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  •   'Are We Talking About an Obituary?'

    A conversation on June 7, 1997, between Ruthann Aron and Montgomery County police Detective Terry Ryan, who is posing as a hit man:

    [Aron tells Ryan she wants to "read about someone in the obits."]

    TR: I'm not playing games....

    RA: I hope you don't think I am.

    TR: At this point, I don't, but you need to give me some assurances that you mean business.

    RA: I understand why you ask that, and you have to realize, and I don't want you to take offense at this, I need to know I can trust you. Obviously, you need the same thing.

    TR: You don't know me. I don't know you.

    RA: That's better that way.

    TR: That's good. I am satisfied on my end because of the way you came to it.

    RA: Okay. And I feel somewhat [unintelligible]

    TR: Okay. We can do some things to assure your end.

    RA: Okay.

    TR: How about this. ... [I have] no idea who we are talking about.

    RA: Right. Is that gonna matter?

    [unintelligible conversation takes place]

    RA: ... Yeah, but if it has to be an accident?

    TR: If it has to be an accident?

    RA: Yeah. [pause] I shouldn't say "has to be," preferred.

    TR: That's a big terminology.... Let's say 10 is a cap.

    RA: Okay.

    TR: And understand that I am not gonna keep coming back to the well.

    RA: Oh, gee, I hope not.

    TR: But if there's expenses associated with [unintelligible] an accident.

    RA: I understand.

    TR: Hotel rooms, [unintelligible].

    RA: I understand.

    TR: [unintelligible]

    RA: I understand.

    TR: Okay.

    RA: Not a problem. So, if it's gonna be or it's preferred to be an accident at 10K plus whatever expenses there may be.

    [more conversation]

    TR: ... Okay. Are we talking about an obituary?

    RA: Right.

    TR: Okay. That's all you need for confirmation?

    RA: Correct.

    TR: Okay. Here's how we can proceed. I need to know who I am looking at.

    RA: Hmm, hmm.

    TR: ... information that I can get from you in advance [unintelligible] less expense on your part. In other words, if I don't have to do a lot of homework. ...

    RA: Yeah.

    TR: Then, uh

    RA: You're talking about a, like a, [unintelligible] or maybe a photo.

    TR: Yes. [unintelligible]

    RA: Got that. I figured that might [unintelligible].

    TR: Even a good physical description if you don't have a picture. If I am not sure after I take a look, then I'll try to reach you [unintelligible].

    RA: Where will I meet you after today? Tell me what works for you.

    TR: Are photographs feasible, or is that difficult?

    RA: I will try.... What I thought I would do is see if I can accomplish that this week.

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