Be Careful Hiring Killers on the Dark Web

📅 Published on February 22, 2022

“Be Careful Hiring Killers on the Dark Web”

Written by JGrupe
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Rating: 9.00/10. From 3 votes.
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There hadn’t been a murder in Franzburg for over five years.  Not since old man Weathers killed his wife over a Monopoly match gone sour and a marriage gone even sourer.

Up until last week, that was.

Now I’ve got three different files sitting on my desk, with three different victims.  They stare up at me accusingly, saying, “SOLVE US.”

I pull out my bottle of Glenfiddich from the bottom drawer and find a halfway clean glass, blowing in it to get rid of any dead spiders or mouse turds.  I fill it up a third of the way.  Then decide to hell with it, and make it a double.

The strong smell of it wakes my senses and burns my tongue a little at first, but in a good, familiar sort of way.  I admire the brown liquid in the glass for a minute and then open one of the folders and begin to leaf through it for the umpteenth time.

Each murder was spaced a couple days apart, and the killer managed to sneak in and out of the victims’ homes undetected.

All three had their throats slit with a very sharp blade and were hung upside down in their respective residences.  Their wrists and ankles were tied with thick, coarse rope.   They had been left like that for hours as if someone had been waiting for the blood to drain out.  Like cattle or pigs.

But nobody knows where the blood went.

How the hell does something like that happen in my little town?   Something flares up in me momentarily, and I realize its wounded pride.  Someone has been in my town and has been killing my people, under my nose, and without leaving a trace of evidence.

Maybe you just can’t find the evidence because you’re an amateur.  A hack.


I questioned a lot of people, as one does.  Started with those closest to the victims and worked my way outward, trying to make connections.  But murder isn’t something I have a lot of experience with.

Liars, though.  Liars I can tell from a mile away.

When you’ve been a cop long enough, you can pick ‘em out easy enough.  It’s an acquired skill.   The victims were young, in their twenties.

People kill people they know.

So who knew all three victims?  Who had a motive to kill them?  And how did they do it without getting caught?

The first question requires some digging.  It means interviews with people who don’t want to talk.    I visit each victim’s closest friends and family members.  I find out that the three were all loners, with very few friends.  At least, not in real life.   Not only that, but they knew each other.

My suspicion that the murders are connected becomes a certainty.  I look deeper into their lives, sussing out any details I can find.

They were all “gamers  .”Professional ones, apparently.  Not something I had thought possible.  To my surprise, when I ask about the details, the answer is always the same.  Each victim was obsessed with a computer game called ‘League of Legends.’

More questions lead to more answers, and eventually after a lot of puzzle pieces coming together, I figure out how the victims were all connected.

It turns out they were all in a ‘clan’ together, which means they played the game together as a team.   Teams in League of Legends are made up of five members, so that leaves two more people out there who are either potential victims…or potential murderers.

I have to find the other members of the clan.  The two are like missing pieces from a jigsaw puzzle, and without them, I can’t see the whole picture.

So I track them down.

Sarah Green is the first.  She seems pleasant enough.   After inviting me inside for coffee, we talk for almost an hour, and she responds candidly and with concern for her deceased friends.  But gives no useful information.

“Can I get you another refill, detective?” she asks after I drain my second cup of coffee.   “No, that’s alright.  I think I’ve imposed on you long enough.” She walks me to the door after that and says she hopes I will be able to find some answers.  I thank her (still unsure what to make of her) and move on to the next interview.

Terry Wentworth is a chubby man with a ponytail and thick glasses.  He has a patchy goatee that attempts unsuccessfully to hide a double chin with an unfortunate butt-looking cleft running down the center of it.  I find myself trying not to look at it, as if to do so would be rude.

“What can I do for you, officer?” he asks, looking annoyed.

“I understand you played a game with these people?” I say, showing him pictures of the victims.  He cringes slightly.  “A computer game called League of Legends?  Is that correct?”

“Y-yeah, so what?  I played with them.”

Something is off already.  I can tell he is more nervous, more defensive than he needs to be, but then again, some people have bad social anxiety.  Maybe he is just an anxious type.

“Any infighting in the clan, Terry?  Problems between members?”

