Dead Priests Hired Own Hit Men
Colombian pair made pact after one diagnosed with AIDS, prosecutors say
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 15, 2012 12:49 AM CST
Updated Feb 15, 2012 2:25 AM CST
The faithful attend a mass in the memory of the two priests.   (AP Photo/William Fernando Martinez, File)

(Newser) – A pair of Colombian priests found shot dead in a car last year decided to commit suicide by hit man after one of them was diagnosed with AIDS, prosecutors say. Police initially suspected robbery when the priests' bodies were found, but investigators managed to trace two of the alleged assassins from numbers in the priests' phones, reports AP.

The priests paid gang members $8,500 for their own murders, according to prosecutors, who say the pair had originally planned to throw themselves into a canyon near Bogota, but apparently lacked the nerve. In his final service, one of the priests asked parishioners to pray for him, and gave the choirmaster a list of songs for his funeral. Relatives of the dead priests insist that they were victims of an armed robbery, and deny reports that the pair, longtime friends, were involved in a gay relationship.