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Captured Assassin Opens Up: 'It Was Revenge'

Oleg Smorodinov sheds light on Russia's motives

(Newser) - Oleg Smorodinov may not appear the elite Russian killer. But the 51-year-old with a crooked boxer's face admits to murdering a man at the behest of two mysterious Russians who paid him with a Mercedes van—and, surprisingly, he's willing to talk to the New York Times . "... More »

It's 'Almost Like a Murder Squad'

BuzzFeed News digs into the alleged actions of the Spear Operations Group

(Newser) - It's "almost like a murder squad," an incredulous former CIA official told BuzzFeed News . The site had called him for comment as it dug into a potential bombshell of a story: that former elite US special operations fighters were assassinating high-profile figures in Yemen, but not as... More »

Suge Knight: Dr. Dre Hired Hit Men to Kill Me

He says Dre was trying to get out of a contract

(Newser) - Rap mogul Suge Knight is suing Dr. Dre for allegedly hiring a hit man to kill him—and then hiring another to finish the job after the first assassin failed. Knight was shot seven times at a pre-VMAs party in 2014, and his lawsuit alleges that the shooting was carried... More »

What It Takes to Be a Good Assassin

Lesson 1: Don't humanize your target

(Newser) - How do assassins kill strangers without a second thought or an ounce of guilt? A successful one convinces himself or herself that the victim is a target rather than a human, and that the killing is just another day's work, criminologists say in a new study . After reviewing cases... More »

NASCAR's Kurt Busch: My Ex Is a Hired Gun

Claim about Patricia Driscoll makes waves at domestic violence hearing

(Newser) - At first it sounded like a typical domestic-violence hearing: protection orders, unstable behavior, alcohol, and depression. Then NASCAR driver Kurt Busch shook things up, announcing that his ex, Patricia Driscoll—who alleged he had smashed her head into a motor-home wall—was actually a trained assassin who traveled the world... More »

FBI Investigated Lincoln's Killer ... in 1977

John Wilkes Booth intrigued the FBI over the course of the 20th century

(Newser) - The FBI was created 43 years after Abraham Lincoln's death, and yet his assassin has ... an FBI file? Yep, a file was opened into John Wilkes Booth in 1922 and was still active as late as 1977, Smithsonian reports. The blog Wonders & Marvels got hold of the file,... More »

Mexican Killer, 17, Goes Free, Moves to Texas

US citizen Edgar Jimenez Lugo has finished 3-year sentence

(Newser) - After serving three years in a Mexican detention center, a 17-year-old who says he killed four people has been released—and his next stop is San Antonio, Texas. There, the US-born Edgar Jimenez Lugo, also known as "El Ponchis," will be sent to a "support center,"... More »

Bust Yields North Korean Assassin's Toolbox

Camouflaged weapons include bullet-filled flashlight, poison pen

(Newser) - North Korean assassins are taking a page from 007: CNN says it's gotten a look at a trio of deadly weapons that are nearly indistinguishable from everyday objects. There's a pen containing a poison needle whose victim would feel just a scratch. Another pen shoots poison projectiles. And... More »

Cartel Hitman Lived in Small-Town Ohio

Edgar Campos-Barraza arrested in Sandusky, home to Cedar Point

(Newser) - You never know who your neighbor might be. In January, authorities arrested an alleged assassin employed by the most powerful drug cartel in Mexico who had been living in the small town of Sandusky, Ohio, for 10 years, reports CNN . Edgar Campos-Barraza, also known as "El Cholo," is... More »

Are North Korean Assassins Wielding Poison Needles?