“N-nope.  No.  I don’t think so.”

His palms are sweating heavily, and he wipes them on his pants, leaving huge damp spots on his upper thighs.

I decide to take him down to the station, make him sweat a bit more.   It works.  After an afternoon in the hot box, the bastard starts talking.   “Sarah, it was all her idea.  I didn’t even do it; it was her.” This is after hours of coaxing and threatening, his shirt now completely drenched in sweat, his hair dripping like he has just stepped out of the shower.  I mention Sarah again, saying that he was probably going to kill her next, and the guy finally cracks and turns on her.

“I just found out about it, and I couldn’t stop her; it was already too late, everything had already-”

“Slow down, take a deep breath.  Just calm down for a second and tell me what happened.  You said it was her?  She killed them?” He takes a deep, trembling breath and goes on.

“No, she wasn’t capable of that.  Neither was I.  But we weren’t going to make it anywhere in the tournaments unless she could bring on a couple of new pros.  Real talent, I mean, not just friends who happen to play.  The two of us were top-notch, but we couldn’t carry the clan anymore.  We kept getting knocked out early in the big tournaments.”

“You mean you had them killed over a video game?”

“It’s not just a game.  There’s thousands of dollars up for grabs, man.  You’ve got no idea.  Millions if you’re world-class.  And we could have been, if not for them.  But like I said, it wasn’t my idea.  She set it all up.  I didn’t find out until later when I asked her.”

“Asked her what?”

“Where the hell everybody was!  They all just started disappearing, and new players started showing up to practice.  First, it was Lisa, then Graham went permanently AFK.  Finally, she told me Wayne wasn’t cutting it either, that he’d have to ‘disappear’ next.”

“So, what did you say?”

“I pretended to go along with it.  That’s what I do sometimes if I want to find out how far gone somebody is.  I don’t know if you’ve ever tried it, but if you ever start talking to somebody and they say something really rotten, just agree with them for a minute and see what sort of depravity their mind really contains.  It’s kind of astonishing.”

It’s called police-work 101, kid, I want to say but don’t.   “Alright, I’ll buy it.  So you tell her you love whatever she’s doing to clean up the team; you just want in on it.  You’re curious and want to help.  So she tells you?”

“Damn right she does!  Like she’s proud of herself.  She found an assassin on the dark web, she tells me.  Some guy who’ll do it practically for free.”

“You have his name?  A way to contact him?”

I try hard not to show my hand, but I’m getting excited at the prospect of catching this guy, and my questions come a little too fast, making him bristle momentarily.

“Man, I can’t tell you that!  If she finds out I said anything, she’s coming after me next.”

“Listen, kid,” I say in my best friendly cop impersonation.  “You’re doing the right thing here.  Let me follow up on this, and I’ll make sure she goes away for a long time.  For the rest of her life.  You didn’t do anything, right?  So you’ve got nothing to worry about.  But you have to tell me the truth.  Everything.  Now, who is this guy?” He looks at me darkly and seems to brood on the question for a while.  But eventually, he answers.  He explains to me how to reach the assassin and how it was all arranged.

* * * * * *

Sarah is sitting in front of the computer screen with a sad look on her face.   “He’s going to kill all of us.”

“Who is, Sarah?”

She looks at the blank screen.  Dark.  Empty.


A shiver runs down my spine, and my flesh breaks out in goose-pimples.

“We can protect you from him,” I say, but the promise rings hollow, my voice empty and false even to my own ears.

“No, you can’t.”

She sighs and turns the computer on, waits for it to boot up.   Within a few minutes, she has logged onto the Tor browser and is into some chat room.  She types something into the window and waits.

I hold my breath without meaning to.

Suddenly the screen goes completely dark.  The chat window disappears.   Despite the heat of the day, it feels cold in the room.  Then freezing.

I exhale and can see my breath hang in the air.

My teeth begin to clack together and chatter.

“WHO IS HE?”  The voice is like a thunder-crash coming from the computer, and I understand immediately why she was so scared.  It is a wonder the speakers don’t blow out.  My ears are ringing, and I feel like the room is still echoing and reverberating with the sound of it.

