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How to avoid a Contract Killer

Contract killing has been associated with organised crime, government conspiracies, and vendettas. An example of this is in the United States, a gang Murder, Inc. committed hundreds of murders on behalf of the National Crime Syndicate during the 1930s and 1940s.

Contract killing provides the hiring party with the advantage of not having to commit the actual killing, making it more difficult for law enforcement to connect the party with the murder. The likelihood that authorities will establish that party's guilt for the committed crime, especially due to lack of forensic evidence linked to the contracting party, makes the case more difficult to attribute to the hiring party.    

"Sometimes in life a scary moment can be an inspiration to write a novel. Andrew’s experience in the financial worlds takes him down unexpected journeys, where the other side of life we normally prefer to avoid confronts him. This is one such encounter"...

How to avoid a contract killer..

Sitting next to a contract killer

How do react when you find yourself sitting next to a contract killer?

Ideas for short stories and novels invariably come from real life events, and this event was no exception.

On my way to see clients, on a broodingly overcast day, I’d come off the A12 in Essex, looking for the village of Dedham, of all places, and finding myself on the Ardleigh Heath Road, realised I was totally lost. It was in the days before satnav, and the cluster of houses and handful of shops I surveyed offered no clues as to my whereabouts. The road map was no help either.

I pulled over and, glancing around for someone to ask, spotted a somewhat unkempt, elderly little gentleman in a grubby overcoat walking on the opposite pavement in the direction from which I’d just driven. 

Winding down my window I called out, ‘Excuse me! Dedham?’

‘Yer goin’ the wrong way mate,’ came the immediate response. ‘Need to go back the way you just come, dontcha. ‘Ere, look, I’m goin’ that way meself. Let me hop in and I’ll show ya the road yer want.’

I have an immutable rule. ‘Don’t give lifts to strangers.’ But then, I thought, he must be middle seventies if he’s a day. Not as if I’m picking up a contract killer - I thought. Harmless old boy - I thought. I’ll give him a lift. Immutable rules are meant to be broken. Aren’t they? Well, aren’t they? 

I turned the car around and the ancient fellow climbed in. I found I wasn’t able to clearly identify the smell he introduced me to; something from the farmyard? The zoo? Rotting cabbages? Cowshed?  Anyway, I thought, I can have the car fumigated at the weekend. Gazing surreptitiously at the man as we drove off, I presumed he must have been wearing the same clothes for many years. They seemed to be very much a part of him, in terms of their age and condition which matched his own. 

‘Straight on 'govner',’ he advised, and I tried hard not to breathe in too hard. Then he started to chat, and at that point I stopped making jokes to myself about him.

‘It’s all changed around here you know,’ he said glancing this way and that as if he hardly knew the area.

‘Not like it used to be,’ he added. Why did I feel uneasy? Touch of paranoia?

Then he made the first statement that made me sit up straight. More were to follow.

‘I been away you know.’ Oh dear, I thought. I think I recognise the terminology. But then berating myself for my foolish notions, I smiled and made a polite response. ‘Holiday?’ I enquired, uncertainly.

Ignoring me, he went on, ‘Yeah, been away for ten years. ‘aven’t I.’

I waited for the next remark with baited breath. Still telling myself not to keep imagining things that didn’t exist.

Then leaning towards me, he said softly, his sour breath filtering down my reluctant throat, ‘I dunnit you know.’ I waited a beat, then still more quietly he offered, ‘I dunnit for the Krays.’

A hollow silence followed which seemed to last for an age, but was probably no more than ten seconds. It felt as though shards of ice were running down my back. 

In Crime thriller fiction

Ten years ‘away,’ for what he’d ‘done’ for East London’s most notorious thugs, the infamous Kray twins, killers, among others, of Jack the Hat McVitie in the Blind Beggar pub. My passenger was a fully paid up contract killer, recently out of jail, and I was giving him a lift. To say it was alarming would be an understatement. My immediate thoughts were, I want him out of my car. And NOW. But then regaining my sanity, it hardly seemed likely he’d be regarding me as a target. I’d only asked him the way, after all. So I calmed myself, and let him chat on uninterrupted, until after few more miles I finally recognised where I was. 

‘I’m okay now,’ I said nervously as I pulled over. ‘Know where I am,’ 

‘Thanks for the lift mate,’ he said climbing out. ‘Yer alright.’

Of course I was alright. But it was several minutes before I stopped shaking and actually felt alright again. 

That was my first and only engagement with a contract killer, so far. I could quite easily manage without a second one.  

On the other hand, a short story, Contract Killer, was the result.’’

By Andrew Segal Author of The Hamilton Conspiracy.

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