Contract killing

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 exchange the monetary or otherwise. Either party may be a person, group, or an organization. In the United States, the crime is punishable up to 15 years or life in 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.

Contract killing Provides the hiring party with the advantage of not HAVING to commit the actual killing, making it more difficulty for law enforcement to connect Said party with the murder. The likelihood will suit les autorités That the party’s guilt for the crime committed, Especially due to Lack of forensic evidence linked to the contracting party, Makes the box more difficulties to attribute to the hiring party.

Legal issues

In the United States, the United Kingdom, and many other countries, it is not legally enforceable. Any contract to commit an offense is not enforceable under contract law . Thus, if a “hitman” takes the money but then fails or refuses to perform, the customer (or hiring partner) can not sue for specific performance or for damages for breach of contract. Conversely, if the hitman performs the killing as promised to the customer refuses to pay, the hitman can not sue the customer for monetary damages. In addition, both the killer and the guilty of the murder . Indeed, Merely the acts of Negotiating and paying for a contract killing (that is never Actually the carried out) are punishable Themselves have Attempted Murder , As They Constitute the “substantial step” Towards a Crime That Is essential for Imposing liability for year Attempted crime. In some US jurisdictions with capital punishment , a killer may be a circumstance that allows the killer to receive the death penalty. Criminal code statutes prohibiting “solicitation of murder” are also intended to curb contract killings. Jurisdictions with capital punishment , a contract killing may be a circumstance that allows the contractor to receive the death penalty. Criminal code statutes prohibiting “solicitation of murder” are also intended to curb contract killings. Jurisdictions with capital punishment , a contract killing may be a circumstance that allows the contractor to receive the death penalty. Criminal code statutes prohibiting “solicitation of murder” are also intended to curb contract killings.


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. 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 most commonly used weapons were firearms . Contract killings accounted for 2% of murders in Australia during that time period. [1] The killings of the killings. For example, they made up about 5% of all murders in Scotland from 1993 to 2002. [2]

Notable cases


  • Glennon Engleman , American dentist who moonlighted as a hitman citation needed ]
  • Christopher Dale Flannery , reputed Australian hitman
  • Salvatore ‘Sammy the Bull’ Gravano , an underboss
  • Charles Harrelson , American hitman, father of actor Woody Harrelson
  • Richard Kuklinski , American contract killer, claims to have murdered over 250 men
  • Marinko Magda , Serbian hitman convicted for 11 murders, including a Hungarian family
  • Alexander Solonik , Russian hitman who killed more than 30 Russian mafia bosses, and who was known for carrying a firearm in each hand
  • Benjamin Siegel , a Jewish hitman who headed the Bugs and Meyer Mob and was a hitman for Murder, Inc. Siegel was also the Italian mob’s main hitman during Prohibition .
  • Vincent Coll , an Irish-American hitman who worked for Dutch Schultz and Owney Madden .


  • Li Fuguo , a Tang Dynasty Eunuch by Emperor Tang Daizong .
  • Shiori Ino , a 21-year-old University student killed by hitman Yoshifumi Kubota, who served 18 years in prison for the killing. He was paid by her ex boyfriend and his brother; The case gained some notoriety in Japan.
  • Grady Stiles , a freak show performer whose family hired a hitman to kill him because of his abuseiveness.
  • Harry Greenberg , a Mafia associate of Charles “Lucky” Luciano , Meyer Lansky , and Siegel. He was killed by Siegel, Whitey Krakower , Albert Tannenbaum , and Frankie Carbo in 1939.
  • Joe Masseria , was a Mafia boss who was murdered by Siegel, Vito Genovese , Albert Anastasia , and Joe Adonis in 1931.
  • Salvatore Maranzano , was a Castellammarese Mafia boss and rival to Masseria in the Castellammarese War and was killed by Siegel and several other men in 1931.
  • Benjamin Siegel , Las Vegas mob boss and Flamingo Hotel owner, killed by unknown assailants in 1947.


