Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Are All Hit Men Undercover Cops?

The First Law of Holes states that 'if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.' Case in point: If you hired a hit man to kill your wife, and that hit man turned out to be a cop, you probably don't want to hire another hit man to kill the first. Chances are, that hit man is a cop too, and you've just added another count of "using facilities of interstate commerce in connection with the hiring of a person to commit a murder" to your record.

So when that happens, we have no choice but to wonder whether all hit men are actually undercover cops.

"The Balls to Kill"

Andrew Gordon was already incarcerated in Massachusetts in 2014, awaiting trial for soliciting a hit man to kill his wife, when he asked a fellow inmate (referred to as CW by the First Circuit Court of Appeals) if he knew anyone who "had the balls to kill." Gordon was looking to get rid of the state trooper that posed as the first hit man, and another person who supposedly revealed Gordon's scheme to the cops.

"Lightning sometimes does strike twice," the court wrote, "and the defendant was betrayed a second time. CW squealed and coordinated with law enforcement personnel as they recruited an undercover agent to pose as CW's cousin (the erstwhile hired gun)." Law enforcement even equipped their fake hit man with a post office box and telephone number to facilitate and monitor communication with Gordon:

At that juncture, CW introduced the defendant to the undercover agent masquerading as CW's fictional cousin/hit man. During a period of nearly four months, the defendant engaged in numerous mail exchanges with the fake hit man and used intermediaries to relay messages to the hit man by telephone. In these communications, the men discussed the logistics of the planned slayings. The government gathered footage of the defendant receiving and responding to letters from the phony hit man and recordings of the defendant speaking on the telephone in connection with the plot.

What's Under That Hit Man?

There's also an old exchange about the nature of earth that espouses a flat planet resting on the back of a turtle. When asked what that turtle rests on, the adherent replies "Another, larger turtle"; and when pressed further, responds "It's turtles all the way down." In the case of seeking a hit man in a murder-for-hire plot, it would seem that it's cops all the way down.

Related Resources: