Login or Register

Sign in with Facebook

Murder for hire never looks as cool as it does in the movies, but movies are the only frame of reference average criminals have to go on. Consequently, real-life cases of people trying to hire hit men end up getting bungled so zanily they're closer to National Lampoon's The Day of the Jackal than The Professional.

6
Woman Mistakes Cheese for Cocaine and Pays a Man to Kill a Houseful of People and Steal It

Geoff Lane/Wikimedia

Jessica Sandy Booth, an 18-year-old aspiring model, needed to raise a quick $7,900 to pay her prospective modeling agency, a sentence that seems to suggest that Jessica is not the only criminal in this story. Luckily for Jessica, she'd recently seen a huge pile of cocaine sitting in a neighbor's house (how she came upon this discovery is never explained). She concocted a plan to steal the drugs and sell them to raise the money she needed to become the next featured "excited teen" in some T.J. Maxx commercial.

Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images
The free hats would easily help her recoup her investment.

Unfortunately, the house was owned by four grown men, so Jessica figured the robbery would go much smoother if she hired someone to murder them all beforehand.

So Jessica sniffed out the hardest, most badass assassin she could find and laid a careful set of instructions on him -- he was to bust into the house, kill the four men, and swipe the cocaine. Also, she emphasized that if there were any children in the house old enough to testify (meaning "anything but infants in a crib"), he should probably kill them, too. To recap, she wanted to corpsify four clueless guys and any children in their immediate vicinity so she could pay for a modeling agency to represent her.

Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images
She could have saved so many steps by just killing her audition rivals, instead.

Thankfully, the hit man in question was an undercover police officer.

Normally, an undercover cop in this situation would arrest the person the moment the murder was contracted and money exchanged hands, but Jessica didn't actually have any money to give him. She intended to pay him after the fact, with money from hawking the bloody pile of stolen cocaine. Since he couldn't offer to kill the men for free (at least not with a straight face), the cop gave her a pair of disabled handguns and told her to do the deed herself.

Jessica accepted the offer without batting an eyelash, presumably thinking that this was a totally normal thing that professional assassins would ask a client to do, and she led the undercover officer to the Suburban Cocaine Ranch, armed for bear with her two utterly nonlethal pistols. This was enough to prove intent, and Jessica was sentenced to 15 years in prison for both conspiracy and attempted murder.

Juanmonino/Photos.com
Charging her as an attempted burglar and a presumed peeping Tom just seemed superfluous.

A thorough search of the house revealed the source of Jessica's confusion: a block of queso fresco, the crumbly white Mexican cheese found sprinkled deliciously inside many enchiladas and quesadillas. Jessica, demonstrating yet another stroke of her ageless wisdom, had apparently mistaken it for Bolivian Marching Powder because she wasn't quite sure how cocaine is normally ingested.

Apparently she was too shy to ask literally any other person in the modeling business, who could have told her in a skipped heartbeat.

5
Porn Shop Owner Pays His Janitor to Kill His Wife, but She Strangles Him Instead

Ricardo Martins/Wikimedia

A porn shop owner named Michael Kuhnhausen decided to offer his custodian, Ed Haffey, $50,000 to kill his wife, Susan, because he was apparently dazzled by Ed's ability to assassinate gentleman's glue from the floors of the private viewing booths.

Brent Melissa/Photos.com
Or he was just looking for a guy who already owned gloves.

The couple was estranged at the time, living in separate houses, so Michael gave Ed the codes to get through Susan's security system. Ed dutifully committed the codes to memory and bought a day planner to schedule the murder, with a note including Mike's name and phone number, for no conceivable reason other than to assist police in their inevitable investigation. He waited in Susan's house for the unsuspecting nurse to return home, and when she walked through the door, he attacked her with a claw hammer.

Tactfully put, Susan was not a small woman, and after Ed hit her in the face with the hammer, she grabbed it away from him and wrestled him to the ground. They fought for several minutes until she managed to get Ed in a chokehold and actually offered to call an ambulance for him if he would agree to stop. Ed had no intention of clocking back into the porn shop with a black eye and no check, so he tried to buck Susan off and proceed with his scheduled murdering. Susan tightened her hold in response, and choked the witless spank-shop janitor to death.

