A Michigan woman is facing the prospect of several years behind bars after admitting that she attempted to hire a contract killer to murder her ex-husband through a fake company called “Rent-a-Hitman” that she found online. Appearing before Monroe Circuit Judge Daniel White, Wendy Lynn Wein, 52, on Friday formally pleaded guilty to one count each of solicitation of murder and illegal use of a computer to facilitate a crime, Detroit Fox affiliate WJBK reported.
Under the terms of a plea agreement reached with county prosecutors, Wein’s faces a maximum of nine years in prison.
According to the report, Wein’s attempted murder-for-hire plot began on July 17, 2020 when she went to the website “rentahitman[dot]com” and, using a pseudonym, filled out a “service request” asking for a consultation with one of the company’s “highly trained field operatives.”
“Our highly trained Field Operatives strive to provide you with a FREE CONSULTATION in an effort to find the ideal solution for your particular situation,” the site states, before referencing the amusingly named but nonexistent Hitman Information Privacy & Protection Act of 1964 or HIPAA (an acronym that appears to be a play on the often misunderstood Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 or HIPPA). “Since 1920, Rent-A-Hitman has assisted satisfied clients from all walks of life ranging from regular citizens (children & adults) to government employees and even political figures. Rent-A-Hitman has seen it all and know just how to precisely handle your delicate situation in a timely manner while maintaining 100% compliance with HIPPA (Hitman Information Privacy & Protection Act of 1964) Guaranteed!”
According to Michigan State Police, Wein specified on the service request form that the “issue” she needed assistance with concerned her ex-husband. She reportedly asked to set up a meeting and signed the service request form using her real name and other personal identifying information.
Unfortunately for the South Redwood native, the “Rent-A-Hitman” website was actually created in 2005 as a cybersecurity test site for a class project by a man named Bob Innes. After reading Wein’s request, Innes was concerned that the woman’s request real and contacted the Michigan State Police.
A police detective then reached out to Wein posing as an employee with the hitman company and they set up an in-person meeting.
Wein reportedly met the undercover detective at a local café where she explicitly stated that she wanted her ex-husband murdered and provided the detective with his home and work addresses as well as his work schedule. Police reportedly said Wein also promised to pay a $5,000 fee for her ex’s murder and met the undercover detective again that same day in a parking lot where she provided a $200 down payment to cover travel expenses because her ex-husband lived out of state. Shortly after she paid the undercover detective, police took Wein into custody.
“I can’t believe someone would think that a web site like this exists,” State Police Lt. Brian Oleksyk told WJBK.
But Innes told the station that it is fairly common for people to reach out requesting a hitman since he started going back to the site in 2008.
“In 2008 I go back into the inbox to check the emails and I’m shocked there are 250-300 emails from people around the world asking for asset extraction,” he said. The site has reportedly prevented 130 and 140 possible crimes, including requests for school shootings, kidnappings, and murders, all of which Innes immediately reports to police.
Wein is scheduled to appear in court again on Jan. 13, 2022 for her sentencing hearing.
[image via Michigan State Police]
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