Hey, Kids-Don't Mix Fishing and Parking
"Policeman Carved Up For Parking Space" deadpanned the Moskovsky Komsomolets headline this past Sunday, allowing yet another grisly and spectacularly pointless Moscow murder to be chronicled for humanity in the in the paper's trademark oh-by-the-way tone. The death of 37 year-old "Ecological
What Did You Expect?
Just try, if you can, to think up a surer formula for tragic violence than this: four penniless adult men-one a hypersensitive ex-con desperate to avoid trouble, the other three a family of bullying paranoid hicks-- all alone together deep in the wilds of the Polar north, holed up in a tiny fishing shack miles from anywhere, and armed to the teeth with shotguns and vodka. This ultimate Recipe For Trouble actually crystallized on the quiet shores of the White Sea last spring, in a tiny village called Gridino, now home to about a thousand settlers and three as-yet-undiscovered corpses. According to Dorzhny Patrul magazine, the incident began when Ivan Mekhnin, a three-time loser who had just finished serving out a sixteen-year bid for murder, went out fishing by himself one morning at an estuary miles from town. In the afternoon, after weathering a full day of slow luck, he noticed a small motorboat approaching. In the boat were the Nifakins, young brothers Alexander and Vitaly, and their worthless drunkard father, Yevgeny.
"Want a drink?" shouted the old man at Mekhnin. "No thanks," answered the
From hereon in Mekhnin's story gets a little strange. He claims Vitaly became increasingly belligerent as he drank, finally insisting that he had "always hated" Mekhnin and would "kill him right now" if he had a reason, while "as it is I'll just kill you later." Mekhnin then claims he lost his temper and called Vitaly an "osyel", at which point Hick Daddy Nifakin got up and screamed at his son to "show this fucker where the crayfish spend the winter" ("gde raki zimuyut"). Vitaly complied and socked Mekhnin in the jaw. A melee ensued...in the end, Mekhnin was laid out on the floor of the cabin unconscious, having been kicked repeatedly in the head and left for dead. The family then, according to Mekhnin, went outside to continue drinking. Arctic Massacre, scene six: action! Mekhnin roused himself, grabbed the rifle, went outside, and shouted, "You'll never set foot in this place again, Nifakins!", firing at the group. The younger brother Alexander, called Sanka, dropped to the ground, head gone. Mekhnin disappeared back into the shack to reload. Survivor Vitaly got ahold of the other rifle, the one in the boat, and a full-fledged gunfight ensued; when Papa snuck around the back of the shack, Mekhnin blew him away as he entered. Finally he shot Vitaly dead through a window.
At this point, Mekhnin offers an unusual defense. "I would never have been able to explain this," he said. "So I had to bury the bodies and burn the clothes and cover up any trace that they'd been there." A few peaceful hours in the wilderness followed while Mekhnin methodically gathered the bodies, tied them together, towed them offshore and sank them in the icy water, watching as gas from their stomachs escaped the bodies in bubbles. The Nifakin boat he sent out to sea. Anyone passing the shack from the water would then have seen a bonfire going, as Mekhnin burned their clothes and belongings on the beach. He then scrubbed the cabin down and returned to town.
As it happened, Papa Nifakin's brother was a cop, and he went looking for his relatives after they'd been missing for a few days. Mekhnin's shack was inspected and traces of blood were found, as were Papa Nifakin's keys at the bonfire site. Mekhnin was picked up and interrogated. He soon confessed to all three murders. Ironically, Russian law prohbits the issuance of the death penalty in murder cases unless bodies are found, so because the victims never surfaced, Mekhnin for his fourth offense got fifteen years instead of a bullet in the head. When asked why the bodies weren't where he said he dumped them, the ex-con answered, "Maybe the fish ate them."
Forward Contract Killings
Just over a month ago, the largest single mass-murder slaying was discovered on a farm near Uglovoye, a small village outside of Orenburg.
The first two corpses discovered were those of the farm owners, Konstantin Boikin and his wife, Nadezhda Sabkalova. Their bodies, which had been gnawed apart by pigs to the point that they were barely recognizable, were found on the floor of a shed. They also found the body of the farm's watchman there.
Later, in the cottage, they discovered the body of Boikin's cook, Lyubov Zhitnik, and her five-year-old grandson, Stasik Zinchuk. The grandson had just stopped by from a neighboring village to say hello.
Two farm workers, Iosef Bergert and Alexander Zakharov, were missing, making them suspects numeros unos... until a certain fetid odor attracted the authorities attention. There they found, buried in the basement, the two ex-suspects' decomposed bodies.
Authorities haven't yet solved the septuple murder case, although they are said to be investigating the possibility that it is linked to a large loan taken out by Boikin from a local bank just a few weeks before the murder. In the few days leading up to the murder, Boikin was said to have been extremely agitated.
The fact that the murders were all carried out in an extremely efficient manner, all with clean shots to the head, suggests that it wasn't some small-time Seryozh Sorokin type who executed them, but rather, professionals.
Which is to say... drum roll please... "The investigation is continuing."