Monday, 10 November 2014

The Wolf of Moscow

The notion that nearly all serial killers are located in the USA, although probably the majority are, they are certainly all around the world.  More revelations about serial killers operating in the former Soviet Union are emerging.  We have had the "Red Ripper" "The Terminator" and The "Chessboard Killer" and I feel inclined to include Stalin and that hero of the left, Lenin.  But around the time of these two "heroes," Moscow did have a serial killer operating between 1921 and 1923.  A killer that was called "The Wolf" by the Police after Police found twenty one bodies of men.  All had been securely bound and put inside burlap sacks and then  simply dumped on waste ground in Moscow`s Shabolovki district.  Police had found a possible clue because most of the victims were discovered on Thursdays and Saturdays.  There was a horse market on Wednesdays and Fridays, so it was reasonable to assume that the victims were people who attended the market.  But they were unable to proceed beyond this deduction.

    But what led to the downfall of the killer was local gossip amongst the traders on the market.  They thought that it was strange that trader Vasili Komaroff was a man who hardly bothered to take horses to the market but he had a good stream of customers leaving with him.  This gossip reached the ears of the authorities.  Vasili Komaroff was a pleasant and seemingly gentle horse trader who owned some stables in Shabolovki.  Despite his gentle nature, enquiries revealed that Komaroff had a violent temper that exploded often onto his family.  Police decided to raid his stables and during a thorough search, a body in a burlap sack, tied up, was discovered buried in a pile of hay.  Both Komaroff and his wife were arrested and taken in for questioning.

    Komaroff confessed to the crimes, saying that he believed he had killed more than thirty men.  He led Police to another five bodies, and said that he had also dumped a number of bodies in the Moskva River.  They were never found.  He was charged, along with his wife, with the murders and both were convicted in June 1923.  Both were sentenced to death, and retribution was swift.  They were both executed by firing squad on June 18th 1923.  What was never made clear was the motive.  There did not seem to be one.  This brings to mind the not often reported fact that on his way to the chair, Bundy was asked , Why?  His reply was "Because I wanted to."  Is it too much for society to contemplate that there are many people who kill simply for no reason?