Entertainment And News

Michigan Woman Arrested After Trying To Hire Assassin To Kill Ex-Husband Through Fake 'Rent A Hitman' Website

Photo: Michigan State Police Department / Facebook
Wendy Wein, Ex-Husband

On Friday, 52-year-old Wendy Wein was arrested and charged with solicitation to commit murder and illegal use of a computer to facilitate a crime — which she pleaded guilty to and could face up to nine years in prison.

This charge came after an online sting operation caught Wein allegedly trying to have her ex-husband killed. 

The South Rockford, Michigan woman used a pseudonym for a fake murder-for-hire website when she signed up on July 17, 2020, but then decided to use her real personal information at the end of her “service request.”

Wendy Wein allegedly used a ‘Rent-A-Hitman’ website to get someone to murder her ex-husband.

RENT-A-HITMAN is your point & click solution!” reads the website as soon as you load in. “Click below for your FREE CONSULTATION. Your privacy is important to us!”

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Unfortunately for Wein, your privacy is not important to them — but what is important to them is boasting about their fake operations and touting their made-up testimonials.

According to the site, which has been “operating” since 1920, they have “over 17,985 U.S. based field operatives,” and have “assisted satisfied clients from all walks of life ranging from regular citizens (children & adults) to government employees and even political figures.”

They also deal 100% in accordance with “HIPPA,” the “Hitman Information Privacy & Protection Act of 1964,” not to be confused with HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

The website is used to catch people trying to hire hitmen.

RAH is run by Guido Fanelli, who's real identity is Bob Innes from California. He started the website to trick people into admitting they are murderous and cooperating with police to get them arrested.

According to a report by CNN, the website started out as a website for an internet security business but quickly became online bait for people who truly wanted their enemies to die.

The “service requests” that people can fill out on the website go to Innes, where they get filtered out and the serious ones he sends over to law enforcement.

Wendy Wein was duped by the fake site.

"This is kind of weird that your company is not on the deep or dark web," she wrote in the service request she believed would be sent to Fanelli. CNN obtained a copy of the message. 

"I prefer not going to jail," she added. "Thanks for your time."

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Innes says that since the site started running in 2005, he has received more than 400 requests from people who either expressed interest in becoming a hitman or pranksters who wanted to play a joke on their friends — but about 10% of these requests turned out to be legitimate cases where police became involved.

"I thought nobody can be that stupid, and boy have I been proven wrong," says 54-year-old Innes. "These people ... whoever they are, they see HIPAA, they think privacy. So they feel compelled to leave their real information -- names, address, where the intended target is..."

He has intently left several red flags on the website that he had hoped would deter any serious requests.

Aside from the very obvious attempt to offer an illegal service, the near-18000 field operatives are actually the number of federal, state, county, and local law enforcement agencies.

Somewhere else on the site there’s a link to check if your credit card has been stolen, which will instead take you to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center.

Innes gives people 24 hours to cool off before sending anything to law enforcement.

Innes gives people time to rethink their decisions, just in case they don’t really want someone to be murdered and they were just angry for a moment.

"It's kind of like a cooling-off period, to come back to your senses. I want to give people the opportunity to walk away," he says. "After a day, I ask them two questions. Do you still require our services? Do you want to be connected with a field operative?"

If they say yes to both, that’s when he connects them to law enforcement.

"I just play matchmaker with the police," he says. "I'd rather be a state witness than a state conspirator."

This is why when Wein said yes to both questions after the 24-hour period, she was connected to the police where she met with an undercover trooper who posed as the hitman.

Wein offered the trooper $5000 for his services and included a $200 down payment for travel fees since he lived in the other state.

Sergeant Michael Peterson of Michigan State Police said "What stood out the most about this case was the foolishness of the suspect ... attempting to hire a hitman from a website."

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.