Issue #22/77, November 5 - 18, 1999  smlogo.gif

Death Porn

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Moscow Babylon
Book Review


low-yield murder

"control shot"


really stupid criminal


cries for help ignored


"investigation continuing"

carved up like a turkey

related to victim's job


riddled with bullets

old people

Hunger-related murder


He was bold. He was impetuous. He had a powerful libidinous urge. And in a pinch, he knew how to make creative use of a vacuum cleaner. Moskovsky Komsomolets last week told the story of a 24-year-old criminal who had
pen2.gif  "This is, without a doubt, the finest sperm bank I've ever visited."
everything he needed for success--except brains. The unnamed Muscovite was sentenced last week to life imprisonment following his conviction in the double murder of a 33-year-old accountant and her 11-year-old son last year. The bloody crime grew out of a seemingly harmless fraud scheme of the type that passes for a respectable day job in today's Moscow. The young man created and even legally registered a company that advertised itself as a respectable plastic-window installation firm. Upon securing a client, the culprit would show up on the premises, do a few days of work, then ask the clients for an advance to secure more materials. Once they gave it up, he'd take the money and run. It was so simple, it was ingenious. The only catch was that sometimes the clients were cautious. This was the case with the accountant and her family. She had reason to be careful; the culprit first appeared to work in 1996, only to disappear for more than a year before suddenly returning last November with apologies and promises to complete the job. He set up shop again, started work, and then asked for the usual advance. The family declined. Perturbed, the villain decided to solve the advance question unilaterally, letting himself into the apartment when he thought the family was away at the dacha. With an
pen2.gif  "Just one more hit, then I'm quitting. Really. I mean it this time. Guys?"
expert's intuition he crept into the bedroom and threw open the bedside chest containing a mother lode of 16,000 rubles. Tragically, his scheme appeared to be thwarted when the woman and her son came home unexpectedly--only the husband, as it turned out, was at the dacha. But the thief was not to be put off his catch that quickly. He attacked the woman with a knife, stabbing her several times in the chest, and then chased the son down and strangled him with the power cord of a vacuum cleaner. Then... well, this is the part where the narrator usually writes, "He calmly grabbed the money and left the apartment." But that's not what happened. The amateur killer was so freaked out that he immediately jumped on the Metro, and, according to MK, spent most of the rest of the evening riding around in circles on the ring line to calm his nerves. This must have worked, because when he finally emerged, the first thing he did was hire a hooker and a room in the Ukraina Hotel. Apparently intent on energetically fulfilling the first half of some fatalistic plan of action he'd settled on while riding the Metro, he then spent the next few days partying with whores there at the hotel before turning himself in and confessing. The police had already settled on him as the chief suspect, as it turned out, and his photo was being shown on television by the time his binge at the Ukraina started.

Once in custody, the killer's fate was seemingly sealed, but he still had a few more surprises left in him. In court this past month he took a page from Susan Smith's book, blaming the murder on three mysterious Caucasians after recanting his confession on the grounds that it had been beaten out of him. Despite the seeming logic involved in his choice of defense, the court balked and gave him the maximum sentence--first-time killers in Russia seldom get more than fifteen years. Prosecutors even added an extra charge for fraud and got him there, too. Sorry, Charlie. Or, as they said in GoodFellas, see ya in Attica, dick.


Every wonder where all those great masses of D-grade prostitutes you see standing out at night in places like the Dinamo Metro station and... well, hell, everywhere else in Moscow these days--ever wonder where those girls come from, or how they get there? A clue surfaced last week in Pskov oblast, where local authorities pulled a television commercial that had been running on state TV for over two months and which promised young girls high-paying jobs in
pen2.gif  "OK, try to remember now--did you repeatedly sodomize the guy before or after you shot his balls off?"
Moscow. The ad claimed that successful candidates would be paid up to $1000 a month to sell cigarettes and other junk in Moscow kiosks, and as an added bonus, employees would also receive Moscow propiski. Naturally, the company was really seeking prostitutes, but that wasn't what got them in trouble. According to the newspaper Segodnya, the same company was also going around town in Pskov looking up invalids and offering them similar package deals for work in Moscow. Police intervened when one such handicapped person, a certain wheelchair-bound Galina Puchkova, complained to authorities that she and all her other handicapped acquaintances in Pskov had been approached by the same company. It seemed the pimping firm was branching out into the by-now well-respected Russian practice of importing legless folks into Moscow and hiring them to beg for money in the subways. The 10,000-ruble question at the moment is how the gang got hold of the local invalid list. It goes without saying, of course, that the local invalid societies are above suspicion in this question. No word yet on whether any of the Pskov hires were two-sport players for the company's Moscow teams. The eXile nonetheless counsels caution and sensitivity in the wake of this news: next time you drift up to Dinamo at 3 a.m. with the headlights of your tinted-windowed vehicle dimmed, make sure the passenger seat has handicap access.


Here's a story that will almost certainly be rewritten for publication as a cautionary tale should the Russian Mafia ever publish its own Anarchist's Cookbook. In the chapter entitled, "How to Blow Up the Civilian Vehicle of an Uncooperative Detective," students should be counseled to recall the events of last Monday, when a bomb went off in the Podmoskovny town of Korolev. According to various news reports, the explosion rocked the city at about 4 a.m. that
pen2.gif  "Now that I have a young daughter to put to work on the streets, my long-suffering wife can finally give up hooking and learn to cook."
day, snapping awake residents of the Trudovaya Ulitsa area. The apparent target of the bomb was a Jeep Grand Cherokee parked on the street that belonged to a senior investigator in the local Criminal Investigation division of the police (if you're a Russian cop-acronym fanatic and were wondering, that would be KUR, or Korolevsky Ugolovny Rozysk). The Jeep was successfully blown up, but the crime was not exactly a seamless one. For one thing, the car was parked outside of the local office of the (get ready, alphabet-soup fans) OGIBDD, the bastard child of the Oblast GAI, now known as the Oblast State Inspectorate for Traffic Safety. It goes without saying that the street in front of a building full of cops is probably not the best place to perform acts of pyrotechnic terrorism. Secondly, the culprit apparently did not have full mastery of his discipline. Cops arriving on the scene quickly apprehended a young man who had a crude bandage on one hand, while his other arm had been blown off to mid-shoulder. Doctors are attempting to save the life of the suspect, who has not yet recovered to the point of being able to give police the confession they will need to lock him up for the next dozen years or so. Police have reason to suspect that the bombing was in some mysterious way connected to the detective's professional activities, but there has been no concrete information on that score released to date.

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