By Faith Karimi, CNN
Wendy Wein wanted her ex-husband dead.
In July of 2020 the Michigan woman came across a website, Rent-A-Hitman, that promised to “handle your delicate situation” privately and in a timely manner.
The site boasts having almost 18,000 field operatives who can do a job anywhere in the United States. It features testimonials from satisfied clients, including a man who wrote that RentAHitman “handled my disgruntled employee issue promptly while I was out of town on vacation.”
So Wein filled out a form on the site, seeking consultation for her issue.
“This is kind of weird that your company is not on the deep or dark web,” she wrote in a message to a man she believed was the site’s chief consultant, Guido Fanelli. CNN obtained a copy of the message. “I prefer not going to jail,” she added. “Thanks for your time.”
That didn’t stop Wein from offering later to pay $5,000 to have her husband killed.
But there was a problem.
Guido Fanelli is actually Bob Innes, a California man who runs the website. Rent-A-Hitman’s “operatives” have never actually killed anybody. Instead, the site exists to dupe people who are looking for hired killers.
And Wein is now headed to prison — one of several Rent-A-Hitman “clients” who’ve been found guilty of using the site to solicit a murder.
The site’s owner turns murderous ‘clients’ over to police
What started as a website for an internet security business has turned, by accident, into online bait for people looking to get their enemies killed. Their service requests go to Innes, who hands serious inquiries over to law enforcement.
Innes, who lives in Fairfield, California, says he’s left red flags all over his site hinting that it’s a trap. For starters, the website openly suggests that it offers illegal services. Its phony testimonials include one from a woman who’s “ready to mingle” after she caught her husband cheating with a babysitter.
Its 18,000 “field operatives” are the estimated number of law enforcement agencies nationwide. At the bottom of the site, a link to check if your credit card has been stolen takes users to the FBI’s…