The Dnepropetrovsk Maniacs
One of the two friends were killed, the other managed to escape” (Versii). Thirteen more murders followed, often with multiple bodies found in the same day. Two victims were found every day from July 14 through the 16 (“Lowlifes planned 40 murders”) The three suspects were arrested on July 23, 2007. Igor Suprunyuck attempted to sell a mobile phone they had stolen from one of their victims at the local pawn shop. When that phone was turned on to show that it worked, its location was tracked by law enforcement agents. Igor Suprunyuck and Viktor Sayenko were arrested in the pawn shop (Katsman).
Alexander Hanzha was arrested at home, reportedly managing to flush other stolen phones down the toilet. The phones were recovered, but all the information on them was lost (GlavRed). They were charged with 29 separate incidents, including 21 murders and 8 more attacks where the victims survived. Suprunyuck was charged with 27 of the cases, Sayenko was charged with 25, and Hanzha with counts of armed robbery (Kommersant). Ally three confessed quickly, Suprunyuck later withdrew his confession. Suprunyuck’s original defense awyer dropped out of the case after reportedly being disappointed at failing to have a plea of insanity accepted by his client (Segodyna). “On February 11, 2009, the court in Dnepropetrovsk found Igor Suprunyuck and Viktor Sayenko guilty of premeditated murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. Alexander Hanzha, who was found guilty of robbery and sentenced to nine years in prison (Olinikova). Hanzha said of Suprunyuck and Sayenko: “If I had known the atrocities that they were capable of commiting, I would have not gone near them at gunpoint (“Dnepropetrovsk serial killers sentenced to life imprisonment”).
The parents of Igor Suprunyuck and Viktor Sayenko repeated their belief in the innocence of their sons. The parents of Suprunyuck and Sayenko also argued that the sentence of Alexander Hanzha had been too lenient (Segondnya). From what i’ve read, the murderers didn’t have a specific motive. “Local media reported that the killers had a plan to get rich from the murder videos that they recorded. One of the suspects’ girlfriends reported that they were planning to make forty videos of separate murders.
This was corroborated by the suspects’ former classmates, who claimed that he often heard Suprunyuck was in contact with an unknown “rich foreign website creator” who ordered forty snuff videos, and would pay a large sum of money once they were made” (“Lowlifes planned 40 murders”). Regional security chief, Ivan Stupak, rejected the claim that the murders had been committed to make internet snuff videos, saying that no evidence had come to the light during the investigation that supported the claim (Segodnya).
Detective Bogdan Vlasenko stated: “We think they were doing it as a hobby, to have a collection of memories when they get old (Segodnya). Deputy interior minister, Nikolay Kupyanskiy, commented “For these young men, murder was like entertainment or hunting (“Dnepropetrovsk Maniacs captured! ”). “At the trial, it emerged that Suprunyuck had collected newspaper cuttings about the case” (Segodnya). “Some of the photographs of the crimes had captions added, including “The weak must die. The strongest will conquer (Segodnya). The suspects’ mobile phones and personal computers contained multiple video recordings of the murders taking place. One full video was leaked on the internet, showing the murder of 48-year-old Sergei Yatzenko. He is seen lying on his back in a wooded area, and is struck repeatedly in the face with a hammer held inside a plastic bag. One of the attackers stabs Yatzenko in the eye with a screwdriver, and also stabs him in the abdomen with the screwdriver. Yatzenko is then struck with the hammer in order to ensure that he is dead.
The attack lasts over four minutes, during which the victim lapses in and out of consciousness. One of the murderers can be smiling towards the camera during the video” (“Shocking Murder Video Makes Rounds on the Internet”). Personally i’ve seen the video and I wish I could take back every minute of it. The suspects were also found in possession of multiple photographs showing them attending funerals of the victims. They can be seen smiling and “flipping off” the coffins and gravestones (“Killers captured death of victims on video (with television news video)”).
The photographic and video evidence was shown in court on October 29, 2008, as part of a larger presentation of over 300 photographs and two videos (Leontieva). In conclusion, my opinion on the murders is that they were horrible. There had to be something mentally wrong with them. No one can do something like that and not have any kind of sympathy, without something being wrong with them. The Dnepropetrovsk Maniac murders were definitely some of the worst killings in the last 100 years.