11 Murder-For-Hire Plots That Backfired In Disastrous Fashion

Published October 5, 2023
Updated October 6, 2023

As these failed murder-for-hire plots reveal, hiring a hitman doesn't always turn out as expected.

There are things in life you just can’t do yourself, and that’s when it’s time to call a professional. Most often, that professional is someone like a plumber, or perhaps a contractor or an electrician. The internet has also made it easier than ever before to hire people for various jobs in specialized fields like graphic design, video editing, and writing. But what about murder?

A few decades ago, if you wanted somebody dead, you either had to do it yourself or know someone willing to do it for you. Nowadays, though, finding a hitman should, theoretically, be as easy as searching for one online. Of course, it really isn’t that easy. Laws still apply to the internet, after all, and soliciting someone else’s murder is still a crime.

But that hasn’t stopped people from trying. Read on to see our list of 11 murder-for-hire plots that failed in spectacular fashion. And, word to the wise, it can be very easy to trace an IP address.

Failed Murder-For-Hire Plots: The Iowa Teenager Who Tried To Arrange The Murder Of A Seven-Year-Old

Rent A Hitman

Rent-A-HitmanThe Rent-A-Hitman homepage, which has fooled many people.

To kick things off, in June 2023, a 17-year-old in Iowa attempted to hire a hitman to kill a seven-year-old. It’s a dark story, certainly — until you realize how, exactly, this teenager attempted to solicit this service.

You see, there’s a parody website called rentahitman.com, which features satirical testimonials from “clients” and even includes a form you can fill out to “rent a hitman.”

In reality, the site is owned by a man named Bob Innes, who originally created the site as a funny way to advertise a cybersecurity company he had been planning to start with college friends in 2005. Although the venture failed, Innes kept the site up — and to Innes’ surprise, he started receiving requests sent to the email he had linked to the site.

At first, he assumed it must have been some kind of joke.

“I mean, nobody could be stupid enough to hire a hitman on the internet, right?” he said.

But Innes was wrong. There were assuredly some joke requests, but Innes was alarmed to find a large amount of genuine requests in the mix as well. Now, when Innes can tell a person is really serious about their intentions, he sends a follow-up email and waits for confirmation — and then alerts local police departments across the country.

This was the website the Iowa teenager used to try and order a hit, and once Innes alerted police, it wasn’t hard to track the teenager down.

Rent-A-Hitman makes an appearance in several of these failed murder-for-hire plots, which just goes to show that satire isn’t always obvious.

Austin Harvey
A staff writer for All That's Interesting, Austin Harvey has also had work published with Discover Magazine, Giddy, and Lucid covering topics on mental health, sexual health, history, and sociology. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Point Park University.
Maggie Donahue
Maggie Donahue is an assistant editor at All That's Interesting. She has a Master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and a Bachelor's degree in creative writing and film studies from Johns Hopkins University. Before landing at ATI, she covered arts and culture at The A.V. Club and Colorado Public Radio and also wrote for Longreads. She is interested in stories about scientific discoveries, pop culture, the weird corners of history, unexplained phenomena, nature, and the outdoors.
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Harvey, Austin. "11 Murder-For-Hire Plots That Backfired In Disastrous Fashion." AllThatsInteresting.com, October 5, 2023, https://allthatsinteresting.com/murder-for-hire-plots. Accessed May 25, 2024.