A Little More About the Russian Cannibal Satanists
Because you know you really wanted to find out more about the Russian cannibal satanists, I went the extra mile for you, the reader, and with the aid of Google's translation service, my dusty old Russian/English dictionary and some other odd little tools acquired through my other career (as an opera singer -- had to have at least a nodding acquaintance with a number of languages), I put together this post with a few more details about the horrific crimes carried out in late June this year in the historic Russian Federation city of Yaroslavl.
I never write about crime in graphic, gruesome detail and am not about to change that, but I still recommend anyone with a low tolerance for this kind of thing think twice before continuing. You've been warned.
The investigation into the murders of 4 Russian teens continues in Yaroslavl. As many English language publications have noted in recent days, the teens were goth kids. Their killers were self-avowed satanists.
A few odd facts about this case have been misreported by English-speaking media. Hopefully I can fix that without adding too many goofs of my own.
The teen victims -- all aged between 15 and 17 -- vanished late last June, sparking a minor frenzy in local press at the time. No surprise there; American media would go bonkers -- even in this political season -- if 5 nice-looking teens just dropped off the face of the earth in the space of a few weeks, in the same general area.
The missing kids, Olga Pukhova, Andrei Sorokin, Varya (or possibly Varvara) Kuzmin and Anna Gorokhova, may have said that they were attending the "Invasion" Music Festival in Tver. If so, that was a lie -- the festival wouldn't take place until early July.
Their bodies were found in a remote, wooded area on August 12. The teens had been cut into pieces; their heads, arms, legs were removed. Hearts were cut from some of the victims' chests, scalps were removed, genitals excised. The remains were burned and some of the pieces eaten.
Near the burn site criminalists found a dead cat nailed to an inverted cross. In the ashes, they found curly, red, human hair from the head of one of the 3 female victims.
According to Russian press sources, 8 suspects were arrested that very day: seven teen males and one girl. All were said to be between 17 and 19 years old. They also reportedly came from 'very affluent families.'
Because the victims and alleged killers were so close in age, investigators in Yaroslavl believe they were all acquainted prior to the murders.
Some English-language outlets have reported that the remains of the victims were found 250 kilometers -- about 155 miles -- from the home of the alleged ringleader of the group of killers. Actually, the burn pit was 250 meters -- just over 800 feet -- from the home of Nikolai Ogologbyak, aka "Graf."
The same English sources have also stated that Ogolobyak said that Satan would help him 'evade responsibility' for the crimes, because the alleged cannibal had 'brought him [...] many victims.'
Russian press reports actually attribute this statement to one of Ogolobyak's followers, Anton Makovkin (spelled "Makovin" in some articles). Makovkin was known to his friends as "Dr. Got."
Another, unnamed member of the Graf's and Dr. Got's gang of fun-time cannibals tried to explain why he turned to Satan. He said he'd 'tried to turn to God,' but that didn't bring him money. After praying to Satan, the teen said, his situation improved.
The gang had been at their work for a while. Alexander Voronov (aka Raven, Hitler and Ethiopia), told of a drunken ramble through a cemetery in 2006 with Ogolobyak, Makovkin and two others, Konstantin Baranov (aka Klyk) and Alexei Chistyakov, the appropriately nicknamed "Dead." That night the boys decided to poke around in a freshly-dug grave. They ended up disinterring a young woman. Voronov then described a grisly foreshadowing of the murders of Pukhova, Sorokin, Kuzmin and Gorokhova. He said they cut the corpse into pieces and that he ate a portion of the heart before the teens left the graveyard. The body was found by the authorities and a report was written. Until Voronov's confession, police thought they had an unidentified murder victim.
Police may have missed an opportunity to stall the alleged cannibals. In May this year, (May 1, specifically -- Walpurgis Night) they began doing things like crucifying cats. At one point, they were even detained by police -- only to be released a short time later.
They probably thought their dark prayers were being answered.
A religious expert based in Yaroslavl, Eugene Mukhtarov, said he did not believe that the killers in this case were true satanists. One example of his contention that the group led by Nikolai "Graf" Ogolobyak were simply 'home-brewed' or wannabe satanists was the size of the group. "Satanists [form in groups of] thirteen people, not eight," Mukhtarov said, "[The] thirteenth - [is the] Master, the one who creates the organization."
In the first entry about this crime, at least one comment noted that the terms "goth" and "emo" were being used interchangeably in this story, even though there are distinct differences in the two teen subcultures. That may be true here in the U.S. and perhaps in the U.K., but research proved to me that the Russians tend to lump them all together into one group of kids with a strong attraction towards the morbid.
Similar crimes have happened here in the U.S. -- the Manson murders come to mind -- but they don't always have the stunning, straight-out-of-a-horror novel aspects to them like we're reading about here. It is easy to think they will not happen again. At least not any time soon. But I suppose I'm a terrible pessimist, sometimes, and don't feel so sure about that.
If something similar happens in the U.S. again, though, I feel compelled to point out that the killers won't be real satanists, real goths or real emos here, either. Such criminal acts are always much more about one charismatic, powerful psychopath who finds a way to assemble a group of weaker-minded lackeys around him -- think Rod Ferrell and his Vampire Clan. It sounds as if Nikoai Ogolobyak fit that bill here. If I translated one of the articles I read correctly, it stated that Ogolobyak was clever enough to masquerade as a fairly upstanding teen in public -- even to the point of singing in his church choir. The other teens arrested along with him were described by their teachers as "weak-minded," and that comes as no surprise.
Such a demonic dynamic is always out there, waiting to resurface. It may only be a matter of time.