Is contrtict killing the ftтаїш method of choice?

When I did the first review of my files in preparation for this section on contract killing. 1 was struck by some fascinating patterns. First, all of these women hired boys or men. Second, their targets were usually husbands, ex – husbands, or fathers – men they once loved. Third, the targeted man usually had an insurance policy significantly larger than the man’s next few years’ income.71 Fourth, the women often were never serious suspects until some coincidence exposed their plot. Fifth, the woman usually chose one of three methods by which to kill: she (1) persuaded her boyfriend to do the killing (in reverse Svengali style); (2) hired some young boys from a disadvantaged background to do it for a small amount of money, or (3) hired a professional killer, thus usually using the money her husband had earned to kill her husband.

ITEM Dixie Dyson tucked n her husband for he last night’s sleep. She had arranged to have a lifelong fnend and a boyfnend pretend to "break and enter." then "rape" her. kill her husband, then "escape." She would collect the insurance money.72

At the last moment the bfdong fnend backed out. but the boyfriend and Dixie managed to loll Dixie’s husband after twenty-seven stabbmgs. They were caught Dixie “cut a deal" to reduce her sentence by reporting the boyfnend and his fnend. The fnend who bocked out got twenty-five years to life for

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ITEM Deborah Ann Werner was due one third of her dad’s estate. She asked her daughter to find some boys to murder him by plunging a knife through his neck.74

ITEM Diana Bogdanoff arranged to be with her husband at a secluded portion of a nudist beach. Her husband didn’t rrund. but then again. Diana hadn’t mentioned that she had hired two young men to kil him while she watched. After he was shot through the head, she reported the killers75 but produced no motive for the murder – no money was stolen and she was not sexually molested.76

Diana did not become a suspect until an anonymous caller contacted a nationwide enme hotline. The caller co^odentaiy heard about the murder on the radio and remembered a fnend describing just such a murder he had refused to do… on an isolated nude beach while a woman named Diana watched. Without the tip. Diana would never have become even a suspect.77

ITEM Roberta Pearce, a teachers aide, offered two of her 15-year-old students $50.000 each. sex. and a car if they would do just one thing – kill her husband.78 Roberta would get the home she and her husband were fighting over and $200,000 We rtsuranсe money.

ITEM Mary Kay Cassidy and her teenage lover killed Mary Kay’s husband.79 Although the husband had told friends that he feared his wife might be trying to kill him. his wife never became more than a routine suspect. She and her teenage lover "mourned" the husband’s death and continued to be lovers for months as they received sympathy from the townsfolk of Monongahela, Pennsylvania.

By coincidence, the husband s relatives were cleaning out the house and discovered a wiretap apparatus with a tape of a conversation between Mary Kay and her teenage lover as they plotted to kill her husband. The husband had apparently begun tappng his phone just hours before he was killed. He had never heard the tape himself. Only when confronted with the tape did Mary Kay confess.

ITEM Pamela Smart a New Hampshire schoolteacher, convinced her teenage boyfnend to kill her husband.80 Pamela and her boyfnend tried to get a teenage girl involved the murder. When the teenage girl gave the police a taped conversation of Pamela Smart planning the murder. Pamela allegedly hired a hit man to kill her.81 Pamela never accused her husband of abusing her. Her motive? Her husband was an nsurance salesman. Yet not one of 500 news­paper articles acknowledged the possble motive of insurance money.82

The reaction? She is supported by a worldwide fan club called Friends of Pamela Smart. When they held a vigil outside her prison, pnson officials allowed her to address a crowd of over 400 via a telephone hook-up over stereo speakers.83 [4]

What does the poor woman have in common with the middle-class woman? Neither is likely to kill a man whose salary is currently protecting her unless his potential insurance money exceeds his next few years’ salary.** In essence, these women do not kill their source of income, hut they do kill to create income.

Contract killing offers potential for insight into the difference between the female and male style of murdering the people they had once loved. The man does the killing himself. The woman hires another man. Generally, when a man kills a woman, he does it in a fit of rage. He is "out of control." Contract killing is premeditated. When a man does premeditate a murder, he often kills his wife, his children, and then himself. The woman rarely kills herself.

Do men sometimes contract-kill women? Some men do hire contract killers to kill women, but something happens on the way to the killing. The hit man can’t stomach killing a woman; he turns the man who hired him in to the police’** (Even a hired killer has a protective instinct when it comes to killing a woman.) So it is not that men are completely exempt from using the contract-killing method, but that when they do, it almost invariably, shall we say, backfires.