PhotoObjects.net/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images

Unlike most choking he'd seen, it was neither auto nor erotic.

When the police arrived on the scene, they initially thought Ed was just a random intruder stricken with hammer madness, though they were puzzled how he'd managed to get past the security system. However, when they found Ed's day planner in the backpack he had brought with him to the scene of the impending murder (the one with Mike's name and number written all over it), the pieces fell into place. Mike was forced to pay Susan $1 million for emotional distress and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Susan presumably went on to be the inspiration for Pam Poovey on FX's Archer.

Continue Reading Below

4
Man Pretends to Be a Hitman to Extort Victims

Anatoly Vartanov/Photos.com

Las Vegas poker dealer Essam Ahmed Eid had absolutely no background in contract killing beyond having a vaguely sinister mustache, but that didn't stop him from creating HitmanForHire.net, a useful hub for professional murderers to upload their resumes and connect with potential clients. It isn't clear whether the site saw any traffic from for-realsies assassins, but people began posting job opportunities, offering to buy deaths for sums of money too large for Eid to ignore (including a fifth-grade girl who needed a classmate of hers clipped immediately). So he did what any self-respecting businessman would do and began answering the ads himself.

lofilolo/Photos.com
"Single hit men in your area looking to chat"? Sounds legit.

He turned to Google to look up some basic hit man-related information, like how to make a silencer out of old toilet parts and how to cook his own Ricin powder, in order to sell his image. But Eid didn't actually kill anyone -- no, he merely approached each target and told them he was going to kill them, a plan so monumentally genius that only a person looking to double the amount of material witnesses at their eventual trial could have thought it up.

So it was that Eid showed up in a sports car, dressed like Johnny Cash's stylist, at a woman's place of business and politely informed her that he had just been paid thousands of dollars to erase her from the planet. But he was feeling magnanimous, and would let her live if she could come up with enough money to buy out his contract. Eid gave her a deadline of three days and helpfully left his real name and contact information, because hit men work on the honor system.

Steve Humphreys/The Independent
If she squealed on him, he planned to slip Ricin into her cigarettes.

Needless to say, Eid pulled this stunt exactly one time before the FBI got called on his ass, so he fled to Ireland, where he immediately tried it again. Irish authorities arrested him before he was able to jump to yet another country and try his scheme a third time, because "learning" is just a fancy word for "quitting."

3
Woman Hires Another Woman to Pretend to Be a Man Disguised as a Woman to Kill Her Husband

Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images

Back in 1920s Pressburg (known today as Bratislava), Mrs. Draskoczy decided she wanted her wealthy husband, Arpad, out of the picture. So, she hired a female assassin disguised as a governess, who slowly began poisoning Arpad's food and sending him steamy love letters. Mrs. Draskoczy hoped that her husband would start feeling so terrorized by the governess that he would finally consent to a divorce, because logic wasn't invented until sometime in the late 1970s.

Vivien Thiessen/Wikimedia
Leaving your murderous wife for your murderous maid was an old Slovak tradition.

Arpad did indeed begin to feel terrorized, but instead of agreeing to a divorce, he simply insisted that his wife taste all of his food for him to make sure it was safe and told the governess to quit sending him mash notes. Muttering creative Czech curses under her breath, Mrs. Draskoczy began Phase II, which was to convince her husband that the governess was A) actually trying to sleep with her and not him, and B) was really a man in disguise (neither of those things were true). Arpad, who as we have come to learn was a man of much more principle than sense, confronted the governess with his wife's accusations. The governess insisted that she really was a woman, and invited him to her bedroom to check for himself. Arpad obliged, and once they were both in the bedroom, the governess pulled out a gun and shot him in the head.

Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images
He thought he'd see her Featherbottom, but he instead became a victim of Doubtfire.

However, not only did the bullet not kill him immediately, it apparently made him forget everything that had happened during the previous 10 seconds, because he became convinced the shot had come from somewhere outside the mansion and grabbed his own rifle to go investigate, leaving his would-be assassin sitting on her bed in the dark with a smoking pistol. Sadly, the bullet eventually caught up with Arpad and he died later in the hospital, but not before giving a statement that implicated his two bumbling murderers. And after police were finished diagramming the extremely complicated stupidity of the scheme -- which presumably took seven hours and a sextant -- they arrested Mrs. Draskoczy and her faux gender-reversed divorce-hit man.

