Essam Ahmed Eid is a former poker dealer at Las Vegas' Bellagio casino and as the Los Angeles Times found out, was actually very close to completing his mid-life career change as a hitman thanks to his lucrative 'hitmanforhire.net' website. The Los Angeles Times' Victoria Kim has a riveting profile of the now-57-year-old Eid and his schemes as a failed transatlantic hitman. On the one hand it's sort of horrifying to know that there were/are people out there willing to trust and wire (via PayPal) a complete stranger around $17,000 to kill someone. But on the other, Kim's profile illustrates how this business model could be even more lucrative by showing how Eid would parlay the threats to his own benefit--he would offer the targets a deadline to pay him not to kill them. Eid, who never actually killed anyone, could be released from jail in 2013.
When not using the internet for his nefarious deeds, Eid apparently spent a lot of time doing Google searches for tidbits about Clay Aiken:
Between numerous searches for Clay Aiken — Eid's wife was an avid fan — Sotelo found records showing that Eid had surfed the Web about his new trade. He looked up how to make a homemade silencer from toilet parts, attempted to place an Internet order for cyanide, and researched ricin — the castor bean-derived poison famously used in the 1978 assassination of Bulgarian dissident journalist Georgi Markov through an umbrella gun.
For the full story, head on over to the Los Angeles Times.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.