Archive for the ‘Hitmen’ Category

How I became a dark web consultant to a TV show, and my somewhat complicated relationship with the owner of the most profitable online murder-for-hire service in history

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I recently worked as a consultant to CBS for their season premiere of 48 Hours: “Click for a Killer” after I met a CBS producer at the trial of Stephen Allwine for the murder of his wife, Amy. The episode was originally going to be a straightforward telling of that crime, but as they learned about the extent of the Besa Mafia dark web murder-for-hire operation, as well as my own somewhat complicated and ongoing relationship with its owner, Yura, it turned into something quite different.

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I have been writing episodes of the excellent true-crime podcast Casefile and as I’ve been rather slack in updating this blog lately, I thought I would write up a little about each case I contribute to the show. These posts will explain how and why I choose each case and the research that goes into writing the stories.

The first one I wrote was Case 86 – the murder of Amy Allwine

Best to listen to it before reading on, as there will be spoilers below and it may not make much sense if you don’t know the story.

I first heard of Amy Allwine before she was murdered. Her name came up as one of the targets in the original hack of the Besa Mafia dark web murder-for-hire site. I wrote briefly about the hit ordered on Amy in my first blog about Besa Mafia on 14 May 2016:

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Dark web murder-for-hire organisation Besa Mafia never paid any of their would-be hitmen for burning cars for them. The only people paid were their army of freelance writers. Here’s what Besa Mafia had them do.

Shilling for the Hitmen

Any freelancer knows that sometimes you have to take some pretty questionable jobs to put dinner on the table. This whole writing gig is not at all lucrative for those of us who are not J.K. Rowling or Stephen King, and in between books and serious investigative journalism (both which pay dismally when converted to hourly rates), we have to take some less-than-rewarding jobs. My low points have included extolling the virtues of pokies (slot machines for US readers) and offering my body up for clinical tests of a new drug (not the fun kind).

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A couple of weeks ago I got back from an 8-week trip around the globe to meet with all manner of dark web types in preparation for my upcoming book, Darkest Web. Here’s a taster of what went down with each.

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THAILAND

Variety Jones – mentor to Dread Pirate Roberts

Well, at this point, still “alleged” Variety Jones, but most certainly Plural of Mongoose, aka the Megabyte Megalomaniac, aka Roger Thomas Clark.

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CrimeBay, the new incarnation of Besa Mafia, has stepped up its marketing with a new attempt to extort money by crowdfunding a hit on the new US President.

“Donald Trump is an extremely difficult target”, the site acknowledges, “however, he is neither a God nor immortal, and Crime Bay enjoys a challenge.”

 

CrimeBay's crowdfunding page for the assassination of Trump

CrimeBay’s crowdfunding page for the assassination of Trump

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Another story from the dark web “murder-for-hire” site hack. Read The Curious Case of Besa Mafia first.

There are stories of people paying real money, verifiable through the blockchain, that have come out of the hack. Both targets and their would-be killers can be identified, so it’s only fair to leave those to the authorities for now.

Meanwhile, in an epic troll, someone contacted Besa Mafia asking whether they can buy children (its okay if they’re ugly, but not if they’re from the Midwest).

Even hitmen get trolled

Even hitmen get trolled

And it’s hard to imagine BesaAdmin is not playing along.

BesaAdmin steps up to respond to all questions, complete with scenarios lifted straight from films about how to get them to cooperate (pretend you’re the nice guy getting them from the bad guys) and no, they are not kept in basements until they’re sold. You can refuse the first two kids they come up with, but there will be no a trial rental of a child.

Anon is interested in trialling out becoming a hitperson, because he doesn’t think there are many in Kansas. Besa would have to supply the sniper rifle though, because Anon can’t afford that and the hoodies.

It’s all kind of darkly amusing, if you have a particularly warped sense of humour.

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The hack of dark web “murder-for-hire” outfit Besa Mafia, which I wrote about a couple of days ago. has provided a treasure trove of stories of people who are prepared to go to extreme measures to be rid of someone in their lives. Most never got further than the initial enquiries. A few parted with tens of thousands of dollars. Nobody got much satisfaction.

One of the first customers that Besa Mafia engaged with was a Texan fellow who wanted to put out a hit on his ex-wife. It didn’t go quite to plan. Especially once Guido came into the conversation.

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