Continue Reading Below

2
People Think Facebook Is a Smuggler's Den of Professional Killers

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Native Pennsylvanian and cosmic piece of twig-brambled shit Corey Christian Adams found himself in hot water a few years back when a girl accused him of raping her while she was passed out in his car. Corey took to Facebook to issue a carte-blanche bounty, offering the lucky first responder $500 for the girl's head. And that's not us using theatrical language for the purposes of this article -- Corey literally said he needed "a girl's head," and then quickly clarified that the girl in question needed to be "knocked off right now," because he is a soul-farting crotch vampire. Corey was stunned to discover that the police were not only aware of Facebook, but were also able to see his totally public "rape victim elimination" request, and he went to jail for soliciting murder (and also for being a rapist).

Thinkstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images
He insisted the posts were just "misunderstood rape jokes." The judge doubled the sentence.

When Meredith Lowell took to Facebook to order a murder last year, she at least went to the trouble of making an account under a false name (please note this did nothing to delay her capture). Lowell used her account to post an open request to any remorseless stab machine who happened to see it, wanting someone killed outside of her local library for wearing fur. Not a specific person wearing fur, mind you -- absolutely anyone at all who happened to be wearing fur outside this particular building. She further stipulated that the hit man should either use a gun with a silencer or a knife with a 4-inch blade, and that the target should be at least 12 years old, because filleting an 11-year-old would clearly cross a moral line. She then specified that the victim should take no more than two minutes to die, giving her time to show up and distribute a stack of anti-fur pamphlets next to the freshly-made corpse, because she is crazier than a cartoon jackrabbit. Unsurprisingly, the FBI answered her friend request almost immediately, and she now does all her poking from a jail cell.

Department of Justice
Her first mugshot included duckface. The judge tripled her sentence.

1
A Doctor Hires a Man for His Own Murder

Chris Stein/Photodisc/Getty Images

Back in the 1950s, a psychiatrist named Dr. Charles Pearman decided that he'd had enough of life's cruel game and decided to troll the seediest bar he could find for a disreputable gent willing to shoot him in the chest for $500. He'd recently gotten divorced, lost a substantial lawsuit against the Detroit Police Department, and professed his love to a totally uninterested married woman, all things that are known in the field of forensic psychology as "real bummers."

Kathleen Abbey/TalesOfEloise
The screams at his asylum were the only thing keeping him sane.

Pearman met an affable porter at a nightclub and asked the man to track down "a Negro" ex-convict who would be willing to do the deed, because this was 1955 and people still operated on a complex series of racist assumptions rather than thoughts. The porter set him up with an undercover cop, and Pearman slid the patrolman a cool $50, promising the remaining $450 once the job was done.

Sergiy Tryapitsyn/Photos.com
How would he pay it if he were dead? Well, he'd take that secret to his grave.

He told the man to come by his office and make the whole thing look like a robbery, because people apparently rob administrative offices in mental health institutions all the time. But when the big day came, Pearman got cold feet. The undercover cop showed up at the appointed Murder Time in full arrest mode, only to find that the doctor had abandoned his office in favor of a crowded officers' party at a nearby Naval Air Station, where he was statistically less likely to be assassinated by a nightclub hitman. He was quickly located and arrested but was later released into the care of a former colleague for psychiatric treatment, because the judge figured they really couldn't charge him for soliciting murder when he had been trying to kill himself. Man, that's got to be depressing, finding out that your own violent death wouldn't have even been a crime.

Ah well, looks like it's suicide again for Pearman.


Ryan Menezes is a writer and layout editor here at Cracked. He broke down and made a Twitter page just for his Cracked fans.

Related Reading: Ever hear about the man who tried to assassinate JFK with a car full of dynamite? Read all about it here. And did you know Jim Bowie was immune to knives? It's true. Click here for some assassination attempts that almost fucked the world.

Bruce Lee tried to kill ET once. It was glorious.

To turn on reply notifications, click here

533 Comments

Load Comments