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Murder For Hire

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 8, 2009 | My-Thuan Tran
A woman was charged Tuesday with having a grocery store butcher attack her husband with a machete in an ambush that left her spouse with three amputated fingers and a nearly severed nose. Mary Sharpski, 46, of Fountain Valley and a lover devised the murder-for-hire plot to have her husband killed by a grocery store butcher, according to the Orange County district attorney's office.
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WORLD
April 1, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
A Canadian hit man whose victims included outlaw bikers, mobsters and bystanders pleaded guilty to 27 charges of first-degree murder, making him one of Canada's worst killers. Gerald Gallant, who has become a police informant while serving a life sentence for a 2001 slaying, also pleaded guilty to 12 charges of attempted murder and several other charges. The killings between 1978 and 2003 targeted members of motorcycle gangs, mobsters and members of street gangs. Biker gangs have long been a problem in the French-speaking province of Quebec, and most of the killings occurred between 1994 and 2002 as the Hells Angels and Rock Machine gangs battled over drug sales.
WORLD
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 3, 2008 | Richard Winton
Police Tuesday released video footage they say shows a hit man moments after he fatally stabbed a woman in a Century City parking garage in July and who remains at large. Los Angeles Police Det. Salaam Abdul said footage from a video surveillance camera in the parking garage shows the assailant getting out of the back of a rented red Suzuki sport utility vehicle and struggling at a control panel to move the arm of a parking barrier so he can exit. Prosecutors have charged James Fayed with capital murder for allegedly paying the manager of his Moorpark ranch $25,000 to help arrange the July 28 slaying of Fayed's wife, Pamela, 44. The couple were embroiled in bitter divorce proceedings.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 26, 2007 | Michael Rothfeld, Times Staff Writer
SACRAMENTO -- More than a quarter-century after he was sentenced to death, a man convicted of carrying out the contract killings of three people in a Fresno grocery store has died of natural causes at a hospital in Bakersfield. Billy Ray Hamilton, 58, used a shotgun in the Sept. 4, 1980, murders of Douglas Scott White, Bryon William Schletewitz and Josephine Linda Rocha at Fran's Market. Hamilton died Monday after a long battle with cancer.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
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