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dusk on July 21, and dawn, July 22, four women were murdered on
the streets of Moscow. The total number of victims — all women
— stands at ten since July 1.
city of ten million, capitol of the Russian Federation, have a serial
killer preying on its women? Or does it, as some locals insist,
have two serial killers at work? Or, as the police suggest, are
two killers insufficient to accommodate all the victims who, they
say, have little in common?
six victims were strangled, some manually, some with ligatures fashioned
from their own clothing. Some were tortured and sexually assaulted.
On slaughter night this past weekend, one victim was strangled,
one was strangled and bludgeoned, one was bludgeoned, and one died
from having her head smashed against a concrete structure.
of the victims is seventeen to thirty-five. Seven of the ten victims
were found in the northern section of the city.
1, Yulia Bondareva, 28, walked in the botanical gardens at noon
with her boyfriend. The couple parted, and Yulia walked toward the
Metro. Her body was discovered an hour later. She had been gagged
with a piece of her shirt, sexually assaulted, beaten, and strangled.
Police discovered the body of Kseniya Medintsevaya, 17, in the courtyard
of a kindergarten. Her dress was ripped open, her face smeared with
blood. She had been beaten, sexually assaulted, and strangled. Police
know that Kseniya was in her apartment at 11 PM the previous night.
They found her body before dawn.
4, police found the nearly nude body of Irena Gera, 28, sexually
assaulted, and strangled with her pocketbook strap. She had lived
in the central part of the city, several miles from where she died.
A twenty-five-year-old Ukrainian prostitute, Alexandra, was the
next victim. She was strangled in her apartment, one end of a belt
from a piece of clothing tied around her neck, the other end tied
to a doorknob.
11, not far from where police had discovered Alexandra, they found
the half-naked body of Elena Tolokonnikova, 32, a teacher. She had
been out with friends the previous evening. She never made it home.
Police found the decomposing body of a woman near a pond. The corpse
has not yet been identified, but it is apparent that, like all the
victims, she was slender and wore her hair long.
have organized a task force to investigate the killings. Alexei
Vakhromeyev of the Criminal Investigations Directorate insists there
is insufficient evidence to link the crimes. Some victims were manually
strangled, some strangled with ligatures, some beaten. Most were
killed in the city’s north; some were killed several miles
away in the northeast. CID investigators have not ruled out the
possibility of a series killer, but Vakhromeyev believes that such
a killer would execute all his victims in the same manner.
Seventeen-year-old student Tatyana Nikishina was victim seven. Her
killer had attempted to sexually assault her, then strangled her
with her bra, leaving her body in Moscow’s northwest. Police
have not released the names of the other three victims.
police official characterized the murders as "coincidences,"
but frightened Muscovites are forming their own conclusions. Men
go out to do errands; wives choose to remain inside; daughters are
kept at home. Details of the murders are admittedly sparse, but
a few suggested avenues of inquiry are in order. Despite police
protestations, serial killers do not always kill the same way. The
prostitute, Alexandra, was the only victim whose body was not found
outdoors. She had been working at a nearby market and could have
picked up a man she thought was a client, or simply been followed
home. One of the unnamed Friday-night victims was struck with a
blunt object from behind; another was slammed against a concrete
structure. With no further details, it is impossible to hazard a
guess about linkage. Why did Kseniya Medintsevaya leave her apartment
after eleven PM? Yulia Bondareva, the first known victim, was attacked
and killed in a public park in broad daylight. How and why did Irena
Gera travel from her home to city’s northern section?
eight of these homicides appear to be linked. If this is the case,
the Moscow serial killer has a voracious appetite, selecting victims
at a terrifying rate. With a coordinated investigation only now
getting underway, the killer has a headstart on the CID and the
forecast is not good.
Serial Killer in Moscow?
Philpin, 2003 All Rights Reserved -- Do not reproduce in any form
or circulate without permission. --
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