The hitman who killed the judges in The Pelican Brief has gotten himself close to Darby Shaw and is about to do her in when at the last second someone shoots him instead. Who killed the assassin? How'd they know who he was and when he would make his move?

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    Not an answer, as I would need to do more research, but: we don't know. In the book it was the CIA (unnamed). In the screenplay again, unnamed CIA. I'd need to watch the movie to answer for that, though. The other side (against the CIA) is never really identified as other than Mattise's group.
    – CGCampbell
    Commented May 2, 2022 at 15:58

1 Answer 1


It was done by CIA.

At the end of the movie, the FBI director Voyles has this conversation with Darby

From the script:

Who killed the man who masqueraded as Gavin Verheek?

You mean the assassin, Khamel. Off the record, the man who killed Khamel is a contract operative hired independently by the C.I.A.

As to how did they know - Voyles was of course very suspicious and refused to follow President's order to "back off" from the investigation. CIA was also interested in removing this famous terrorist and both organizations were informed that he most likely has arrived in Denver.

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