I enjoyed this real life story from the latest edition of Private Eye - sometimes the truth is indeed stranger than fiction, so the next time I'm hiring a 'hit man' I must remember to switch off my mobile phone.
FUNNY OLD WORLD
"It's obviously not common to hire a hit man," Doug Forman of the Jonesboro Police Department told reporters in Arkansas, "and it's very uncommon for someone to be having that conversation, and call their victim in the middle of it. But that's apparently what happened in this case."
"Larry Barnett, who owns the Legend Motor Company, was involved in a dispute with a former employee called James Macom. Barnett owned him money, and to avoid paying the debt, he hired a contract killer to dispose of Macom."
"While Barnett was telling the killer what he wanted him to do, he accidentally 'butt-dialled' Macom's number on the mobile phone in his pocket, and Macom heard him saying 'I don't care if you have to burn Macom's house to the ground with him in it. I don't care what you have to do, make it look like an accident.'
"Barnett then gave the killer directions to Macom's house in Paragould, and Macom later found that his home had been raided, and his gas stove tampered with. At that point he called the police, we checked his story and arrested Barnett."
District Judge Curt Huckaby found sufficient evidence for the case to proceed against Barnett on a charge if criminal conspiracy to commit capital murder.
Baxter Bulletin (AR) 27/11/13. Spotter: James Macintyre.