According to Nasdaq.com, a Minnesota man who killed his wife but tried to make it look like suicide in November 2016 was later caught by the FBI because an ethical hacker breached the database of a darknet website offering hitman services and leaked the data.
Stephen Allwine, 43, of Cottage Grove, Minnesota, an IT specialist who had been frequenting the infidelity site Ashley Madison for trysts with other women, wanted his wife Amy dead, so he went on the Dark Web to contact a supposed murder-for-hire site called “Besa Mafia.” Because of the ethical hacker’s actions, the FBI had contacted the Cottage Grove Police Department to inform them that someone was trying to hire a hit man on the Dark Web to kill Amy Allwine. In June, 2016, an FBI agent met with the Allwines to let them know someone was out to kill Amy and to advise them to install a security system at the house. Soon after that, Stephen Allwine purchased a 9-millimeter handgun; the same one used to later murder his wife.
Stephen Allwine told police that the day his wife was murdered, he had worked in his home office until 10 a.m., when he went upstairs and his wife said she was feeling lightheaded, groggy and dizzy. He said she declined his offer to go to the doctor, so he returned to his office and checked her intermittently.
Allwine said he called his wife’s parents at roughly 2 p.m. and asked them to pick up his nine-year-old son; then, at 5 p.m., went upstairs and found his wife kneeling in prayer. He and his wife had originally met when they attended Ambassador University, a small religious school in Texas.
Allwine said he told his wife he was going to pick up their son and take him to a class at a gym. He said he was on his way to Amy’s parents, but realized he forgot his son’s gym shorts at home. He picked up their son, took him to a restaurant, then returned home, where they found Amy dead with a gunshot wound to the head in the bedroom. He said his son asked, “Why is Mommy sitting on the floor?”
Police found that story suspicious; the gun was lying next to Amy’s left elbow, but she was right-handed; she had no gunpowder residue and no blood on her hands. But Stephen Allwine had a particle on his right hand consistent with gunshot residue. Amy Allwine was found to have a huge dose of scopolamine in her body; the drug can erase a person’s memory and render them incapable of exercising free will.
Amy Allwine had a $700,000 life insurance policy.
Stephen Allwine denied knowing anything about the Dark Web, but an examination of his computer showed he had visited it as early as 2014. On February 15, 2016, “dogdaygod” emailed the Besa Mafia website asking how much it would cost to kill Amy Allwine and make it look like a car accident. Besa Mafia responded it would do so for $6,000, and bitcoins could be used for payment. The next day, “dogdaygod” posted on the hit site that the “target” would be traveling to Moline, Illinois; the website responded that the assassination could be executed, but nothing happened.
Besa Mafia recommended to “dogdaygod” to use a sniper, for a payment of $12,000. Finally, Alwine and the site agreed to have Amy Allwine killed in her home and then have the house burned down, but that never happened either.
Next, in May, 2016, “dogdaygod” visited the Dark Web, asking if anyone could sell scopolamine in the Minneapolis area.
It was in May 2016 that a hacker called “bRpsd” breached “Besa Mafia,” then uploaded the data dump to a public internet website to show the site was a scam. One message posted by a Besa Mafia administrator read, “[T]his website is to scam criminals of their money. We report them for 2 reasons: to stop murder, this is moral and right; to avoid being charged with conspiracy to murder or association to murder, if we get caught.”
In July, 2016, Amy received an email urging her to kill herself.
As Nasdaq.com reported:
As the officers analyzed her husband’s devices, they discovered the suspect had accessed the dark web as early as 2014. Furthermore, investigators identified the pseudonym Mr. Allwine used on the darknet, “dogdaygod,” which was also linked to his email, “firstname.lastname@example.org,” in some cases. Detectives found bitcoin addresses in the conversations between Besa Mafia and Mr. Allwine, which linked the husband directly to the “dogdaygod” pseudonym, providing authorities with necessary evidence for the case.
On March 24, 2017, the Washington County District Court charged Stephen Allwine with first-degree murder .