A man who accidentally started an assassin hiring website has saved the lives of nearly 150 people by turning their names over to the police for trying to defeat their enemies.
Sitting at her computer, Wendy Lynn Wein typed in the name of a website she thought was useful.
Scrolling down, she clicked on a page full of rave reviews from happy customers and decided to place an order.
But it was no ordinary online purchase – Wein, 52, was on rentahitman.com looking for someone to kill her ex-husband, who she said had stolen money from her.
“I was wondering if you could help with this problem and how best to deal with it,” the Michigan woman wrote in July 2020.
She asked the founder of the “Guido Fanelli” site to put her in contact with a “field agent” who could carry out the blow in her place.
She offered him $ 5,000 if the murder was successful.
Monroe County Police)
In fact, Wein had actually used a joke website and instead of being linked to a hitman, his contact details were passed to the police.
She now faces nine years in prison after pleading to soliciting murder and using a computer to commit a crime. Wein will be sentenced on Thursday.
“Guido Fanelli” is actually Bob Innes, a 54-year-old businessman who bought the rentahitman.com domain name as a pun for his internet traffic analysis company.
He paid it less than $ 10 in 2005.
Little did he know that 16 years later, this Californian would have helped save the lives of 150 people who were potential assassination targets.
Bob’s initial internet business was a failure, but in 2008 the father-of-three checked the site’s crawls when he was bored and shocked to see that he was attracting in some way. another 6,000 visitors per month.
He kept it, figuring someone might buy the domain name from him, then two years later he got his first “client”, a Briton in Ontario, Canada called Helen Kaplan.
The 44-year-old had emailed to say she was stranded in Canada after losing her passport and wanted to have three of her family members killed in the UK for “emptying” her of the legacy of his father.
Initially, Bob did not respond, but Helen persisted, offering money and sending the names and addresses of those she wanted dead.
Bob says he felt “obligated” to take action, posing as Guido and claiming to have the ability to stage a hit.
“Do you still need our help? We can put you in touch with a field agent, ”he replied.
Hours later, Bob had the name, location, and phone number of a woman he believed to be in grave danger, and he turned Kaplan into the police. She was jailed for the crimes.
This led to Bob coming up with the idea of keeping rentahitman.com running to trap potential criminals.
People would try to book an assassin through his site and he would give them a 24 hour cooling off period before giving their details to the police.
Bob said, “I’m going to ask two simple questions: ‘Do you still need our services? And “Would you like me to put you in touch with a field agent for a free consultation?”
“If they don’t respond, they get a free pass. But if they do, that’s the game.
“And if the request comes from a minor, if it is any type of abuse or any type of school setting, then it is an automatic report. I don’t play with it. There are too many school shootings.
After receiving details from Bob, the cops pose as one of Guido’s murderers and set up a meeting with the person seeking to set up a coup, before arresting them once they have had enough evidence. .
“I really felt that the lives of three people were in danger,” he recalls of the Kaplan case.
“Soon after, I changed my website and created a contact form. I felt like there was a real danger with some of these requests and I had to do something, otherwise I was afraid these people would find someone else to do the job.
“So far, nearly 150 lives have been saved thanks to the site.”
Most of the messages Bob receives from his impromptu detectives are hoaxes.
But he says about 10% turned into legitimate surveys in the US, UK, Canada and Indonesia.
These include the 2018 case of Devon Fauber who told an officer posing as a hitman that he wanted to kill three members of his family so that he could take care of his three-year-old daughter. ex-girlfriend.
The 21-year-old fast food worker from Virginia had submitted a form to rentahitman.com asking Guido to sort out an issue with his ex, mother and stepfather.
In his chilling post, Fauber added, “Make sure you kill them and don’t kill the baby. I need it, I want the baby with me. He was then sentenced to 10 years in prison.
And in February of that year, Bob’s site led to the conviction of Kansas woman Danae Wright, 39, who also requested the murder of three people through the website.
There was also the shocking case of New Mexico student Colton Beall, 18, who was sentenced in May 2020 after admitting to attempting to have two 16-year-old girls killed.
He had told Bob that he wanted them dead as part of a sexual fetishism he had strangled and that he had been sentenced to five years probation for his crime.
Other terrifying requests Bob has received include people asking him to set up gas blasts, carry out child abductions, and remove body parts from people, including eyes and limbs.
In the years since rentahitman.com was founded, the secret dark web has become where most people looking to hire a hitman have been.
So it’s surprising that people are still using Bob’s site, especially since he purposely filled it with jokes and clues that it isn’t real.
Rentahitman.com claims to have won industry awards and to comply with HIPPA, the “Hitmen Information Privacy and Protection Act of 1964”.
There are also false testimonies, including from a woman who says she is “ready to interfere” after having her unfaithful husband overthrown.
Bob says of people who have fallen in love with the site, “I thought no one could be this stupid, and I was wrong.
“These people, whoever they are, they see HIPAA, they think about privacy. They therefore feel obligated to leave their real information – names, address, where the intended target is located. “
But despite his amazing job stopping crime, Bob insists he’s “not a great superhero” and it’s pure luck that he has become someone with power. to save lives.
And Bob says he has no plans to shut down his site yet.
He adds, “As long as these emails keep coming, I’ll keep taking action.”