Dnepropetrovsk maniacs
Dnepropetrovsk maniacs
The Dnepropetrovsk Maniacs is the media epithet for the killers responsible for a string of murders in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine in June and July 2007. The case gained additional notoriety because the killers made video recordings of some of the murders, with one of the videos leaking to the Internet. Two 19-year-old locals, Viktor Sayenko and Igor Suprunyuck, were arrested and charged with 21 murders.
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  • 2011
    Age 23
    In April 2011, a poll found that nearly 60% of Ukrainians wanted the death penalty available for serial killings where judicial error had been ruled out.
    More Details Hide Details On August 18, 2009, the Supreme Court of Ukraine referred the case back to the Dnepropetrovsk regional court of appeal. The move was welcomed by Igor Sayenko, who stated that it was a step towards clearing his son's name. Speaking at a press conference, Igor Sayenko and Vladimir Suprunyuk repeated their belief that the case was based on fabricated evidence. A spokesperson for the prosecutor's office said that the decision to refer the case back to the appeal court was procedural, and that they were confident that the verdict would be upheld. The appeal was scheduled for October 5, 2009. In an interview with the newspaper Novi Most, the mothers of Suprunyuk and Sayenko said that their children were being treated well in prison. It was also reported that Igor Sayenko was considering setting up a website about the case.
  • 2010
    Age 22
    The attacks, which involved a mallet and knife, began in December 2010.
    More Details Hide Details Both were arrested after a video recording showing a female body being mutilated with a knife was found on a camera belonging to Lytkin's uncle, who had become suspicious. According to media reports, the youths were influenced by reading about the Dnepropetrovsk maniacs on the Internet. A psychiatric examination found them sane, and they told doctors they chose weak people as their victims. On April 2, 2013, Anoufriev was sentenced to life imprisonment, and Lytkin to 24 years in prison.
  • 2009
    Age 21
    On November 24, 2009, the Supreme Court of Ukraine upheld the life sentences passed on Igor Suprunyuk and Viktor Sayenko in February 2009.
    More Details Hide Details Alexander Hanzha did not appeal against his nine-year sentence. On August 2, 2010, the Chilean television channel MEGA broadcast a documentary about the case. It was entitled (The hammer maniacs) and ran for 1 hour and 25 minutes as part of the investigative series (Here, Live). Journalist Michele Canale flew to Dnepropetrovsk and interviewed a range of people involved in the case. The parents of Suprunyuk and Sayenko maintained the innocence of their children, while detectives involved in the case gave their recollections, and repeated the lack of confirmation for the theory that the murder videos had been shot as snuff films for sale overseas. Lidia Mikrenischeva, an elderly lady who survived a hammer attack and helped to identify the killers in court, was also interviewed. She recalled being struck on the head from behind and falling to the ground, but her life was saved when the dogs accompanying her barked loudly and scared off the attackers. Natalia Ilchenko, the mother of the first known victim Ekaterina Ilchenko, recalled finding her daughter unrecognizable after the hammer attack, and commented that the killers should not be compared to animals because they killed for fun.
    The lawyers for Suprunyuk and Sayenko launched an appeal, which was dismissed by the Supreme Court of Ukraine in November 2009.
    More Details Hide Details The first two murders occurred late on June 25, 2007. The first victim was a woman, Yekaterina Ilchenko, who was walking home after having tea at her friend's apartment. According to Sayenko's confession, he and Suprunyuk were "out for a walk." Suprunyuk had a hammer. As Ilchenko walked past, Suprunyuk "spun around" and struck her in the side of the head. Ilchenko's body was found by her mother at 5 AM. Within an hour of the first murder, the two men attacked their next victim, Roman Tatarevich, as he slept on a bench near the first murder scene. Tatarevich's head was smashed with blunt objects numerous times, rendering him unrecognizable. The bench was located across the street from the local public prosecutor's office. On July 1, two more victims, Yevgenia Grischenko and Nikolai Serchuk, were found murdered in the nearby town of Novomoskovsk.
    On February 11, 2009, the court in Dnepropetrovsk found Igor Suprunyuk and Viktor Sayenko guilty of premeditated murder and sentenced both to life imprisonment.
    More Details Hide Details Suprunyuk was found guilty of 21 murders, Sayenko of 18. They also received fifteen-year sentences after being found guilty on the robbery charges. Alexander Hanzha, who was not involved in the killings, was found guilty of robbery and sentenced to nine years in prison. Suprunyuk and Sayenko were also found guilty on the animal cruelty charges. Hanzha said of Suprunyuk and Sayenko: "If I had known the atrocities that they were capable of committing, I would have not gone near them at gunpoint." The judge stated in the verdict that the main motive for the crimes had been a desire for "morbid self-affirmation". Referring to the accused, the court noted "the poverty of their emotional world, and their absence of interest in people and moral standards". The court's verdict was several hundred pages long and read out over two days. The lawyers for Suprunyuk and Sayenko announced their intention to appeal, saying that the authenticity of the photographic and video evidence was not established beyond reasonable doubt. The claim was dismissed by Edmund Saakian, a lawyer for one of the victims' families, who commented: "In theory a photo can be faked, but to fake a forty-minute video would require a studio and a whole year." Larissa Dovgal, a representative of the victims' families, claimed other perpetrators involved in the crimes could still be at large.
