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    Volume 46, Issue 5 (September 2001)

    The Contract Murderer: Patterns, Characteristics, and Dynamics

    (Received 15 August 2000; accepted 7 October 2000)


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    A case of an independent professional contract murderer, who killed over 100 people, is reported. After eluding law enforcement for 30 years, the subject killed several associates who he believed could implicate him in various crimes. These homicides eventually led to his arrest, since the victims were individuals who could be linked to him. This hit man had a background of poverty and childhood abuse but, as an adult, had pursued a middle-class lifestyle and kept his family totally separate from his criminal career. In addition, he had a number of characteristics that helped him carry out his crimes in a highly planned, methodical, and organized manner: he had adept social judgment; personality traits of orderliness, control, and paranoid vigilance; useful defense mechanisms of rationalization and reframing; and an exceptional ability to encapsulate emotions. This case is discussed within the context of contract murder, a crime that occurs relatively frequently and is probably increasing; yet it often goes undetected, the arrest rate is low, and the offender is rarely studied.

    Author Information:

    Schlesinger, LB
    Associate professor, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, New York, NY

    Stock #: JFS15108J


    DOI: 10.1520/JFS15108J

    Title The Contract Murderer: Patterns, Characteristics, and Dynamics
    Symposium ,
    Committee E30