You’d think the number one rule of hiring someone to do something illegal and immoral on your behalf would be: don’t talk about it. We’ve found people who were evil enough to want to kill someone, but beyond stupid when it came to keeping it a secret, or at least a little carefree. What’s the takeaway if you ever want to off someone? Keep your lips sealed.
THIS WOMAN WANTED OTHERS TO SUFFER
When Morena Costello’s father died in hospital in 2010 of heart failure, she wasn’t prepared for the loss. Heartbroken, she blamed people at Staten Island University Hospital for his death. However, her grief turned murderous when she hired a hitman to kill those she considered responsible.What she didn’t know was that the hitman was an undercover FBI agent. Apparently, Morena had confided her plans to a friend and the friend informed the authorities. Lucky for Morena her lawyer kept her out of jail by stating she had experienced a mental breakdown and only had to serve six months of house arrest.
CRAIGSLIST KILLER FOR HIRE
Sometimes we don’t get along with our parents, but Megan Schmidt, 23, from Iowa took her beef with her father a step further and wanted him dead. According to Megan, her father had assaulted her and she decided to kill him instead of reporting him. Schmidt placed an ad on Craigslist, offering $10K for an unspecified job. When people called, she openly admitted she wanted her dad offed. Someone called the cops—what did she think was going to happen?—and was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Mother of four Susan Williams wanted out of her marriage, but instead of separating and filing for divorce, she thought murder was the best option. Clearly she wasn’t very smart because she asked a friend, who happened to be a retired police officer, to do the killing on her behalf. Obviously he told the authorities, and Williams was set up and filmed offering a fake killer $20K. She received a punishment of 8 to 25 years in jail.
HE TRUSTED A STRANGER WITH HIS PLAN
Instead of trying to heal from his broken heart, Lonnie Deppen asked a stranger, Tracy Ella, for advice on how to find a hitman to kill his ex-fiancée. If that wasn’t a big enough request, he also asked her if she could provide him with an alibi for the murder. Talk about a bad plan. Ella reported Deppen to the police, who set up a sting with a fake hitman. Deppen was arrested and sentenced to 22 years in prison.
WHEN A COP HIRES ANOTHER COP TO KILL
This sounds like a corrupt-cop movie, but it’s real life and actually happened. Anthony Battisti was a police officer and volunteer firefighter who allegedly hired a hitman to break into his ex-wife’s house and kill her. Things didn’t go according to plan, his ex-wife survived, and the hitman, Timothy Gersbeck, was caught. Gersbeck claimed that Battisti paid him $5,000 to take out his ex, but Battisti denied everything and was acquitted, while the hitman served time. Later, a departmental trial found Battisti guilty and he lost his job.
WHEN BUSINESS GOES BAD
Brooks L. Kellogg was the president of a successful real estate company, and things were great until he was sued by his business partner, Stephen Bunyard. Kellogg was forced to pay Bunyard over $2 million, but Bunyard wanted more and sued again for $500K. Kellogg wasn’t having any of that, so he asked his ex if she could help him find a hitman. She notified the police, and Kellogg was arrested and given six years in prison.
TALK ABOUT NOT PUTTING UP WITH A BAD ROOMMATE
Nebraska resident Andrew Yager, 22, thought he’d get bloody revenge on his former roommate who had kicked him out of their apartment. He offered $140 to an undercover cop posing as a hitman to break his old roommate’s neck and back. Apparently he wasn’t against her dying, as well. Investigators were able to locate the roommate, and she agreed to pose for fake death pictures. When Yager was shown the pictures he reportedly laughed. Yager was found guilty of conspiring to commit first degree murder, and sentenced to five to ten years.
CELEBRITY CHEF PUTS DOWN PAN TO HIRE KILLERS
Food Network star Juan-Carlos Cruz probably wishes he made better decisions. The onetime popular TV chef decided to end his unhappy marriage with wife Jennifer Campbell by killing her. It turns out he hired three homeless men to do the deed, and even gave them the “tools” they’d need to commit the murder. One of the men was arrested for loitering and while in jail, ended up cutting a deal for information about a murder-for-hire. As a result, Cruz was set up, arrested, and sent to prison for nine years.
SHE PRETENDED TO MOURN HER “DEAD” HUSBAND
In 2009 Michael Dippolito signed over a lot of his assets to his wife Dalia in order to avoid paying restitution to victims of a fraud scandal he was involved in. Dalia then felt she was rich enough and didn’t need her hubby anymore. She found a hitman to take him out, but it turns out the hitman was an undercover officer. The police set out to arrest her and told Dalia her husband was dead. They filmed her tearful, dramatic reaction until her husband appeared. The couple divorced, and Dalia is currently under house arrest awaiting her third trial (the previous two ended in mistrials).
GUILTY BY TEXT MESSAGES
You’d think if someone was going to be complicit in murder they’d cover their tracks. Not this couple. In 2010, 24-year-old Billie Jo Mitchell and 21-year-old Ariel Garcia decided to hire someone to kill Mitchell’s husband. She claimed he was treating her horribly. Mitchell and Garcia asked a friend if they’d like to do the killing, but the friend immediately went to police. The friend had the text messages he had received from the couple, detailing their plan. The police arrested the pair and charged them with solicitation of capital murder.