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10 Assassinations That Went Horribly Wrong

by Oliver Taylor
fact checked by Jamie Frater

History has a long list of successful assassinations and an even longer list of failed ones. Sometimes, the hit man botches the job. One such “professional” was killed by his own target. Another group refused to go through with their plot and even gave their intended victim evidence to use against the man who contracted them.

Other times, assassinations fail because whoever paid for the murder just decided to be an idiot, like the one who sent information about the proposed hit to his boss instead of the assassin. Still other times, it’s because the police caught on to the deal and pretended to be hit men. One man ended up hiring an undercover cop to kill another police officer.

Featured image credit: YouTube

10 Nurse Kills Hit Man Her Husband Hired To Kill Her

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In 2006, ER nurse Susan Kuhnhausen (later Susan Walter) divorced Mike Kuhnhausen, her husband of 17 years. Mike responded by hiring a hit man to kill her. Mike had lost his job after the divorce and wanted their home for himself. He paid Edward Haffey $50,000 for the hit.

On the fateful day, Susan returned home to find her apartment unusually dark. She was still trying to figure out what was amiss when Haffey struck her with a hammer. Instead of screaming and attempting to escape as most people would, Susan fought back, overpowering Haffey and strangling him to death. Mike was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment. He died six months before he was due for release.[1]

9 Man Mistakenly Sends Texts To Former Boss Instead Of Hit Man

Photo credit: Jeff Lytle/Facebook

In 2017, Jeff Lytle was arrested after sending suspicious text messages to his former boss. The message, which included the line, “You remember you said that you would help me kill my wife,” was intended for a hit man only identified as “Shayne.” The messages also contained details about how they would split the money he would receive on his wife’s insurance. They planned on sharing it 50/50.

Lytle calculated they would receive $1.5 million for his wife. He told Shayne that they could get an extra $500,000 if he also killed their daughter. Lytle provided information about his wife, telling Shayne she worked at Walmart and got off work at 11:00 PM. He also suggested that Shayne make the murder look like an accident or failed robbery.

Lytle was arrested after his former boss showed the text messages to the police. Lytle denied planning a murder, saying he only wrote the texts because he was angry.[2]

8 Man Hires Undercover Cop To Kill Another Police Officer

Houston-based Egyptian Mohammed Mohamed felt he’d had enough with a Houston Police Department officer who was fond of giving him tickets. The officer had issued him several tickets for having excess vehicles parked at his logistics and shipping business.

Mohammed thought he could save himself money if he spent $2,000 to kill the cop instead of paying tens of thousands of dollars to move the vehicles. In 2018, he hired a hit man who ended up being an undercover police officer. Mohammed initially suggested that the hit man throw acid on the officer’s face but changed his mind after realizing the officer could survive and issue him more tickets.

The undercover officer returned with staged pictures of his dead colleague. Mohammed was probably impressed, but he was immediately arrested by the SWAT team. He had given the undercover officer $500 earlier and was supposed to pay the $1,500 balance after the target was killed. The money was found in his pocket.[3]

7 Woman Hires Husband’s Friend To Kill Husband

Photo credit: Houston Chronicle

Maria Sosa was planning to divorce her husband, Ramon Sosa, when she decided to speed up the process in 2017. By “speed up,” we mean she decided to have her husband assassinated. She hired a hit man who, unknown to her, was a friend of her husband’s. The hit man informed Ramon, who informed Montgomery County, Texas, deputies.

Ramon’s friend then referred Maria to an undercover officer posing as another hit man. Maria promised the undercover cop $2,000 and Ramon’s pickup truck. Two days later, the police and Ramon faked a murder scene. They had Ramon pose as if he was dead. The side of his head was made up to look as if he had been shot. The undercover officer gave the pictures to Maria, who was so impressed that she gave him another $1,000. Maria ended up receiving a 20-year sentence.[4]

6 Woman Survives Assassination Attempt And Discovers Her Husband Was Behind It All

Photo credit: Denton County Records

On August 18, 2012, Nancy Shore drove into the garage of her Carrollton, Texas, home to find an assassin waiting for her. Nancy did not realize she was dealing with a hit man and mistook him for a robber.

The hit man grabbed her from behind, putting his arm round her neck and pointing a gun to her head. Nancy freed herself from his grip and faced him. He asked for her purse, and then he shot her. The bullet passed through Nancy’s head, destroying her left eye and going down into her right lung. The hit man fled with her purse. Amazingly, Nancy survived.

Police soon realized Nancy’s husband, John Franklin “Frank” Howard, was behind the attempted murder. Frank had been planning the assassination for years. He had previously hired some hit men, but they never killed Nancy and kept collecting more money from him. Frank wanted Nancy dead so that he could marry another woman he was seeing. He knew Nancy would not agree to a divorce. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.[5]

5 Hit Men Refuse To Kill Victim Because They Do Not Kill Women

Photo credit: BBC News

In 2015, Australia-based Noela Rukundo was visiting Burundi for her stepmother’s funeral when she was kidnapped at gunpoint and forced into a vehicle. She was blindfolded and driven to a safe house.

