Rex Feral is a name that some may recognize, and many will never have heard. That is why we’re going to do some ‘splainin’, as they say.
In 1983, Paladin Press published a book called “Hit Man, A Technical Manual for Independent Contractors“, which outlined and explained in detail how to become a hitman, completing a “contract” and getting away with it without a hitch. Though the book never really gained much headway, that was mainly due to the fact that the book was banned, in a way.
Paladin press was brought before the magistrate, as it were, after the book was used as a guide in the real life murder of three people in Maryland, ten years later. The book was apparently sold in 13,000 copies, though it is estimated that an actual 20,000 are in existence (or was, at one time), before Paladin surrendered all rights to the work and the 700 copies that were in their possession were destroyed. Paladin settled with the family of the murder victims, and the book was supposed to disappear.
This is one of the very few instances of censorship in America during the 90’s and onwards, and there has been quite a bit of debate surrounding this. It was not a case of government censorship, however. The settlement was negotiated by Paladin’s insurance company, and it was decided that the potential cost of a loss in an appeals case would be very much higher than that of the settlement. Paladin Press was, in fact, forced into a sort of “economical” censorship by their insurance company.
The book itself is a little more than a little interesting, to be complicated about it. The chapters go through all stages of soliciting, planning and completing a “hit”, and though the book was written in 1983, and the “Equipment” section might be somewhat outdated and the communications methods outlined may need some updating, much of the information seems very well informed.
Paladin Press owner Peder Lund claimed in an interview that the 60-something page book was actually written by a very bored, imaginative and resourceful housewife, though the accuracy of this has been disputed at various points.
So why are we writing about this book?
Information is the key to most things, and we strongly believe that exposing security flaws, for example, is a good way for people to become aware of them (obviously) and for the person(s) responsible to do something about them. While “Hit Man” is mostly a novelty item, it does describe in great detail, for example, how to make a disposable silencer for a gun, and the sort of planning and mapping of another person that is necessary in order to carry out an attack. This is key.
If you can counteract the efforts of someone trying to get at you by making that as difficult as possible, you’ll be the safer for it. In addition, we do not approve of information being held back from the public, especially when the motive behind it has, for the most part, been money, and the responsible party is a civil court, something which should never happen.
To help with both of these issues, we’ve decided to republish the entire text of the manual here, in a sequence of pages. We will also possibly post a compiled .pdf file of the book, if an acceptable copy of such can be obtained from our sources.
For those of you screaming about copyrights – Paladin Press surrendered all their rights to this book as part of the settlement they entered into, and the book is actually in the public domain. If you do choose to read it, remember that murder is very much illegal, and you should only use the book’s information for informational purposes, and the heightening of your own, personal security. After all, that’s what this side is about – not wet work… of any kind.
We will be updating this post with links to the book, and the pages. Stay tuned.