Reports surface of activists supposedly getting pricked

(Newser) - As Goldfinger told James Bond, "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy's action." Three odd incidents in South Korea are being blamed on North Korea—and its poison needle-wielding assassins, reports the Los Angeles Times . In recent weeks, a South Korean pastor who helped... More »

In Sirhan's '68 Notes, a Calculating Assassin

The picture they paint is not one of a brainwashed killer

(Newser) - Sirhan Sirhan claims he was brainwashed into assassinating Robert F. Kennedy, but notes he purportedly wrote 42 years ago tell a different story. The handwritten four-page chronology, which he wrote in front of a member of his defense team, shows a more calculated approach. In it, Sirhan describes his... More »

Sirhan Sirhan Denied Parole

Kennedy killer's appeal for release rejected 14th time

(Newser) - Robert F. Kennedy's assassin has been denied parole for a 14th time. A California parole board decided that Sirhan Sirhan, who has spent 42 years behind bars for the 1968 shooting, has failed to accept the magnitude of his crime, the Los Angeles Times reports. Board members noted that Sirhan... More »

Sirhan: I Was Brainwashed Into Killing RFK

Assassin says he doesn't remember killing, didn't act alone

(Newser) - It might have been a more convincing story 43 years ago, but Sirhan Sirhan now says he was brainwashed into assassinating Robert F. Kennedy, has no memory of the 1968 shooting, and did not act alone. "There is no question he was hypno-programmed," Sirhan lawyer William F. Pepper... More »

Pakistani Governor Killed by Own Guard

Assassination likely to deepen country's turmoil

(Newser) - A key Pakistani governor was gunned down by his own bodyguard today in Islamabad, in the biggest assassination the violence-wracked country has endured since Benazir Bhutto's slaying three years ago. Salman Taseer, Punjab province's governor and a key ally of President Asif Ali Zardari, was gunned down as he got... More »

Russia Sends Hitman After Agent Who Outed Spies

'We know who he is and where he is,' Kremlin says

(Newser) - Russia has sent a hitman after the double agent who ratted out Anna Chapman and the other amateur spies the US caught this spring. “We know who he is, and where he is,” a high-ranking Kremlin source bragged to a Russian newspaper. “You can have no doubt—... More »

Coulter: 'All Prez Assassins Were Liberals'

Behar tells her to 'stop it'

(Newser) - Conservative screed scribe Ann Coulter insisted yesterday that every presidential assassin in history has been a liberal. "They're all liberals—assassin by assassin by assassin," she spilled on CNN's Joy Behar Show. An angry Behar retorted: "Wait a minute. Don't make that jump from murder, terrorist to... More »

Canadian Hitman Cops to 27 Murders

Assassin took out rival gang members during Quebec's biker wars

(Newser) - A Canadian contract killer confessed yesterday to murdering 27 people during Quebec's biker wars, reports the Toronto Star. Gerald Gallant turned police informant after receiving a life sentence in 2001 for yet another murder. The biker, 58, received no extra time for his confession and will be eligible for parole... More »

Guards Thwart 'Assassin' at Sarkozy Home

Armed man tackled by security as he tries to enter palace grounds

(Newser) - French authorities foiled a suspected assassin trying to storm the presidential palace yesterday, the Daily Mail reports. The man, armed with a knife and an electric stun-gun type of weapon, tried to slip past guards at President Nicolas Sarkozy's residence. He was stopped at gunpoint after a violent struggle and... More »

KGB Radiation Poisoning Suspect Ready to Talk

Lugovoi offers to meet with UK investigators

(Newser) - A former KGB agent accused of poisoning a Russian dissident in England wants to clear his name, he tells the Times of London. Alexander Lugovoi has offered to send a friend to London to speak with investigators, and may travel to the UK himself if officials pledge not to arrest... More »

Police-Officer Hit Men for Mob Heading for Jail

Judge reinstates convictions for pair who assisted in 8 murders

(Newser) - A pair of retired New York City detectives who led double lives as mob hit men, helping commit at least 8 murders, had their convictions for racketeering conspiracy reinstated by a federal appeals court yesterday. A judge had initially reversed the convictions, despite "overwhelming evidence" of "the most... More »

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