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On a web-based intermediary for hit-men…

Katy and I have just had a great idea for a new money-making venture targetting a completely underexploited section of the e-marketplace – professional hitmen and the criminally violent. The idea is just like that in Strangers on a Train, where two people arrange to kill each other’s worst enemy. Since there is no connection between them and the person they kill, there can be no apparent motive (and the person who might have a motive can have a solid alibi). Hence, they are much less likely to get caught.

This site would act as a medium of exchange much like ebay, where people could fill in who they wanted dead, and where they were based. This would be stashed on a database until the next stage was complete. They would then be sent a random e-mail from another member, with the details of who they should be poisoning or stabbing or shooting or throttling.

Once confirmation of this kill was made (through some kind of link to the national death records), then the details that had previously been stashed on the database would be sent to another random member who had just signed up, who would be expected to follow through the process themselves. If there was no kill registered within a certain amount of time, then the name and address of the substitute murderer could be sent to the person whose kill it was originally. And since that person must have already killed someone to have got to that stage, this would be enough instigation for the substitute killer to do their job.

The business model is quite simple – targetted advertising from the gun lobby, rope merchants, concrete suppliers and the like would constitute the bulk of the revenue, although clearly paramilitary groups and mercenaries might like to recruit through the site (for a small fee of course). Therapists might also find this a lucrative market to target. And after an initial free period (possibly), high quality service (from someone who has killed a great number of people) could be costed, with the site acting as a broker and taking a commission.

Legally, of course (at least in the initial stages), the site would be completely safe from prosecution. I mean – it’s like Napster isn’t it!? We could put a warning up that read, “no one at our site condones the killing of people” or even “killing people is bad – if you are thinking of killing someone, please contact our psychotherapist at our special discretionary rate”. It’s not like we’d be killing people ourselves (and if we did, I think we could argue that that was separate from the activities of the company).

The only problem is the domain name: is quite nice, but then so is or… Opinions would be appreciated, as would venture capital…