, and it probably should be. A lot of people are smart about it and know what they’re doing, and presumably those are the people who don’t get caught.
Other people aren’t so smart when it comes to hiring contract killers, and those are the people we have definitely heard of. Here are fifteen of the most ridiculous examples of people who hired a hitman—only for the situation to turn out in a less-than-ideal way.
1. Valerie McDaniel and Leon Jacob
Valerie McDaniel and Leon Jacob were lovers, and they wanted to be done with their respective exes. In their minds, murder seemed like an ideal solution to their problem.
McDaniel, a veterinarian, was in the midst of a custody battle with her ex. She decided she wanted to see that ex shot. Jacob, who had accused his ex of stalking him, also wanted his ex out of the picture. So they hired a hitman.
They didn’t exactly do their due diligence, however, and they hired a person who turned out to be an undercover cop. If that wasn’t bad enough, the two went into a lot of detail regarding how they wanted their exes to die. The police actually staged the murders and then showed photos of the “murders” to Valerie McDaniel and Leon Jacob. Needless to say, they were arrested.
2. Balenga Kalala
Balenga Kalala was under the impression that his wife was cheating on him, so he did the only sensible thing: he hired a group of hitmen.
His wife Noela Rukundo—who was actually not guilty of infidelity—was kidnapped by the group of hitmen. They were only paid $3,500, which is apparently far less than the going rate for murder.
The hitmen had a nice little conversation with Noela; after that chat, they came to the decision that they could not murder a woman. The hitmen freed Noela and even offered up the wire transfer statements, phone recordings, and transcripts she needed in order to prove Balenga ordered the attempt on her life.
3. Konstantin Monastyrsky
Back in 2014, Konstantin Monastyrsky was a successful businessman who wanted to be single again; however, he didn’t want to be bothered with divorcing his wife and losing a substantial portion of his impressive wealth.
Obviously, murder was the solution to his problem.
Naturally, Konstantin didn’t want to actually do the killing himself, so he hired a hitman—who disappeared with the businessman’s money. He tried four more times, and each time the hitman he hired disappeared after getting paid.
In most parts of the world, there’s not exactly anyone to complain to when your hitman rips you off, so Konstantin gave it another shot. He paid a guy an advance of $5,000. The guy spent that entire advance on booze and then went to the police.
A fake murder was staged by the police, and Konstantin was tricked into paying the remainder of the “fee”. Shortly thereafter, he was arrested.
As he was being arrested, Konstantin commented that he was being ripped off everywhere—“even here”.
4. Christina and Jeffrey Peyton
If there’s one thing to learn from the story of Christina and Jeffrey Peyton, it is that you get what you pay for. If a deal sounds too good to be true, you should probably assume that it is.
Christina and Jeffrey Peyton had apparently never been taught that lesson. They wanted their daughter’s boyfriend killed, but they couldn’t afford the sort of contract killer that quietly does the job and gets away with it. They could only spare $500.
They ended up hiring an undercover cop. You see where this is going.
Christina actually told the law enforcement officer that she wanted the boyfriend gone—but not “out of town” gone. She made it clear that she wanted the daughter’s boyfriend dead.
Law enforcement, doing what it does, took photographs of the intended victim pretending to be dead.
Christina and Jeffrey Peyton obviously ended up in prison. She’s serving 18 years, and he is serving 21.
5. The Unnamed Woman Who Hired A Killer To Assist Her In Killing Herself
Apparently, contract killers aren’t terribly picky regarding their victims. Having seen an opportunity to make additional cash, they now help their employers take their own lives.
Contract killers don’t always follow through, though, as we have learned; one unnamed woman from Brazil recently filed a lawsuit against the hitman she hired to take her own life. He had absconded with the payment she made. The woman, clearly suffering from depression, felt that her consumer rights had been violated.
For understandable reasons, the suit was not successful. As the judge pointed out, the contract wasn’t notarized. Also, hiring someone to kill a person—even if he’s killing you—is technically illegal.
6. Jeffrey Lytle
It is not a good idea, when hiring a hitman, to communicate via text messages. But that’s exactly what Jeffrey Lytle did.
If you are going to use text messages to arrange a killing, you should make an extra special effort to confirm that you are sending the message to the right contact in your phone. Jeffrey Lytle did not make that extra effort, and he sent the message to his former boss. He wasn’t exactly subtle about it, either. It was pretty obvious that he was hiring a guy to kill his wife.
When he realized what he had done, he tried to blame his daughter—who was four years old at the time—for the message.
Allegedly, at one point, he also offered the would-be killer additional money—$500,000—to also kill his young daughter.
7. Jennifer Pan
Like many people who reside with their parents, Jennifer Pan found hers to be a bit oppressive.
For years, Jennifer Pan used elaborate lies to convince her parents that she was attending university. Eventually, the lies caught up with her, and her parents weren’t terribly thrilled. New house rules went into effect, and Jennifer wasn’t allowed to see her boyfriend.
Jennifer then realized she could kill her parents and collect a half million dollars in life insurance money—and she would be allowed to see her boyfriend again.
With the help of the boyfriend, she staged a home invasion using hitmen. Unfortunately for Jennifer, however, her dad survived and told law enforcement that he saw Jennifer speaking with one of the hitmen as if he was a friend of hers.
