The "Hit Man" Manual



The parties agree that the matters set forth below represent facts that the plaintiffs and/or defendants would be able to estab lish by affidavit or otherwise in the context of defendants' motion for summary judgment under F.R.C.P. 56. These facts are offered only for the purposes of this motion and the parties specifically reserve the right to contest all statements which fol low at any subsequent proceeding in this case. The parties agree that the sole issue to be decided by the Court in this motion is whether the First Amendment is a complete defense, as a matter of law, to the civil action set forth in the plaintiffs' Complaint. All other issues of law and fact are specifically reserved for sub sequent proceedings.

1. Prior to March 3, 1993, Lawrence Horn began plotting with James Perry of Detroit, Michigan, to have Perry murder his exwife, Mildred Horn, and his son, Trevor.

2. On or about January 24, 1992, James Perry responded to a catalogue solicitation by the defendant, Paladin, advertising Hit Man: A Technical Manual for Independent Contractors (herein after referred to as "Hit Man"), and How to Make a Disposable Silencer, Volume 2 (hereinafter referred to as"Silencers"). Perry ordered both publications. Hit Man and Silencers were mailed to him by the defendants shortly thereafter.

3. Defendants had no other known contact with Perry and no contacts with Lawrence Horn.

4. Defendants concede, for purposes of this motion, and for no other purposes, that:

a. defendants engaged in a marketing strategy intended to attract and assist criminals and wouldbe criminals who desire information and instructions on how to commit crimes; and

b. in publishing, marketing, advertising and distributing Hit Man and Silencers, defendants intended and had knowledge that their publications would be used, upon receipt, by criminals and wouldbe criminals to plan and execute the crime of murder for hire, in the manner set forth in the publications.

c. The conditional factual concessions made in this ¶ 4 relate only to the defendants' state of mind, and do not preclude defen dants from contending that defendants' published words, in and of themselves, were neither directed at causing imminent unlawful action nor likely to produce such action, for purposes of the doctrine of Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969).

5. Plaintiffs concede, for purposes of this motion and for no other purposes, that:

a. defendants' marketing strategy was and is intended to maximize sales of its publications to the public, including sales to (i) authors who desire information for the purpose of writing books about crime and criminals, (ii) law enforcement officers and agencies who desire information concerning the means and methods of committing crimes, (iii) persons who enjoy reading accounts of crimes and the means of committing them for pur poses of entertainment, (iv) persons who fantasize about com mitting crimes but do not thereafter commit them, and (v) criminologists and others who study criminal methods and men tality.

b. in publishing, marketing, advertising and distributing Hit Man and Silencers, as well as other publications, defendants intended and had knowledge that their publications would be purchased by members of the general public, including those persons and for those purposes listed in ¶ 5(a).

c. The conditional factual concessions made in this ¶ 5 shall not preclude the plaintiffs from contending that such facts are irrelevant to any issue before this court.

6. On March 3, 1993, James Perry traveled from Detroit, Michigan to Montgomery County, Maryland and murdered Mil dred Horn, Trevor Horn, and Janice Saunders, Trevor's private duty nurse. Perry followed a number of instructions outlined in Hit Man and Silencers (set forth in¶ 7 below) in planning, exe cuting and attempting to get away with the murders described in the complaint.

7. Defendants concede, for the purpose of this motion and for no other purposes, that in publishing, distributing and selling Hit Man and Silencers to Perry, defendants assisted him in the subsequent perpetration of the murders which are the subject of this litigation, in the ways set forth in paragraphs 18 and 19 of the Rice complaint and paragraphs 20 and 21 of the Saunders complaint which are incorporated by reference and are filed herewith as exhibit "D".

8. Hit Man was first published in 1983 and Silencers was first published in 1983. Approximately 13,000 copies of Hit Man and an unknown but not disproportionate number of copies of Silencers have been sold nationally.

9. At all relevant times, defendants had no specific knowl edge (1) that either Perry or Horn planned to commit a crime; (2) that Perry and Horn had entered into a conspiracy for the pur pose of committing a crime; and (3) that Perry had been retained by Horn to murder Mildred Horn, Trevor Horn, or Janice Saunders.

10. The defendants' current catalogue, and publications Hit Man and Silencers are filed herewith by the parties as exhibits A, B and C, respectively.

11. The parties may file affidavits or supplement but not alter the foregoing stipulation. Plaintiffs reserve the right to chal lenge defendants' affidavits declarations with counteraffidavits or pursuant to F.R.C.P. 56.

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Copyright © 1998 Jean Goodwin. All rights reserved.
Last updated 9 January 1998
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