What could you do with $5,000 in 2016? Quite a few things, maybe buy a secondhand car or perhaps go on a fancy holiday along with your family. But Kristy Lynn Felkings from Nevada had a different plan and decided to spend the money to hire a hitman on the dark web.
She pleaded guilty in front of all the evidence gathered against her, facing up to 10 years in prison.
How it all unfolded
Back in 2016, Felkings paid 12 Bitcoin to the Besa Mafia administrator, a website offering all kinds of criminal services, but mainly specialized in murder for hire. Back then, the 12 Bitcoin could be valued at about $5,000.
It took her four months to gain enough confidence in the service and send the money. Meanwhile, she kept exchanging messages and offering as many details as possible. Some of the details included her husband's vehicle type and registration plate, working hours, and home address.
She asked for the murder to look like an accident. Unfortunately for her, this extra service would’ve cost another $4,000, which she couldn’t afford. All in all, she was promised that her husband would be dead in less than a week.
Felkins has also offered more details regarding her private life throughout the messages with the Besa Mafia administrator. She claimed that she could benefit from his retirement money, as well as the house and maybe even a life insurance payout, not knowing whether her husband had one or not.
The murder never took place
Despite Felkins making the payment, nothing happened. The Besa Mafia market is no longer in operation either. According to local authorities, it turns out there were no hitmen involved with the service. Instead, it was run by a scam artist trying to make money out of people.
Felkins has never seen her money back. The Justice Department brought her in front of a judge, but it’s unclear how it learned about her actions.
A surprised husband
Despite no longer being together, Felkins’ husband Gabriel Scott agreed that he was extremely surprised to find out about the plot. He agreed that Felkins had been a good wife and a wonderful mother. They divorced, but it was a friendly procedure with no issues whatsoever.
With all these, he agrees that she does deserve a sentence, despite the plot failing.
On the other hand, the 38-year-old woman said she was happy nothing happened after all.
Unfortunately for her, nothing really worked out. Her husband wasn’t killed, but she also spent $5,000 in 12 Bitcoin.
Today, the value of these coins would exceed $250,000. When Bitcoin reached a maximum of over $68,000, she would've had around $850,000. It would've been more than the house, retirement money, and a potential life insurance payout.
Instead, Felkins needs to spend five years in prison without the chance to recover the money she spent on a service that was never offered.
Not the first such case
This isn't the first time a murder for hire case has made it to the media. In 2022, a woman from Mississippi paid $10,000 to hire a hitman. She made a Bitcoin payment to match the value, but it turns out she hired an undercover agent.
The authorities started an investigation based on the details she offered. She was arrested and imprisoned.
Are hitmen for real on the dark web?
It’s said that you can find anything on the dark web, including things that might be difficult to find in real life, and hitmen make no exception either.
While most of the crime related to the dark web involves drugs, the truth is you’ll also find markets selling guns and offering hitman services.
In reality, while you can actually purchase a gun from the dark web, hiring a hitman will prove to be more difficult. A life will definitely cost more than $5,000. Such a crime involves an investigation. There’s a dead body and clues.
It’s not a simple drug transaction, but a murder. The risk is too high, and most people just wouldn't risk it for such a low amount of money.
Therefore, many of the ads involving hitmen on the dark web are nothing but scams. Murder for hire follows some classic principles, meaning people are more likely to stick to the traditional suitcase full of money than hire a stranger over the Internet.
It's hard to tell how the authorities have managed to find Felkins. Sure, the details she provided to the Besa Mafia market were more than enough to figure out her identity. But at the same time, someone must’ve contacted the authorities.
It’s unknown whether the Besa Mafia leader notified the police about her request or she simply got in touch with an undercover agent, as the authorities decided to keep the situation secret in order to avoid giving people ideas.