A ‘Coast-to-Coast Conspiracy Of Death’ On The Hit Man Podcast

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Hit Man has been following the case of Millie Horn, her eight-year-old son Trevor, and Trevor’s nurse Janice Saunders, who were murdered in Millie’s home in Silver Spring, Maryland in March of 1993. In previous episodes, we learned about the step-by-step instructions laid out and likely followed by their killer in the book Hit Man: A Technical Manual For Independent Contractors. We heard about Millie’s estranged husband, Lawrence T. Horn, a sound engineer who left an incredible legacy in Motown, working on hits by The Supremes, Junior Walker and the All-Stars, and the Temptations. And we discovered how this same Motown legend cold-bloodedly plotted to kill his wife and son so he could inherit Trevor’s estate, a trust fund of over $1 million Trevor was awarded in a lawsuit: an accident at the Children’s Hospital deprived him of oxygen for several minutes, leaving him severely brain-damaged. On this episode, host Jasmyn Morris takes us through the investigation that finally cornered Lawrence T. Horn.

As soon as Millie, Trevor, and Janice were found dead, the rest of the Horn family immediately suspected Lawrence. The lawsuit had been pursued by Millie only to get the money she would need to adequately take care of Trevor, and during the process, Lawrence had made it clear how important the money was to him, insisting on getting his own payment out of it. After Millie’s insurance ran out, the family had to start dipping into Trevor’s trust fund, and Millie became very nervous, insisting that Trevor should never be left alone with Lawrence. Detectives were inclined to agree: they began looking into him, and “compiled a ton of circumstantial evidence. There were surveillance tapes of Millie's house found in Lawrence's apartment, a map of Millie's neighborhood, and even an accidental recording on his answering machine that seemed to be him and the contract killer confirming the hit,” Jasmyn tells us. “What investigators were really struggling with was that there was no actual connection between Lawrence Horn and James Perry.” James Perry was the alleged hit man; he left behind no physical evidence, but the police found out that he’d bought the Hit Man manual, “and it laid out what investigators called a blueprint for the crimes. In fact, he seemed to have followed something like two dozen of its recommendations for a successful hit.” Lawrence had planned his crime carefully; prosecutor Bob Dean says succinctly, “He spent his time in 1992 crafting a coast-to-coast conspiracy of death.” 

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Within a week of the murders, the family also pursued a civil case against Lawrence in addition to the criminal case. Maryland’s “slayer rule” prevents a killer from inheriting from his or her victim, and the family was determined to use it to keep Lawrence from draining the trust fund while the investigation was going on. “It was a case that would run parallel to the police investigation and provide law enforcement with a number of insights and leads,” Jasmyn says. Mainly because, in 1994, knowing that he and everyone involved was under intense investigation, Lawrence sat down with the civil prosecutors for two days of questioning. “He hadn't been indicted yet,” one of the attorneys, Trish Weaver, says. “Nobody had been indicted...he could have come to that deposition and asserted his Fifth Amendment privilege and not answered any of the questions.” But that doesn’t look good in a civil case: “He apparently was not willing to risk losing that money.” 

Tune in to learn how investigators finally connected the dots between Lawrence and James, how Lawrence gave himself away in his deposition, and hear the phone calls between Lawrence and his conspirators as his alibi started to crumble around him, on this episode of Hit Man

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