Reportedly, researchers have discovered that hitmen -- professional killers for hire -- do not lead lives as glamourized by the big screen and are, in fact, quite boring.
A group of researchers at the Center for Applied Criminology at Birmingham City University in the U.K. has recently analyzed newspaper articles, court records, and a series of off-the-record interviews with informants who have, or who had, direct knowledge of contract killings in order to construct what they term a typology of British hitmen. For the record, these social scientists define a hitman as a person who accepts an order to kill another human being from someone who is not publicly acknowledged as a legitimate authority regarding just killing. The results of their detailed search of British cases that matched this description in the period between 1974 and 2013 only turned up 27 contracted hits or attempted hits committed by a total of 36 hitmen (there was only a single hitwoman), but the researchers used the sample to tease out the details and profiles of typical killers-for-hire.
The main thrust of the paper, which will be published in the Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, is that hitmen do not operate with the drama, professionalism, or glamour that mob films and spy novels afford them. In actuality, the majority of killers select jejune settings for their crimes, have occasionally bumbling performances, and are often hired by contractors with lame motivations.
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