Jennifer, who was 28, was sent to prison. She won’t be eligible for release until she is 49 years old.
8. Michelle Cabrera Gaiser
Michelle Cabrera Gaiser had a lover who was a successful lawyer, and she was jealous of her lover’s wife and her lifestyle. For that reason, Michelle decided to have the wife—Yvonne Stern—killed.
Michelle, however, could not find a capable assassin. The initial attempt on Yvonne’s life occurred when Yvonne wasn’t even home. The second attempt merely involved shooting at the front door of Yvonne’s home. The third attempt almost worked; Yvonne was shot, but she survived her injuries.
Notably, Michelle hired a hitman to kill one of the hitmen who had previously botched the job.
9. David Harris
David Harris worked as a producer on the British television program “The Bill”. He attempted to hire a hitman to kill his partner, who was a writer on that program. His hope was that he would inherit his partner’s $1 million dollar residence, and then he could run off with his mistress, who he had actually met at a brothel.
The first hitman that David Harris hired actually warned the intended victim, and the second hire actually went to the police. An undercover officer was sent in, and the officer pretended to be a contract killer.
Harris was arrested, of course, but he claimed to be doing research for a novel he wanted to write.
10. The Father of Xiao Feng
This entry isn’t nearly as disturbing as the others. Xiao Feng’s dad just wanted him to stop playing video games so much and do more productive things with his time—like get a job.
Back in 2013, the father reached out to other players of the games Xiao Feng liked to play—players with better skills and stats and such—and asked them to kill his son’s characters.
Xiao Feng was understandably upset that he was virtually murdered a bunch of times; however, being a tenacious sort of person in his own unique way, he confronted his dad and told him that he would continue living as he had been living.
11. Dalia Dippolito
It should go without saying that one should not be filmed when trying to arrange the death of a spouse. If there are cameras and crew guys around, that’s probably a bad sign, and the assassination attempt should be called off.
Dalia Dippolito wanted to kill her husband; she desired his home and his $250,000 in savings. She wanted those things, but did not want her husband anymore, so she decided to hire a hitman.
She probably shouldn’t have inadvertently hired an undercover police officer—who was posing as a hitman—for $7,000. To make matters worse, the whole thing was being filmed for the television program “Cops”.
A fake hit was staged, of course, and everything was filmed. Dalia’s weepy reaction to her husband’s “death” was also recorded, as was her arrest.
Her first trial was actually declared a mistrial. During that initial trial, Dalia’s lawyer claimed that the whole situation was exaggerated in order to make for good TV.
12. William Wallace
It all started with a dispute over child support. William Wallace (not the Scottish knight, obviously) initially wanted to hire private investigators to uncover dirt about his ex-wife, as he wanted to use that information in court.
After a bit of deliberation, William Wallace decided it would be “cheaper” to simply have his ex-wife whacked. The cost factor apparently played a large role in what he would do next.
William ended up trying to hire a hitman, who was really an undercover cop. He asked the “hitman” to kill his ex-wife before Christmas of that year.
William Wallace ended up being sentenced to nine years.
13. Christopher Tapia
Christopher Tapia, a resident of Albuquerque, decided to hire a hitman to kill his ex-wife. He wanted her expired “to the point” where she wouldn’t be a problem. The hitman decided to let law enforcement know, and the police sent in an undercover officer.
Christopher hired the police officer to put his wife in the hospital for a month, but there was a strange caveat; he wanted the officer to find two teenagers—15 and 16—to help. They were to be paid $500 to assist.
Tapia would later tell the undercover officer that he no longer required his services. Law enforcement discovered, however, that Christopher Tapia had purchased a rifle and some ammunition.
14. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
A lot of people hire assassins, including the rich, famous, and powerful. And even if you pay top dollar, the assassinations don’t always go as intended.
Back in 1997, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to take down Khaled Mashal, Hamas’ Jordanian Branch Chief. He hired a couple of Mossad agents to do the job. Mossad is Israel’s national intelligence agency.
Posing as Canadians, the Mossad agents entered the office belong to Mashal and managed to inject him with fast-acting lethal drugs. The agents, however, were caught soon after they did so.
Mashal ended up in a coma, and Jordan’s King Hussein got involved in the matter, demanding Netanyahu turn over an antidote—the severing of diplomatic relations between the countries was threatened.
Bill Clinton, who was President of the United States at the time, intervened and managed to compel Netanyahu to turn over the antidote. The antidote went on to save Mashal’s life, and he is still alive to this day.
15. George Gonzalez
George Gonzalez, a Federal Prison Officer, didn’t exactly want to murder his ex-wife and her partner; he just wanted them severely beaten—to the point of no repair. To be specific, he wanted them beaten, maimed, and paralyzed.
He tried to hire a hitman to do the job. In what should come as absolutely no surprise at this point, he ended up hiring an undercover cop. He asked the police officer how much it would cost to simply maim and paralyze his ex and her new partner, and even suggested ways to accomplish that. One suggestion involved taking a hammer to their spines.
He also told the undercover officer that there would be similar jobs in the future if the maiming of his ex-wife went well.
There’s a lot to be learned from this list. Possibly the most important lesson, really, is that crime doesn’t pay—not unless you are an undercover police officer or you are pretending to be a hitman and manage to disappear with your client’s money.
The second most important lesson might be that it is extremely difficult to find competent help these days.