Economic data on hitmen

The sample is pretty limited, but here is what they find:

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 organised 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 youngest, Santre Sanchez Gayle from north London, shot dead a young woman at point-blank range with a sawn-off shotgun in 2010 after she answered her front door. The oldest was David Harrison who, also in 2010, shot the owner of a skip-hire business in his Staffordshire home.

Most hits involved a gun, with three victims stabbed, five beaten to death and two strangled. The most conspicuous weapon was used in the killing of David King, a widely feared underworld figure known as “Rolex Dave”, who in 2003 was shot five times as he emerged from a Hertfordshire gym by hitman Roger Vincent and his accomplice David Smith, both 33. The killing was the first time an AK-47 assault rifle – apparently belonging to the Hungarian prison service – had been used on a British street.

For the pointer I thank Mike Brown.  By the way, those records are focused on Birmingham, England, which perhaps is not like Lodi, New Jersey in this regard.

The original work is cited as appearing in the Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, but I do not seem to find the article at that link.


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