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Contract killing is a form of murder in which one party hires another party to kill a target individual or group of people. It involves an illegal agreement between two or more parties in which one party agrees to kill the target in exchange for some form of payment, monetary or otherwise. Either party may be a person, group, or an organization. In the United States, the crime is punishable by 15 years to life in a state penitentiary. Contract killing has been associated with organized crime, government conspiracies and with vendettas. For example, in the United States, the gang Murder, Inc. committed hundreds of murders on behalf of the National Crime Syndicate during the 1930s and 1940s.

Contract killing provides the hiring party with the advantage of not having to commit the actual killing, making it more difficult for law enforcement to connect said party with the murder. The likelihood the authorities will establish that party's guilt for the committed crime, especially due to lack of forensic evidence linked to the contracting party, makes the case more difficult to attribute to the hiring party.

Contents

StatisticsEdit

A study by the Australian Institute of Criminology of 162 attempted or actual contract murders in Australia between 1989 and 2002 indicated that the most common reason for murder-for-hire was insurance policies payouts. The study also found that the average payment for a "hit" was $15,000 with variation from $5,000 up to $30,000 and that the most commonly used weapons were firearms. Contract killings accounted for 2% of murders in Australia during that time period.[1] Contract killings also make up a relatively similar percentage of all killings elsewhere. For example, they made up about 5% of all murders in Scotland from 1993 to 2002.[2]

Notable casesEdit

PerpetratorsEdit

 
Mad Dog Coll leaving homicide court surrounded by police officers, 1931

VictimsEdit

EmployersEdit

In fictionEdit

Fictional cases of contract killing or "hitmen" are depicted in a range of popular fiction genres in the 20th and 21st century, including films, comic books and video games.

FilmsEdit

Well-known film depictions in crime films and action movies include:

"Offbeat" or humorous depictions of hitmen have also been done in film, such as:

Novels and comic BooksEdit

  • In Anthony Horowitz's Alex Rider saga, a Russian named Yassen Gregorovitch, who worked with Alex's father John as a contract killer for S.C.O.R.P.I.A.

Video GamesEdit

Video games that depict contract killing include:

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Lovers top contract killing hit list". CNN. February 5, 2004. 
  2. ^ "Homicide in Scotland, 2002". Government of Scotland. 
  3. ^ "Ex-husband in hit-man case says courts were wrong - Nova Scotia". CBC News. 
  4. ^ "Tim Lambesis Sentenced to Six Years in Jail for Murder-for-Hire Plot". Retrieved February 21, 2016. 
  5. ^ Boyle, Robert H. (June 4, 1973). "End Of A Bloody Bad Show". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved March 21, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Mob Boss John Gotti Is Dead". The Smoking Gun. June 10, 2002. Retrieved May 10, 2015. 
  • Nothing Personal, a television documentary series that focuses on stories of contract killings.

External linksEdit