The Four Types of Hitmen

Know why they don’t make realistic movies about hitmen? Because a hitman is most likely to take out their victim while they’re waiting for the bus or walking the dog. Oh, and the most common reason people hire a contract killer? Boring ones—jilted lovers, business deals gone sour, and simple gang violence.

This comes courtesy of a study out of the UK examining the economy of hitmen. Researchers examined thirty-nine years of crime history, unearthing twenty-seven murders and thirty-five hitmen (and one hit women); keep in mind that not all contract killings were successful. They discovered that the average age of a hitman was thirty-six, though the youngest was fifteen, and most used firearms. Victims were almost always murdered in suburban neighbourhoods, most often doing something mundane. The main thing that varied was the price: it could be as little as $370 or as much as $200,000.

Researchers also classified four types of hitmen, the first being the novice, a person just starting out but by no means a poor performer. The second is the dilettante, a killer likely to be older than the novice and have no criminal background; they’re also not likely to accept a contract as a way to resolve a financial problem, suggesting that there’s something in the experience that attracts them. Next are the journeymen, career criminals with strong underworld ties and considered reliable but unremarkable. Finally, there are the masters, men with military or paramilitary backgrounds who travel to their contracts and thus have few local ties that law enforcement can use.

So, if you’re in the market for a hitman (presumably for a banal reason . . . although we doubt there can every really be a good reason), skip the kid, the creepy guy who just wants work experience, and the local tough guy, and figure out a way to contact an ex-military professional. We’d suggest avoiding craigslist.

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