If you don’t know what the dark web is by now… You might be living under a rock.
But if you really don’t know… You’re in the right place. The dark web is a piece of the internet that cannot be accessed by search engines or your normal ways of searching.
You would need a special browser called Tor to access the dark web.
TOR stands for The Onion Router. It is free and enables anonymous communication, directs internet traffic, and makes it difficult for a user’s internet activity to be traced.
With this level of privacy, the dark web becomes sacred grounds for illegal activity. You can buy credit card numbers, drugs, guns, counterfeit money, and more.
Though there are darker and more scarier places rumored to be on the dark web… Like Red Rooms, Snuff Films, and Murder for Hire…
The dark web is seemingly the marketplace for all things illegal, but it’s also home to an overwhelming amount of scam artists. Scammers promote some illicit activity and demand payment upfront and never delivering. For example, Red Rooms…
Red Rooms are websites with live streams of people being beaten, tortured, and murdered in real-time. Many believe they are simply urban legends as they are not searchable or easily found.
This would be the case with murder-for-hire websites too. Most are rumored to simply be scams. Scammers take your money and never perform the murders…
Or do they?
It’s not as if a hitman openly discusses his hits.
According to the rational wiki page, hit man-for-hire sites are all scams, but in 2016, a user made an edit to the rational wiki page that stated all murder-for-hire sites are scams, except for Besa Mafia. Besa Mafia states that it is run by the Albanian Mafia, they do not perform services themselves, but they match you with an assassin in your area with your preferred skills who will accept your pay rate.
Law enforcement became aware of this site in 2016 as well and believed it to be a scam site just like the others.
That is until… A hit was actually carried out.
In all other cases, there was no actual proof that any hits had been carried out, but thousands of requests would come into the site year after year. Husbands and wives trying to murder each other, and coworkers asking to assassinate their colleagues and bosses. And in one case, a predator paid to have a 14-year-old boy murdered.
All these requests came in, but there was not one bit of proof that these murders had been carried out.
How do we know this?
On April 25th, 2016 someone uploaded a file to a data-leaking site, named Siphon. The file contained user information from Besa Mafia’s database. You could find usernames, bitcoin transactions, passwords, and messages.
Photos of intended victims were leaked as well, but it appeared that none of the victims had been harmed. Instead, the owner of this site was taking money for the hits and stringing the customers along until they gave up.
However, during this leak, the Besa Mafia website supporters argued that whoever leaked the data could have selected specific cases that had not been carried out. Though non-supporters stated that the site just as all the others was a fraud.
Even Ross Ulbricht the owner of the dark web’s Silk Road was unable to hire a hit man and in fact, he was scammed out of at least $700,000 when he tried to order a hit on his former employee.
If you’re not sure what Silk Road is… I’ll explain. Basically, it was an online marketplace where users could buy and sell illegal goods, without law enforcement knowing. It was shut down by the FBI in 2013 and its creator Ross Ulbricht, was arrested and sentenced to life in prison.
Ross’s attempt at hiring a hitman led authorities to find his other illicit activities on the dark web and ultimately arrest him.
So if a creator of the dark web marketplace couldn’t hire a hit online, how was anyone else going to?
But still, orders still continued to come in. One particular order came from the username,
Dogdaygod, the user requested that a local dog trainer, Amy Allwine from Cottage Grove, Minnesota be murdered.
The reason for the hit…
The user’s name was Dogdaygod and they stated that Amy had torn her family apart by sleeping with her husband and then her husband left her. To make matters worse, she stated that Amy had been stealing clients from her business.
This hit against Amy was included in the data leak and the FBI contacted Cottage Grove authorities. Cottage Grove authorities contacted Amy and her husband Stephen, both were shocked and had no idea why anyone would want to murder Amy. They confirmed with the authorities, that Amy was not having an affair or stealing clients. Amy and Stephen as well as the authorities assumed it must be some sick prank.
But just prior to this leak and authorities being involved…
There were a few failed attempts that the user Dogdaygod had paid for. The user dogday had even paid extra for an upgraded attempt. He initially paid for a car accident, but at this point, it was becoming too hard to set up something like that, so the dogday paid for arson, asking for the family home to be burnt down with Amy inside.
Authorities were unaware of these previous attempts. As a matter of fact, they were unaware of any attempts. They simply warned Amy and her husband.
To be safe, Amy and Stephen purchase a gun for protection.
By this time, the user had paid nearly $11,000 for Amy’s murder, with no results.
With no actual murders, authorities would continue to believe these were scam sites taking people’s money. This meant no one was watching out for Amy. If the Besa Mafia site wasn’t real, would the person paying for the hit do it themselves?
Luckily for the Allwine’s, vigilante hackers took the Besa Mafia site down. The user dogdaygod was never found, nor was the owner of the site.
But… Six months later…
Amy Allwine was dead.
Joseph, their son, and Stephen come home to find Amy’s lifeless body on the master bedroom floor. At first glance, it appears that Amy has shot herself. The gun lay on the floor near her elbow.
