Hitman – How to Become One

(… and why you probably shouldn’t.)

The "Technical Manual"

What is a Hitman, anyway?

Well, if you’ve ever watched a movie with some guns in it, you’re almost sure to know what a hitman is already, but we’ll take a stab at explaining it to you anyway. Just in case the most action filled movie you’ve ever seen was based on a Jane Austen novel.

A hitman (or hitwoman…but for simplicity, we’ll just call’em all “hitman”) is a person who is hired to kill someone else by a third party, also known as a contract killing. That’s not too nice right from the start, but we’ll keep on truckin’ anyway. Here’s a couple of snippets from Wikipedia on the subject:

“Hitmen are largely linked to the world of organized crime. Hitmen are hired people who kill people for money. Notable examples include Murder, Inc.”

Well. That wasn’t very informative, was it? No it wasn’t. So let’s look at contract killings then – maybe we’ll have better luck with that.

Contract killing is a form of murder, in which one party hires another party to kill a target individual or group of people. It involves an illegal agreementbetween two parties in which one party agrees to kill the target in exchange for consideration, monetary, or otherwise. The hiring party may be a single person, a group of people, a company, or any other kind of organization. The hired party may also be one person, such as a hitman, or a group of people, or an organization.[1]

That’s better. So, a hitman is a contract killer, in case that went by you unnoticed. But what’s this Murder, Inc. you say? Okay, okay… let’s have a quick look at them as well before we move on.

Murder, Inc. (or Murder Incorporated or the Brownsville Boys; known in syndicate circles as The Combination) was the name given by the press to organized crime groups in the 1920s through the 1940s that resulted in hundreds of murders on behalf of the American Mafia and Jewish Mafia groups who together formed the early organized crime groups in New York and elsewhere. The name was a journalistic invention. In his biography The Valachi Papers, Mafia turncoatJoe Valachi insisted Murder, Inc. did not commit crimes for the Mafia.”

That’s not really all that interesting, to be frank. The thing is, Murder, Inc was a long time ago, and they got caught too. That’s not good for a career criminal at all. So how would one go about becoming a Hitman these days? We’ve asked ourselves this a few times over the years, and others have asked it of us too, without getting a decent answer. We’ll try to rectify that here.


Becoming a Hitman – The Why’s (and why not’s)

Let’s just point out right away that becoming a hitman is a bad idea. Killing people is bad, killing people for money is worse. So there. Here’re the why and why not’s.

– The Money. Cash is indeed king, as they say, and the money in contract killings is apparently at least potentially good. No guarantees. According to the FBI, their undercover agents have had offers of sums ranging from $2.30 plus some Atari games to $200,000 as a down payment. So it’s potentially good. Or you need an Atari to play your fee on…

– Action and Adventure. Surprisingly often, crimes are committed with this as the main motivation. Contract killings would probably be exciting for the right person, but the right person is probably a psychopath, and so would have trouble feeling that excitement anyway, and so the point kind of disappears right there. If you’re not a psycho, then you probably won’t want to be a contract killer anyway.

– Freedom. Uhm… okay. You’ll be a freelancer for sure, and not really answer to any boss… But to do what? You won’t pay taxes, of course, but you’ll always be on the run, no matter if you see the blue lights pulsing in your rear view mirror or not. Someone’s looking for you.

From Slate Magazine:
“Reliable statistics on murder-for-hire fees are hard to come by, since most successful contract killers presumably go unpunished and are careful not to leave a paper trail. But fees can depend on a number of factors: the difficulty of the hit, the prominence of the target, the financial standing of the employer, and the financial needs of the hit man, to name just a few.”

So there you go – a short how-to in how to calculate your price for the hit, or the kill, or the contract.

Let’s not kid ourselves. Hitmen do exist, and those who think they’re only a fabrication of Hollywood and popular writers are basically all wrong. As long as there are people around, and as long as we either use some kind of currency or there are things of value, there will be hitmen. Hell, if we didn’t have money or an equivalent, people would kill for food. Simple as that. Now, whether or not there are hitmen conglomerates like Murder Inc or competing such like they had in Mr & Mrs Smith, that’s up for debate. The concept is cool of course, and would probably be very profitable, but the risk would just be too high to manage.

The fact that the hitmen exist begets the fact that you can become one as well. There’s not much info on this, however, but a good place to start is actually with the FBI. They handle (2009 figures) 70 – 90 cases of attempted hirings for murder each year, and going through those should teach you a little about what not to do at least.

Becoming a Hitman – The How’s

Resources online are scant when it comes to becoming a hitman. Maybe not all that surprising – we’re pretty sure that those who have made it in that business are far too busy keeping their heads under the radar and their silhouette off of ridges to write articles online. That being said, we’ve written about it before – here, and there are a few other exaples out there.

The best resource, however, seems to be the 1983 book “Hit Man – A Technical Manual for Independent Contractors”. The book’s origin is somewhat disputed, and the prevailing opinion these days is that it was written by a bored housewife with a great imagination. The book is actually in the public domain, after the publisher was forced to give up the rights to it as a settlement in court. Apparently, someone had actually used the book as a manual for becoming a hitman. The person in question wasn’t smart enough to not get caught, however.

Another set of books that have become a reference for both regular survivalists and hitmen in training is “The Poor Man’s James Bond” which is also referred to in the “Hit Man“. Okay. We’ll go on with a little list.

– Decide. It’s a pretty big decision to make, after all. Kill people, not kill people. Hmm.

– Training & Research. Get in shape. After all, you can’t make a get-away if you’ve got a big’ol beerbelly hanging down in front. Also, do your research. You’ve started in the right place, at least (here, dummy), but you should read the whole Hit Man book, the PMJB and other resources.

– Building Contacts. Building contacts means building your client base. Referrals are important in this business, since you can’t exactly advertise your services in the local classifieds. Or Craigs List. Even though that’s been known to happen.

So, a final word and a small disclaimer. Don’t become a hitman. Killing people for money is not fun. We don’t condone it or encourage it, and all the info here is for educational purposes only. Also, you’ll get caught, eventually. So…yeah. Leave a comment if you have questions!