There is a presence watching us; I can feel it.  I don’t know how else to explain it, but it feels like when you are walking down the street, and you sense someone watching you from behind.  Have you ever felt that?  Like eyes are tickling your neck?  And you turn and see that, of course, there is someone staring at you from the front window of their house?

I feel that now but all over, like there are eyes in the walls, ceiling, and floors, all watching me.  My skin tingles, and I shiver.

“That’s Detective Slate,” she says in a monotone, betraying me immediately.  “He wants to catch you.  I told him that’s silly, but he doesn’t listen.”

The young woman’s face is visible in the reflection of the monitor, and I see her eyes staring far off into the distance as if she is hypnotized.

Then that deep voice begins to speak again, and I find myself unable to do anything but listen.

“Look into the darkness, Detective Slate.  Don’t you want to experience it for yourself?  Don’t you want to sleep, Detective?  Aren’t you tired?”

Suddenly out of nowhere, there are five men grabbing me and wrestling me to the floor.  My heart is beating out of my chest, and I am stunned to see that my service revolver is in my hand, clenched tight in my fist.  Yet I have no memory of removing it from its holster.  The coldness of the barrel touches my temple, and my finger is on the trigger, trying desperately to pull it, despite my terrified brain pleading for it to listen, to stop, to relax.

I don’t want to die.  I don’t want to die.  And yet my index finger continues to squeeze down on the trigger as if possessed.

My old partner, Steve, who has gotten there first, is wrestling with me desperately and finally manages to pry my hand from the gun.

Later I try to explain to them that it wasn’t me.  I didn’t want to do it.   Something made me do it.

He made me do it.

I look up and see Sarah is now banging her head down hard against the steel table as if she has no control over herself.  She brings her face down again and again and blood begins to spatter and spray. Parts of her face shear off, exposing muscle and bone beneath, and still, she doesn’t stop.  Her teeth break, and chipped pieces fly and scatter everywhere.

“What the hell?” another officer is saying, letting go of me and rushing over to her.   Then he makes the mistake of looking at the screen as well.   In a rapid motion, too quickly for anyone to stop him, he pulls his pistol from the holster, cocks it, and holds the gun up to his temple.

The blast is deafening in the small cement-walled room.

It echoes, piercing my ears and turning them deaf for a while, then making them ring.  I feel like needles are stabbing into my eardrums and I clap my hands over them protectively.

But then my eyes betray me, and I find my gaze drifting back to the beckoning blackness of the computer screen.  As if a siren song for that sense is calling me to stare at the darkness of that empty black rectangle.

One very savvy officer who has been watching everything with wide eyes from the doorway runs in.  He was not at an angle where he could see the screen and seems unaffected by it.

He slams the laptop shut and then picks it up and throws it hard to the floor, where it breaks to pieces.

Then he brings his foot down on it, hard.  He crunches it beneath his polished black shoe and looks up at us with a sweating, anxious face.

“I’m sorry, boss,” he says to me, looking worried for his job.  On an ordinary day, he would have every right to be.  But today is no ordinary day.  “I had to.  I had to.”

“Don’t apologize.  You just saved all of our lives.  Thank you.” We look around the room and take in the bloodbath which surrounds us.   One officer dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.  A suspect/witness dead while in our custody from repeated blunt force injuries to her face – also self-inflicted.

Officers begin to crowd the room from the pit where they were stationed at their desks when the gunshot went off.

People are asking a thousand questions, and I don’t know what to tell them.  Or what I even believe myself.

The captain sends me home without pay, pending an investigation.  It doesn’t matter how many people vouch for me, how many saw the madness for themselves.  It matters how it all looks.

And there’s no explaining what happened to a rational person.  Even I can hardly believe it, and I witnessed it myself.

I tried to catch a dark web hired assassin and discovered that he was no ordinary hired gun.  No simple mercenary.

The thing Sarah hired to kill her fellow clan members was something else.  Something we as humans don’t have a word for yet or any understanding of.

Something that is spilling over into our world from another.   And feeds on our flesh and blood.


I have to stop him.

Rating: 9.00/10. From 3 votes.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

Written by JGrupe
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: JGrupe

Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

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Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

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