Stephen calls 911 and states he thinks his wife may have shot herself. But once detectives arrive, they remember the Allwines from the murder threat and begin to believe this may not be a suicide.
During the investigation that evening, detectives noticed areas that appeared to have been freshly cleaned, and the body appeared to have moved after death.
Next, the gun was found near her left side, but the entrance wound was on the right side of her head. Nevertheless, as the investigation continues over the days and weeks, it’s discovered that Amy may not have been able to even hold the gun as the drug Scopolamine was found in her system.
Scopolamine is used to prevent nausea and vomiting that is caused by motion sickness or medications during surgery. Amy had 3 times the normal dose in her. Authorities believed the scene was staged and this led them right back to the murder-for-hire user DogdayGod.
By the second day of the investigation, authorities began looking in the Allwine’s basement. They find large amounts of computers and other gadgets. This didn’t seem odd at first as Stephen worked in IT and was a deacon at their local church.
But as they looked through his computers they found that Stephen had an account on the website Ashley Madison and was actively involved with two women. He also had five other cell phones that he did not inform authorities about.
Within one of those phones, cookies were left behind. If you’re wondering what cookies are on a phone, well they are small amounts of data left behind from websites and other apps that are stored on your phone.
On Stephens’s phone, they found cookies from a Bitcoin exchange. On another of the phones were notes with an address to a Bitcoin wallet and… it was the same address that the user DogdayGod used.
Authorities also found searches for Scopolamine and the dark web on Stephen’s computers. It was very clear, that Stephen ordered the hit on his own wife.
His motive was to be with one of his mistresses and divorce wasn’t an option in his church. Unfortunately for Stephen, he used the name DogdayGod on all other accounts linking him. He also withdrew money from their joint account to buy the bitcoins to pay the Besa Mafia.
While Stephen was setting up this hit, he began to worry that Besa Mafia would rip him off. He had communicated with the site’s admin, Yura, previously, so this time he sent a message to Yura and stated he wanted to use a third-party escrow service to hold the money until the hit was complete.
However, this wouldn’t work as an escrow company would want proof that the transaction was complete. There could be no proof of work… Stephen paid and this is when the failed attempts began or at least that’s what Besa Mafia said. After multiple requests and a lot of money spent, Stephen demanded the hit be carried out, but once it didn’t occur, he requested his money back.
He received a message back indicating that the site had been hacked, the message also stated that the hacker would send all information to law enforcement if he didn’t send over 10 bitcoin immediately.
Stephen was arrested in his wife’s murder. He claimed he had nothing to do with it, but the evidence pointed directly to him. Yura the site owner was unable to be reached, his IP address was in Romania and most likely a fake. The site was taken down by hackers so there was no way to find him.
A few had attempted to research Besa Mafia and find its creator, but instead ended up being a target for Yura… Eileen Ormsby, a lawyer, author, and freelance journalist based in Melbourne, Australia, was named as a creator of Besa Mafia, as well as Security Analyst, Chris Monetero. Information was spread around the internet that these two individuals were the owners of the Besa Mafia site.
But this was untrue.
You see, Chris Montero hacked the site and shut it down and Eileen Ormbsy actively wrote a blog about the site. Neither were involved in running the site.
To this day, some posts are still up stating the site was owned by them. Yura believed that Chris was responsible for the Besa Mafia data leak, so he filled the web with stories that claimed Chris was a co-owner of the Besa Mafia site. Simply Revenge.
Along the way, authorities did believe Chris was involved, but their investigation proved he was not.
Chris had tried to get the FBI to shut the site down, but when they wouldn’t he took matters into his own hands. He hacked into the site and replaced its home page with a closed door, some text, and set the page to auto-play the song Farewell from The Sound of Music.
Chris and Yura had a few message exchanges after Chris had written a blog stating the Besa Mafia site was not real and all a scam. Yura reached out and offered to prove his realness. He asked Chris to send the name of an enemy. Obviously, Chris declined.
Even though Chris took Besa Mafia’s site down, it didn’t stop Yura, he went on to open another site named Cosa Nostra and branded it with different types of mob groups, including Yakuza Mafias.
Yura continued to email Chris and stated he was wasting the time and money of potential killers which is why his sites should remain up. Yura believed he was deterring crime.
Yura truly believed this and attempted to prove it. In 2018, the crime show 48 hours did an episode on murder for hire and had reached out to Yura, he sent producers names of customers and victims in an attempt to prove he was trying to stop crime.
These tips led to the arrest of several of his customers.
The show aired September 2018 and by June of 2019, Yura sent an email stating business had decreased as people believed it to all be a scam. He also stated he wanted to get out of the murder business and opened a restaurant.
With this information, 48 hours worked with an intelligence analyst to take information from his dark web sites and hopefully track Yura’s whereabouts. They did track down a man who became combative with the team and an interview never occurred.
To this day, Yura has never been found.
As for Stephen Allwine, claims he is innocent and was set up. Though he is currently serving life in prison.
What are your thoughts? Was Besa Mafia real? Are any murder-for-hire sites real? And was Stephen Allwine set up… Or…
Perhaps we leave this to the realms of the unexplained…