In a weird and convoluted true-life crime tale worthy of pulp-a-licious Quentin Tarantino treatment, the gavel of rigorous justice has smacked down a man who hired two hitmen too many:
A Philadelphia jury on Thursday convicted an Austrian native of hiring an inmate to kill his wife, then hiring another inmate to kill the first intended hitman after the scheme went sour.
Maikel Pouliczek, 30, was found guilty of two counts each of solicitation to commit murder, witness intimidation and retaliation against a witness or victim.
The victim met Pouliczek in the couple’s home country of Austria before she traveled to the United States to work as a research scientist. When Pouliczek joined her in 2008, he began to regularly beat the woman, according to investigators. He also demanded she marry him so he could get a green card, threatening to kill her 13-year-old daughter and to have her mother and sister raped and killed in Austria if she didn’t comply.
Prosecutors said the “terrified” victim married Pouliczek, who for months continued to assault her and to control her by screening her calls, checking her work email and driving her to and from work. Pouliczek would call Austria in the victim’s presence and direct others to stalk her sister and mother, according to investigators.
It wasn’t until Pouliczek was arrested and jailed for an unrelated incident, during which he allegedly threatened a contractor with a gun, that the victim felt safe enough to call police and report the abuse. Pouliczek was then charged with two counts each of making terroristic threats and simple assault.
While in custody for the assaults, Pouliczek solicited a fellow inmate to have his wife and her daughter killed at their Philadelphia home in exchange for $50,000. Authorities said he provided the inmate with a map detailing the best way to enter their house, along with descriptions of each intended victim and what rooms they would be sleeping in. The inmate cooperated with police, and Pouliczek was charged with solicitation to commit murder, retaliating against a victim or witness and obstructing the administration of law.