Man who created fake ‘hire a hitman’ site claims he’s saved 150 people’s lives
When Bob Innes bought the website domain name "rentahitman.com" in 2005, he did so in order to promote his website traffic analysis services.
At the time, Bob was in business school and "hit" was a reference to clicks coming in on a client’s website.
For the first five years, his domain name did not take off.
But in 2010, to his surprise, he began receiving messages from people who wanted certain people killed, he told The Guardian.
Innes discovered a message from a woman named Helen, who claimed that she was stranded in Canada and had lost her passport.
In her message, Helen said that she wanted three family members in the UK murdered for "screwing her out of her father’s inheritance".
While Innes ignored the message at first, she persisted, even sending him the names, addresses and other corroborating information of the people she wanted dead.
This compelled him to act, so he pretended to be an assassin and responded to her message.
He replied: "Do you still require our assistance? We can place you in contact with a Field Operative."
Within hours, Helen sent him her legal name, location, and phone number, which he then reported to the police.
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"I truly felt that three people’s lives were in jeopardy," he said.
After that first incident, Innes decided to keep the website, even filling it with jokes and clues to show it wasn’t the real deal.
The website is filled with cheeky jokes like describing his services as a "point and click solution".
It boasts providing services to children, and assures readers they are protected by the "Hitman Information Privacy Protection Act (HIPPA)".
Despite these jokes, Innes finds himself swamped with requests for assassins, which he eventually turns over to the police.
The site was set up as a trap for those looking to commit such crimes, with the claim that it can "make any troubled relationship disappear".
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One fake review on the fake site – which now has worldwide notoriety thanks to Mrs Wein's act – said: "Caught my husband cheating with the babysitter and resolved after a free public relations consultation.
"I’m single again and looking to mingle."
According to Innes, he has saved the lives of nearly 150 people through this website.
Earlier this week, a woman was found guilty of attempting to hire an assassin to kill her husband through this website.
Wendy Wein, 52, used the "Rent-A-Hitman Service Request Form" from joke website rentahitman.com to look for someone to murder her husband – who has not been named.
The owner of the website took her request straight to the police, according to local news reports.
Having agreed to pay a fictitious £3,500 fee, and a £100 deposit, an undercover policeman then posed as an assassin, arranging to meet the woman to discuss the killing.
She was then charged with solicitation to commit murder, and the illegal use of a computer to facilitate a crime.
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