22 Jan 2024

The California man who has prevented over 100 murders

From Nights, 12:00 pm on 22 January 2024
A screenshot of the website www.rentahitman.com

When Bob Innes first bought the website rentahitman.com he never imaged it would be used by those looking to hire an actual professional killer Photo: Rent-A-Hitman

When Bob Innes found the perfect website name for his IT business he snapped it up.

Little did the Californian know he would eventually be responsible for saving dozens of lives and preventing multiple murders.

That's because Bob owns the website RentAHitman.com - he bought it in 2005 without an intention of actually attracting people seeking killers for hire.

"During the process of trying to figure out a business name and a catchy phrase, I kicked around the idea of rent-a-hitman," Innes says.

The play-on-words is a combination of 'rent' as in hire, 'hit' as in internet traffic, and analytics and men for Bob and his three friends.

He told RNZ Nights host Emile Donovan when the business didn't take off he tried to sell the domain name but there was little interest.

Middle aged man with goatee and glasses

 Bob Innes has owned the 'Hire A Hitman' website since 2005. Photo: Bob Innes

Everything changed in 2010 when a person called Helen from the UK emailed the website asking to have three of her family members murdered because she claimed they had stolen her inheritance.

After she sent a second email, Bob emailed her back asking if she still required his "services" to which she replied with where she was staying and all her personal information.

"If I didn't get the email, somebody else might have, and the results are obviously going to be different, so I felt I needed to act on this."

Thanks to the information Helen gave him, Bob was able to alert the authorities, leading to her arrest and ultimate guilty plea to soliciting to commit murder.

Since then there has been a steady stream of requests from people wanting someone else's life ended.

In his estimation Bob thinks he's prevented well over 100 murders.

A screenshot from the website www.rentahitman.com

Despite signs and hints that the website is not legitimate thousands of people still inquire about hiring a hitman though the website . Photo: Bob Innes

One in particular sticks in his mind.

"The one that hit me the hardest is a case out of Miami Florida, involving a 18-year-old mother who wanted her three-year-old son, her own son murdered ... Fortunately, the child is alive and well, living with his grandmother."

Bob runs the website out of his own pocket but he accepts donations and sell t-shirts to help cover some of the costs.