How gangster methods of torture and hiding bodies have changed since the 90s

Hide and seek with the deceased

The fact that the body of an unknown man was found on the bank of the Moscow Canal was reported on July 31 at the Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation in the Moscow Region.

The body was in the water for at least seven days and was severely disfigured, so it was not immediately possible to establish the identity. Apparently, the killers hoped that the corpse would stay in the water much longer: for this they tied a piece of iron reinforcement to the body with a clothesline.

The sinker was not heavy enough, and the body surfaced. Moscow region investigators will have to establish the identity of the murdered and the criminals, as well as all the circumstances of the crime.

This is not the first alarm call from the criminal world: on July 9, in the very center of Moscow, near the Luzhnetskaya embankment, they caught the corpse of a 50-year-old man guns wrapped in a sleeping bag with a hot wound to the head.

As it turned out later, he was the personal driver of the owner of a chain of restaurants in the capital.

Employees of the Department of the Investigative Committee in Moscow managed to identify the killers: they turned out to be 57-year-old Valery Kolobov and his two sons — 20-year-old Vladimir and 23-year-old Ilan. All of them were arrested and charged with murder committed by a group of persons by prior conspiracy (part 2 of Article 105 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).

According to investigators, having killed the driver, the attackers wanted to put pressure on the owner of the restaurant chain.

Such methods of getting rid of bodies were often used in the 90s, but hearing about this in 2016 is somehow unusual. What do these findings indicate? Is the criminal world going back to its old ways of working?

“The methods of getting rid of bodies have not changed much since the 90s,” says Svetlana Proskuryakova, a pathologist, forensic scientist of the highest category. — The main ones are the arson of the place where the corpse is located, whether it be a house or an apartment, dismemberment and drowning.

But there are some differences — for example, during the time of rampant crime, we came across cases when bodies were literally rolled into asphalt or poured with concrete in the basement of a car wash. Now there is no such thing. But there is another, very bad tendency — people began to disappear without a trace more often. They are called to a meeting — and then no one knows where they are. I have been observing this for the last 5 years.

That is, the criminals have learned to act more carefully and hide the bodies so that they can no longer be found.

Hungry pigs and concrete shoes

“Criminals hide corpses in a way that suits them, and it does not depend on time,” says Yuri Pigolkin, professor, head of the department of forensic medicine at the Moscow Medical Academy. THEM. Sechenov. — Today’s methods of criminals do not differ at all from those used in the dashing 90s. If the murder happened at a construction site, the body will be hidden there; can, for example, be poured with concrete.

Another popular gangster practice is double burial. The intruders find a freshly dug but empty grave in the cemetery and deepen it even further. They put the body on the bottom and cover it with earth. And later another person is buried in such a grave.

Of course, the bandits drown the bodies of their victims in various bodies of water. To prevent the deceased from floating up, a load is tied — for example, iron reinforcement or building materials. “Cement shoes” or “concrete boots” — the famous Hollywood method of executing the American mafia of the prohibition era — are used by domestic mafiosi much less often. Yet for Russia it is exotic.

Frame: the film “Big jackpot”
Frame: the film “Big jackpot”

“If we talk about the countryside, there were cases when bodies were disposed of by feeding them to pigs,” says Pigolkin. — But this rather refers not to the activities of the organized crime group, but to everyday cases, when women from disadvantaged families killed their own children. Sometimes criminals who are not distinguished by intelligence try to make a fire to burn the body, and predictably fail. In the furnaces of crematoria, where bodies are burned, the temperature is enormous — hundreds of degrees Celsius, and you can never get it on an ordinary fire. By the way, in Hollywood products (in particular, in the popular TV series “Breaking Bad”) you can find scenes when the body was disposed of by dissolving it in acid. In practice, I have never met such a thing — which, in principle, is understandable:

According to the expert, the methods of criminals who want to get rid of bodies have not changed since the 90s. The only difference is that the bandits at that time acted more openly, aggressively, and in general, the rampant crime was much greater. Now the situation is different, but the arsenal of ways that attackers cover up the traces of crimes remain the same. Pigolkin argues: the same applies to the torture that the bandits arrange. The genitals, fingers and teeth, as in the 90s, are the first to cripple.

Wiser bandits

- In the 90s, criminal elements were not distinguished by special intelligence, says Anatoly Kustov, Doctor of Law, Professor of Criminalistics. “The torture focused on pain and cruelty. Examples of torture of that time are a hot iron on the stomach, a soldering iron in the rectum, fingers and toes crushed with a hammer, prolonged and severe beatings, a bag on the head, or immersion of the head in water. Perhaps the most cruel of all gangster torture of that time was the sawmill. The person is placed on a board, which gradually drives up to the saw blade. The unfortunate man gave out everything they wanted from him.