  • Nicole Doucet Ryan attempted to hire an undercover Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer to kill her husband. After ruling she could not use the defense of duress , the Supreme Court of Canada ordered it not be retried. [3]
  • Tim Lambesis , vocalist of heavy metal bands as I Lay Dying , Austrian Death Machine and Pyrithion, who attempted to hire someone to murder his wife through a contact at his gym. The alleged “hitman” turned out to be a police officer masquerading as a hitman. [4]
  • Silas Jayne , Chicago -area stable owner, was convicted in 1973 of hiring hitmen to murder his half-brother George. [5]
  • Mike Danton , NHL player, hired an undercover federal agent to kill his sports agent.
  • Italian crime boss John Gotti hired hitmen to murder Paul Castellano outside of Sparks Steak House ; The murder was carried out in December 1985. [6]
  • Wanda Holloway : The Positive True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom is based on Holloway’s hiring a hitman to kill the mother of a girl competing with her daughter at cheerleading.
  • Lawrence Horn , record producer . Paladin Press
  • Charlotte Karin Lindström , Swedish waitress / model who attempted to hire a hitman to kill testifying against her boyfriend in a drug trial in Australia.
  • Pamela Smart of Derry, New Hampshire , who made national headlines in 1991 for hiring teenage lover Billy Flynn and his friends to murder her husband Gregory Smart.
  • Wallace Souza , Brazilian television presenter who was accused of hiring hitmen to murder at least five people in 2009 to increase his program ‘s ratings.
  • Ruthann Aron , convicted of hiring a hitman to kill her husband and a lawyer who had won a fraud case against her.
  • Charles “Lucky” Luciano , American Mafia and Luciano crime family boss . Ordered Siegel, Tannenbaum, Genovese, Buchalter, Carbo, and Krakower to murder Mustache Petes Joe Masseria and Sal Maranzano in 1931, and stool pigeon Harry Greenberg in 1939.
  • The Commission , American Mafia ruling body that ordered Siegel’s murder in 1947.

In fiction

Main article: Contract killing in popular culture

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


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

  • The Mechanic , a 1972 movie featuring Charles Bronson as a hitman
  • The Day of the Jackal , 1973, a political thriller film, featuring Edward Fox as an assassin
  • Outland , a British 1981 sci-fi film featuring PH Moriarty and Doug Robinson as professional hitmen
  • Prizzi’s Honor , 1985, comedy-drama, starring Jack Nicholson
  • Best Seller , 1987, James Woods plays Cleve, a career hitman, who wants to turn his life story into a book written by Dennis Meechum ( Brian Dennehy ), a veteran detective, in crime film
  • Crimes and Misdemeanors , a 1989 movie with Chester Malinowski Portraying the bit portion of the hitman hired by Judah Rosenthal ( Martin Landau ), in the Woody Allen written and directed movie
  • Unforgiven , a 1992 movie starring and directed by Clint Eastwood
  • Jean Reno’s hitman in Leon: The Professional (1994)
  • Pulp Fiction , 1994, starring John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson as Quentin Tarantino ‘s film
  • No Country for Old Men , a 2008 Academy Award -winning film featuring Javier Bardem as a ruthless hitman
  • Interview with a Hitman , a 2012 film featuring Luke Goss’s portrayal of a professional Romanian hitman
  • Collateral , a 2004 neo-noir crime thriller , featuring Tom Cruise as a professional contract killer
  • John Wick and his sequel , a 2014 action crime thriller depicting an ex-hitman who comes out of retirement to seek revenge on gangsters who wronged him, features Keanu Reeves

“Offbeat” or humorous depictions of hitmen have also been made in film, such as:

  • John Cusack ‘s portrayal of a hitman attending his high school reunion in the dark comedy film Grosse Pointe Blank (1997), also similar in political satire War, Inc. (2013)
  • Former supercouple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt , depicting husband and wife assassins in the 2005 romantic comedy film Mr. & Mrs. Smith

Novels and comic Books

  • In Anthony Horowitz ‘s Alex Rider saga, a Russian named Yassen Gregorovitch, who worked with Alex’ s father John as a contract killer for SCORPIA

Video Games

Video games that depict contract killing include:

  • Hitman
  • Elder Scrolls
  • Grand Theft Auto

See also

  • Attempt
  • Assassination
  • Espionage
  • FBI
  • Federal Crime in the United States
  • Mercenary
  • Murder, Inc.
  • Organized crime
  • People v. Superior Court (Decker)
  • Private military company
  • Wetwork


  1. Jump up^ “Lovers top contract killing hit list” . CNN. February 5, 2004.
  2. Jump up^ “Homicide in Scotland, 2002” . Government of Scotland.
  3. Jump up^ “Ex-husband in hit-man box says short was wrong – Nova Scotia” . CBC News .
  4. Jump up^ “Tim Lambesis Sentenced to Six Years in Jail for Murder-for-Hire Plot” . Retrieved February 21, 2016 .
  5. Jump up^ Boyle, Robert H. (June 4, 1973). “End Of A Bloody Bad Show” . Sports Illustrated . Retrieved March 21, 2013 .
  6. Jump up^ “Mob Boss John Gotti Is Dead” . The Smoking Gun. June 10, 2002 . Retrieved May 10, 2015 .

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