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Murder For Hire

December 27, 2008 | Associated Press
A man alleged to be a founding member of Mexico's feared Zetas, assassins linked to the Gulf drug cartel, will stand trial on organized crime, drug and weapons charges, prosecutors said Friday. Jaime Gonzalez Duran, known as "The Hummer," will also face charges of transactions with illicit funds. Gonzalez Duran is an army deserter who was arrested in November in the northern city of Reynosa.
December 7, 2007 | Andrew Blankstein
A judge sentenced a 67-year-old man to life in prison without the possibility of parole Thursday for masterminding the murder for hire of his estranged wife, a killing that took place as police were outside her Long Beach home investigating a reported prowler. Manfred Schockner was found guilty Sept. 7 of first-degree murder in the Nov. 8, 2004, stabbing death of his estranged wife, Lynn, at the home they once shared in the Bixby Knolls area.
December 4, 2007 | From a Times Staff Writer
A 20-year-old soldier was sentenced Monday to five years and eight months in federal prison for trying to hire a hit man to kill a romantic rival. Thomas Ryan Knight, who is being discharged from the Army, pleaded guilty in federal court to seeking to hire a man for $2,000 to kill the boyfriend of a woman he had met on the Internet. Knight did not know that the hit man he tried to hire was an undercover San Diego police officer, officials said.
November 10, 2007 | Steve Chawkins, Times Staff Writer
Francisco Lopez had been stabbed seven times, severely beaten and strangled before he was tossed down a remote mountainside. It took him two days to crawl back up, where he was discovered by hikers and rushed to a Santa Barbara hospital. But, in a startling reversal sketched out Friday by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department, Lopez, 23, has been arrested on suspicion of masterminding an alleged murder-for-hire plot that ended up nearly killing him.
October 3, 2007 | Richard Winton and Andrew Blankstein, Times Staff Writers
The mystery began in July 2006 when a prominent Beverly Hills plastic surgeon was gunned down on his rugged 200-acre Lancaster ranch, where he grew olives, pistachios and other produce from his native Iran. For months, detectives were stumped, saying they could not figure out who would want to kill Dr. Esfandiar "Steve" Kadivar. Then last spring, the man who had leased the property from Kadivar's family, Efrain Martines, was found shot to death a few miles away in the bed of his pickup truck.
September 8, 2007 | Greg Krikorian, Times Staff Writer
After less than two hours of deliberation, a Long Beach jury Friday convicted a retired millionaire businessman of first-degree murder for paying $50,000 to have his estranged wife killed. Manfred Schockner, 66, was the third person found guilty in the November 2004 stabbing death of Lynn Schockner during what authorities first believed was a botched burglary at her home in the affluent Bixby Knolls neighborhood.
August 3, 2007 | John M. Glionna, Times Staff Writer
The editor of a weekly newspaper in Oakland was gunned down as he walked to work Thursday morning in what police called a contract killing. Chauncey Bailey, 57, recently promoted to editor of the Oakland Post, was shot at 7:30 a.m. not far from his office. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Witnesses told police that a gunman in dark clothing approached Bailey and shot him multiple times before fleeing. He was shot in the back and in the head.
March 6, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
A man was arrested for trying to hire someone to behead New York's police commissioner in revenge for the police shooting that left a young groom dead on his wedding day, authorities said. David Brown, 47, a felon, was charged with criminal solicitation after he offered an undercover officer $65,000 to kill Commissioner Raymond Kelly and blow up police headquarters in Manhattan, police spokesman Paul J. Browne said.
October 17, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
Prosecutors said they have arrested three individuals in the contract killing last month of Andrei Kozlov, a senior Central Bank official who had shut dozens of banks in a campaign against money laundering. Officials revealed no details about the suspects except to confirm the arrests.
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