Kustov claims: over the past years, the criminals have grown wiser. Now they beat their victims so that there are no bruises on the body. But something else is much more important: the emphasis on psychological pressure. Modern gangster methods are the rape of the wife in front of her husband, torture of the children or the parents of the victim in front of her. It would seem that the victim herself does not have physical pain in such torture, but moral suffering completely covers them.

“Modern bandits are often educated people,” says the expert. — In the 90s, there could have been no education at all, but now there are lawyers, graduates of sports universities and doctors among them. Previously, the gangsters used all the money they received on a spree, prostitutes and all kinds of joys in life. Now they are investing them in business, real estate abroad, and so on. By the way, another way to cause mental suffering is the destruction of property, such as a car or garage, in front of the victim.

Photo: Yuri Strelets
Photo: Yuri Strelets

As for hiding the bodies, according to Kustov, more than 20 years ago, about 50 percent of the bodies were simply not hidden after the murder, thereby frightening those around them. 30–35 percent of the corpses were hidden — taken to the forest and burned, drowned in water bodies or dismembered (in this case, the limbs could be scattered up to one kilometer from each other, and the head was usually burned or dissolved in acid).

Another 15–20 percent accounted for all kinds of staging — including car accidents and falls from a height. Today, the bandits, according to expert estimates, hide up to 85 percent of the corpses, and many bodies are simply not found by law enforcement agencies. In the 90s, criminals were not very scared of places not so remote, since there one could count on the support of the brotherhood. Today the bandits categorically do not want to go to jail.

“I can note two more criminal tendencies,” the expert says. — Firstly, modern criminals try to get rid of all witnesses of crimes, including children. Previously, this was not the case — more often they were still left alive. This is due to the fact that in recent years law enforcement agencies have developed a system of interrogating young witnesses, and their testimony can now send criminals to jail. In fact, a more perfect investigation has played a cruel joke: now the children who witness the crime are in mortal danger.

The second point is that it is much more difficult for bandits to take bodies to remote places, for example, out of town. They are recorded by cameras, they are being watched by neighbors, and traffic police officers can easily search their car. Therefore, criminals try to get rid of the bodies not only as reliably as possible, but also as soon as possible. It seems to me that this is precisely the reason for the recent discoveries of corpses in the Moskva River and the Moscow Canal: the killers simply tried to quickly get rid of the bodies, and found nothing better than to hide them in the water.

A lot of thugs and werewolves in uniform

It should be immediately noted that such a phenomenon as racketeering in the usual sense, that is, knocking out money from a merchant with an iron and a soldering iron, disappears. However, the police continue to face dire harassment of crime victims.

Photo: Denis Yulin / TASS
Photo: Denis Yulin / TASS

Sadists in the camp of bandits are driven by various motives — revenge, the desire to get information quickly, to knock out debt. But there is another category of fanatics — people in uniform. Alas, the servants of the sovereign, no less often than criminals, deliberately inflict suffering on people, for example, in order to obtain the necessary information or confession.

“An iron, a soldering iron is a classic, practically a thing of the past,” says a detective who worked in the field of both fighting organized crime and keeping the ranks of the police clean. — The most horrible tool of a sadist is a hairdryer. An ordinary lady’s accessory is capable of literally burning out a person’s lungs in the hands of a scumbag, if you put it in your mouth. The gang often takes revenge with limb fractures. One guy in my practice has all the main bones of the skeleton broken — tibia, radial, forearm, collarbone, and lower leg. Only the spine remained intact. He miraculously did not die of pain shock.

According to the interlocutor, until now, representatives of certain ethnic groups continue to actively use “undercover” torture. Matches, nails, blades are used.

Do not lag behind the bandits and sadists from among law enforcement officers. This is evidenced by the statistics of the prosecutor’s office on the prosecution of security officials under paragraph “a” of part 3 of Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (abuse of office with the use of violence or the threat of its use ). More often than others, this is the fault of the police and the penitentiary system.

- The arsenal is still the same, only the slang name of the methods changes, — says the operative of the own security unit. — For example, the favorite method of electric torture using the TA-57 army telephone used to be called simply “taishka”, today it is called “waiwai.”

Phone TA-57
Phone TA-57

Electroconvulsive therapy is not the only method of knocking out indications. Also in practice, the officers of their own security faced torture with oxygen starvation.

“Elephant” is when a gas mask is put on the unfortunate person’s head, then the corrugated tube is periodically blocked, depriving him of oxygen, ”says the fighter for the cleanliness of the ranks of the police. — The package is used according to the same principle. Often it is pulled over the head by placing a piece of gauze soaked in ammonia inside. So that the “client” does not lose consciousness ahead of time.

The interlocutor of “” stressed that there are very few such cases. Each complaint is thoroughly checked, and the perpetrators are prosecuted. Today, for such tricks, law enforcement officers are given up to 10 years in prison.




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Crime, Gangs & Passion

Crime, Gangs & Passion

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