Journal Published Online: 01 September 2001
Volume 46, Issue 5

The Contract Murderer: Patterns, Characteristics, and Dynamics



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
John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, New York, NY
Pages: 5
Price: $25.00
Reprints and Permissions
Reprints and copyright permissions can be requested through the
Copyright Clearance Center
Stock #: JFS15108J
ISSN: 0022-1198
DOI: 10.1520/JFS15108J