Update: Serial Killer in Moscow? By John Philpin
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Slaughter Night in Moscow

The refrain is familiar.

Whether the announcement comes from a Minister of the Interior in Moscow, or a Police Chief in Baton Rouge, the flat statement that there is no connection among a number of killings that certainly appear linked, ranks right up there in veracity with Bush administration assertions about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.

In June 2002, Chief Pat Englade told a gathering that no evidence existed to link several years’ worth of murders of women in the Baton Rouge area. A month later, he was eating his words. On July 23 of this year, Boris Gryzlov, Russian Interior Minister, said the ten women killed in Moscow since July 1 were killed by different assailants.

Right. And those WMD will turn up any day now.

To support his claim, Gryzlov said that three men had been arrested on July 19, and that a length of flexible metal — presumably the murder weapon — had been seized. The suspects were not named; the charges against them were not identified. It was clearly an act of hooliganism, Gryzlov told the press.

There were six murders prior to the nineteenth — four were stranglings, and no details about the other two were released. Through the night from July 20-21, four more women were murdered on Moscow’s streets. The city has more than a problem with hooliganism.

At least seven of the victims have been short in stature, slender, with fair complexions and long, light-colored hair. At least six were well-educated. Most were sexually assaulted.

As the Baton Rouge serial killer investigation progressed, police discovered assaults similar to the murders, attacks that the victims had survived. Although the information has not been released to the Russian media, Moscow investigators have found three surviving victims who have provided similar detailed descriptions of their assailant. Police are looking for a white male, aged 35-40, 170-175 cm in height, thin face, short hair, bushy eyebrows, small eyes, large nose, and thick lips, probably wearing a dark-colored T-shirt and jeans. He selects his locations, conceals himself in bushes or behind fences, then attacks unsuspecting victims as they walk past.

The first real break in the case seemed to have come on July 23. A woman watching from her apartment called police when she saw a man step from a wooded area opposite her home, and grab a female pedestrian by the throat. He dragged her to the ground and into the bushes. Police caught the man, and immediately began an investigation of his possible role in the city’s string of unsolved murders.

Then, on Monday, July 28, police discovered the body of a 42-year-old woman Moscow’s northwest. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled — the second victim found in a schoolyard, the eleventh victim since July 1.

Boris Gryzlov’s Ministry is now reconsidering its position on whether there is a serial killer at large in Moscow.

©John Philpin, 2003 All Rights Reserved -- Do not reproduce in any form or circulate without permission. -- Information available exclusively through Karisable.com

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