Woman Sentenced to Six Years for Hiring a Hitman on the Darknet
In Lyngby, Denmark, a 58-year-old woman received a six year prison sentence for trying to have a man killed through a darknet murder-for-hire service. The first public mentions of the case occurred only a couple of months before the sentence hearing, even though Danish authorities arrested the woman in early 2017. Informative case details only started surfacing after the December trial began. The defendant, 58-year-old Emanuela Consortini, will spend six years in prison and subsequently be deported from Denmark.
Consortini hired a hitman through Crimebay, a darknet site where customers can pay hitmen to kill targets, blow up cars, or something else absurd. Only a handful of people believe the site is legitimate and those few people are frequently in jail for trying to have someone killed through the site or the site’s predecessor, Besa Mafia.
The court found the 58-year-old woman guilty of trying to have her boyfriend killed. British police first uncovered the plot sometime between November 2016 and March 2017. They alerted authorities in Italy—the country where the target resided. As the defense pointed out, it remains unclear if the site itself is actually taking orders for murders. Several theories exist, such as the one that law enforcement has access to the site through one of several possible methods.
Crimebay is unlikely a law enforcement honeypot run by law enforcement in various countries. They, however, have access to the site’s internals, such as recorded messages between customers and “hitmen.” British police had access to the messages sent by the woman. The messages, thanks to the vivid descriptions contained in them, connected Consortini to the crime. After receiving an alert from British police, the Italian authorities notified Danish police. The target likely knew who would have wanted him dead—especially after reading the messages—but the law enforcement agencies may have uncovered the identity of the Crimebay client through a different, unknown method.
It is also possible that the picture she shared with Crimebay matched a picture available on a social media profile, for example. Even though she had shared only the part of the picture that showed her boyfriend, the full version may not have been difficult to find. It is also possible that her bitcoin transaction came from an address connected to a popular exchange or similarly identifiable source. Dozens, if not hundreds, of possible theories exist.
Regardless of how the investigation yielded the information that led to the arrest of Consortini, the evidence found at her home, the “foreign intelligence” from Italian police, intel from UK’s NCA, and statements from several witnesses convinced the court of her guilt. The prosecution asked for a sentence of seven years in prison at a minimum. The defense argued that less than six years was applicable. “I agree that it is illegal to [hire an] assassin, but we must maintain that the website is probably fake and that the injured person has never been in real danger,” said the woman’s attorney said.
New information emerged revealing that the woman asked her friend to delete the order on Crimebay and message the site’s administrator. The acquaintance gave the letter from Consortini to the police, and in turn, the police questioned the woman about the nature of the letter and whether or not it had been sent by Consortini. She admitted that she had sent the letter, but only to ensure the safety of her boyfriend (and his girlfriend in Italy).
The court sentenced the 58-year-old attempted murderer to spend six years in prison and later be deported from Denmark.