True Crime Lite: Rent-a-Hitman.com Got a Hit
Computers have been a major advent, not only to the world, but to law enforcement as well. As the world has become more tech savvy, authorities have stayed up to date to make catching criminals easier. We've watched over the years as Dateline caught many predators. As social media helped to find missing persons, evasive criminals, and even solve crimes. We've even seen some of the stupider criminals post their crimes to social media as well. And then there's another man with a sense of humor that just likes to help.
In November of 2021, Wendy Lynn Wein was 52-years-old and looking for some help. According to newser.com, Wendy was searching the corners of the internet for help in killing her ex-husband. While most in her mindset might take to the dark web for such an undertaking, Wendy does not appear to be that tech savvy. Instead she ran across a site online called Rent-a-Hitman. The tongue-in-cheek website apparently has forms for nefarious requests, which Wendy quickly filled out.
In her murder-for-hire form she used a fake name, but all of her real contact information. She claimed in the form that her ex had stolen $20,000 from her. She wanted the man dead, but did not want to commit the crime herself, stating, "I prefer not going to jail." If that was the case, she should've never gone looking for a hit man.
The website she was visiting turned out to be fake. Who could've seen that coming? Evidently, not Wendy. The site was owned and run by computer professional, Bob Innes. He originally launched the site in 2005 as a promotion for a hacking prevention business. Years later, he decided to check out his old, long forgotten website and noticed a multitude of messages in the inbox. When he checked them, he was shocked by the requests he'd received. All of which had nothing to do with the business the fake site was promoting to start with.
Most people would've been horrified, disgusted, and would've shut the site down immediately. But Bob thinks outside the box. He decided to turn the site into what newser.com described as an "obvious joke." It was at this point that the forms were added to the amusing website. When a criminal request is sent in, Bob forwards it to the police. Wendy's foul form was no different.
Her's was sent to the Michigan State Police, where authorities got creative. Detectives working for the department posed as affiliates of the site to get in touch with her. She readily gave them her ex-husband's address and also told them where he worked. $5000 was the agreed upon fee for the murder. Once Wendy paid the $200 down payment, she was quickly apprehended and charged. She pleaded guilty, and surprisingly was only expected to serve 9 years for attempting to have her ex offed.
While no person that seeks out the services of a hit man is particularly intelligent, Wendy's attempt was hilariously asinine. You would think most people would look at a murder-for-hire form and automatically assume that it was a joke. Not Wendy Lynn Wein. Her stint in prison was hard-earned, well deserved, and only cost her $200 and at least 9 years of her life.
Some takeaways from this story: You should never hire someone to kill for you anyway, but you should really never search for it on the internet. You're not going to find a brutal murderer by simply Googling it. Keep your search history to song lyrics and random actors in movies you recognize.