  • 2008
    Age 20
    The video showing the murder of Sergei Yatzenko was leaked to a shock site based in the United States and dated December 4, 2008.
    More Details Hide Details Ekaterina Levchenko, adviser to Ukraine's minister of the interior, was critical of the leak, but admitted that control of videos on the Internet was "virtually impossible". Caitlin Moran of The Times watched part of the video and recalled her reaction in her column in January 2009. The video showing the murder of Yatzenko has acquired the name "3 Guys 1 Hammer".
  • 2007
    Age 19
    The man whose murder is recorded in the leaked video was identified as Sergei Yatzenko from the village of. His murder took place on July 12, 2007, and his body was found on July 16.
    More Details Hide Details Yatzenko was 48 years old. He had recently been forced into retirement due to a cancerous tumor in his throat. The treatment left him unable to speak for some time, but Yatzenko was unhappy with being unable to work and continued to find odd jobs around the village. He took on small construction projects, fixed cars, wove baskets, and cooked for his family. He was beginning to regain his voice when murdered. Yatzenko was married and had two sons and one grandchild. He also looked after his disabled mother. At around 2:30 PM on the day of the murder, he called his wife to say he was going to fill his motorcycle and visit his grandchild. He never arrived at his grandson's house, and his cell phone was turned off by 6 PM. His wife Lyudmila called a friend and walked around the village, afraid that her husband might have fallen ill or had a motorcycle accident. They could not locate any sign of him. They also could not file a missing person's report, since in Ukraine a person cannot be declared missing until at least 72 hours after last being seen. The next day, Lyudmila posted photographs of her husband around the village, and enlisted more local help to search the surrounding area. Four days later, a local who saw one of Lyudmila's posters remembered seeing an abandoned Dnepr bike in a remote wooded area by a garbage dump.
    But there are people, officers in the Militsiya, who on July 19, 2007 received reports that those three were arrested. … But, alas, it turned out that the persons arrested had powerful parents.
    More Details Hide Details So the information was quickly suppressed, and instead my son and two of his friends were railroaded. I also believe that the girl arrested on that day has since left the country and is now in Germany." The defense team also claimed the prosecution withheld from the court information that exonerated their clients. Igor Sayenko claimed the police interviewed witnesses and recovered evidence from two additional murders. The suspects had a strong alibi for the time of these murders, and so all information on these crimes was removed from the case. Viktor Sayenko's defense claimed that he had a "psychological dependence" on Igor Suprunyuk, whom they called the ringleader. They claimed that Suprunyuk repeatedly threatened Sayenko, and that Sayenko feared for his life. Sayenko testified in court that he was in constant fear of Suprunyuk since 7th grade. The strategy of the defense team received some support from the victims' families, who were reportedly dissatisfied with the slow-moving legal process and an alleged cover-up by the investigators. Some victims' relatives told the media they planned to begin an independent organization to monitor the court proceedings. The authorities in Ukraine strongly denied that a fourth person was involved in the killings who could still be at large, and said that rumors of similar crimes taking place since the arrest of the three suspects are unfounded.
    The three suspects Viktor Sayenko, Igor Suprunyuk and Alexander Hanzha were arrested on July 23, 2007.
    More Details Hide Details Suprunyuk attempted to sell a mobile phone stolen from a victim in a local pawn shop, asking for 150 hryvnia (around 30 USD in 2007). Law enforcement agents tracked the phone's location. Suprunyuk and Sayenko were arrested near the cash register of the shop. Hanzha was arrested at home, reportedly managing to flush other stolen mobile phones down the toilet. The phones were recovered, but all information on them was lost. The three men were charged with involvement in 29 separate incidents, including 21 murders and eight more attacks where victims survived. Suprunyuk was charged with 27 of the cases, including 21 counts of capital murder, eight armed robberies, and one count of animal cruelty. Sayenko was charged with 25 instances, including 18 murders, five robberies and one count of animal cruelty. Hanzha was charged with two counts of armed robbery stemming from a March 1, 2007 incident in Dniprodzerzhynsk.
    The Dnepropetrovsk maniacs are Ukrainian serial killers responsible for a string of murders in Dnipropetrovsk in June and July 2007.
    More Details Hide Details The case gained additional notoriety because the killers made video recordings of some of the murders, with one of the videos leaking to the Internet. Two 19‑year-old locals, Viktor Sayenko and Igor Suprunyuk, were arrested and charged with 21 murders. A third conspirator, Alexander Hanzha was charged with two armed robberies that took place before the murder spree. On February 11, 2009, all three defendants were found guilty. Suprunyuk and Sayenko were sentenced to life imprisonment, while Hanzha received nine years in prison.
  • 1988
    Age 0
    Born on April 20, 1988.
    More Details Hide Details
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