Inside, her kidnappers asked her why her husband wanted her dead. Noela told the men that was impossible because her husband would never want to kill her. The men proved her wrong when they called her husband, Balenga Kalala, and told him they had his wife. Balenga told them to kill her. Noela was so shocked that she fainted.

In the end, the hit men did not kill Noela because they had a policy against killing women and children. However, they told her husband she was dead. They freed Noela few days later—but not before giving her a memory card containing phone conversations and some payment receipts they had received from her husband.

Noela secretly returned to Australia, where her husband had been telling whoever cared to listen that she was dead. He had been receiving mourners at his home and was seeing some off when Noela showed up. Balenga said he wanted Noela dead because he thought she wanted to divorce him. He was sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment.[6]

4 Woman Hires Hit Man To Kill Husband For Insurance, Ex-Wife Gets The Money

In November 2013, Clevelander Uloma Walker-Curry hired her daughter’s boyfriend, Chad Padgett, to kill her husband, William Walker. Uloma and William were only married for four months, but Uloma was deep in debt and hoped to cash out his $100,000 life insurance policy.

Padgett contracted the assassination to his cousin, Chris Hein, who failed to kill Walker. Hein outsourced the job to Ryan Dorty, who shot Walker four times. Things quickly went wrong after the murder. First, Uloma never received any money because Walker still listed his ex-wife as his next of kin. So the ex got the money.

Padgett was sentenced to 28 years to life for his role in the murder. Dorty got 23 years, and Hein got 18 years. Uloma’s 17-year-old daughter was sent to a juvenile center. Uloma’s attorneys claimed the daughter was the one who planned the murder.[7]

3 Man Fails To Kill Target At Point-Blank Range

Here’s one coming out of Bulgaria. In 2013, a man jumped out of an audience and pointed a pistol at Ahmed Dogan, who was giving a speech. Dogan was the leader of the Movements for Rights and Freedoms, an ethnic Turk political party in Bulgaria.

The shooter, later identified as 25-year-old named Oktay Enimehmedov, tried to shoot the party leader twice, but the gun wouldn’t fire. Enimehmedov was immediately subdued and arrested. He also had two knives on his person. Records show he had earlier been arrested for drugs and robbery.

The attempted assassination was seen on live television. The footage clearly shows Enimehmedov holding the pistol a few inches from Dogan’s head. Investigations revealed the gun was actually a gas pistol. Gas pistols are classified as nonlethal weapons even though they can cause serious injuries when used at close range.

Police said the shooting was not an assassination attempt but a stupid ploy at becoming famous. Police only charged Enimehmedov with “grave hooliganism” and “issuing a death threat.” However, Lyutvi Metsan, who took over as party leader after Dogan resigned over the incident, said Enimehmedov told Dogan he truly meant to kill him.[8]

2 Woman Hires Undercover Cop For Hit Job, Is Acquitted By Court

Photo credit: CTV News

Now, the tables are turned. In Digby County, Nova Scotia, Canada, in 2008, Nicole Ryan (later Doucet) had become fed up with her marriage to Mike Ryan. Instead of filing for divorce, she hired a hit man to kill Mike. She was doing it for the money. She knew she could get nothing if she divorced Mike but would inherit three properties and receive his $500,000 pension if he was dead.

Nicole had problems finding the perfect man for the job. The first hit man she hired fled with the $25,000 payment, and two more hit men turned down the contract. She finally found a fourth who was willing. He wasn’t really willing, though, because he was an undercover Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer.

The officer played along and even asked if he should kill Mike’s new girlfriend. Nicole said no, she only wanted Mike dead. He also asked if Mike beat her. She said no. Nicole also told the cop that she had been trying to kill Mike for nine months. She was arrested after her second meeting with the undercover officer.

Nicole changed her story after her arrest. She said Mike physically abused and beat her. The police officer was not allowed to testify, and neither was Mike. The judge agreed domestic violence was enough reason for Nicole to hire an assassin, so he acquitted her of all charges. The case made it all the way to the Supreme Court, where the judge’s decision was upheld.[9]

1 Man Says He Was Only Researching A Novel And Never Planned To Kill His Wife

Photo credit: Sky News

In 2017, David Harris, age 68, a former producer of the British TV drama The Bill, was sentenced to 17 years’ imprisonment for hiring an undercover officer to kill his wife, Hazel Allinson, so that he could inherit her properties. Harris paid £200,000 for the hit and hoped to earn £800,000 from sales of the properties. Then he planned to spend the rest of his days with a 28-year-old woman he’d met at a brothel.

Harris hired Duke Dean, who introduced him to an undercover officer posing as a hit man called “Chris.” Chris recorded the meeting, and police arrested Harris the next day. Harris denied planning to kill his wife. He said he was merely doing research for novel about murder that he intended to write.[10]

fact checked by Jamie Frater