Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Joe Hunt: White Collar Psychopath

The Next Scheme

Less than two weeks after Levin's murder, Reza Eslaminia got to know the boys. They invited him to a party, which impressed him and made him want to become part of the BBC. By some accounts, he talked up his father's wealth from the opium trade. It was but a short step from there to "Project Sam," the kidnapping scheme. Since Hedayat was about to leave for a European trip, the boys had to hurry. As they had done with Ron Levin, they could use the fact that he was already scheduled to be out of town as a way to throw suspicion for his disappearance onto someone else.

However, on July 30, when they grabbed the Iranian, they screwed up and he died. Joe, Dean, and Ben took the trunk to the safe house they'd rented, ate dinner next to it, and talked about what to do next. They removed the body from the trunk, wrapped it in a tarp, and then deposited the body in Soledad Canyon. Dean Karny recalled watching it tumble down the hill. He felt sick that he'd participated in this night's work.

Reza Eslaminia
Reza Eslaminia

Joe believed that the unexpected death could still work in their favor. They could forge Hedayat's signature and get into some of his accounts. However, it turned out that Reza had exaggerated his father's holdings. Most of the bank accounts they found were low on funds or empty.

Ben and Reza prepared to go to Switzerland with a forged document granting the assets to Reza. As they left, things were heating up for Joe at home. Tom had joined forces with his brother, Dave, and along with a few of the others, had grabbed some incriminating documents.

The investigators who were working with the boys still did not feel they had enough to make a case. Detective Les Zoeller decided to search Levin's home to see if they could find the document that Joe supposedly left there. Levin's father let them in. Eventually they did find the contract, but even more interesting was something that Levin's father handed over. He'd found seven pages from a yellow legal pad filled with odd handwriting — a list of some kind — and he did not know what to make of it.

But Zoeller did. It was clearly a murder list. Now they had a piece of important evidence, if only they could link the handwriting to Hunt or one of his cronies.

Tom May, prosecution witness
Tom May, prosecution witness

Zoeller left a message on Tom May's answering machine for him to call. A suspicious Joe Hunt, searching May's apartment for the missing documents, listened to it. He realized that he had traitors in the ranks. To him, that meant war.

Joe attempted to get Dave and Tom to meet him out at the warehouse where the Cyclotron machine had been built. He wanted to talk. Wary of him now, they refused. He kicked them out of the BBC and confiscated the pink slip to Tom's car. That wasn't sufficient to get Tom to cooperate. He'd rather lose the car than his life.

Back with the boys he still trusted, Joe made plans to commit more crimes — including the murder of a girl — and to use them to frame the defectors. That way, they would be discredited as well as arrested. Then he detailed a plan to use a truck to run the May twins off the road. His enemies had to be eliminated.

The remaining BBC boys were beginning to wonder about Joe. He was sounding crazy.