The killers typically murder their targets on a street close to the victim’s home, although a significant proportion get cold feet or bungle the job, according to criminologists who examined 27 cases of contract killing between 1974 and 2013 committed by 36 men (including accomplices) and one woman.
…The reality of contract killing in Britain tended to be striking only in its mundanity, according to David Wilson, the university’s professor of criminology. He said: “Far from the media portrayal of hits being conducted inside smoky rooms, frequented by members of an organized crime gang, British hits were more usually carried out in the open, on pavements, sometimes as the target was out walking their dog, or going shopping, with passersby watching on in horror.”
Researchers found that the average cost of a hit was £15,180, with £100,000 being the highest and £200 the lowest amount paid. The average age of a hitman was 38 with the youngest aged 15 and the oldest 63.
The research also describes some fumbling hitmen, like Jamaican legal clerk Orville Wright, initially hired to murder a woman named Theresa Pitkin. “Wright burst into Pitkin’s flat armed with a knife but after chatting to her decided he could not do it,” writes Townsend. “The judge in Wright’s trial described him as a ‘hitman who lost his nerve’.”
(HT: Marginal Revolution)