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On the Trail of a Serial Killer in Macedonia
August 5, 2009 8:29 AM   Subscribe

Then, in November 2007, exactly three years after the disappearance of Simjanoska, another woman from Kičevo went missing. Fifty-six-year-old Lubica Ličoska was, like Simjanoska, a custodian, and she also lived in the same section of town. When the similarities were noted, locals suddenly remembered Gorica Pavelska. She was seventy-three, a retired custodian who went missing in May 2003. No one had thought much of it at the time. She might have suffered a stroke in some remote place, they had speculated, or gone to work in Skopje. No trace of her was ever found and the whole business had been forgotten. But now it appeared that little Kičevo was home to a serial killer, and Vlado Taneski’s editors smelled a big story.
- The Mask of Sanity: On the Trail of a Serial Killer in Macedonia by Dimiter Kenarov. An account of the Kičevo Monster and the killer's surprising identity. [Warning: Descriptions of the murders include graphic details]
posted by Kattullus (20 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
For the tl;dr crowd, we've also got an audio interview that our editor conducted with the author of the piece, though note that the interview gives away who the killer is.

Thanks for the linkage, Kattullus!
posted by waldo at 8:40 AM on August 5, 2009


For a sense of scale, the municipality of Kičevo has (approximately) 30,138 inhabitants, in a country of approx. 2,114,550 (in 2009).
posted by filthy light thief at 8:59 AM on August 5, 2009


This story is strangely like a mangled version of the 5th season of The Wire...
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:03 AM on August 5, 2009


Really intriguing once I waded through some of the flowery prose at the beginning (too much gingerbread house and corn stalks, too little detective story).

The case is fascinating, and surprising, and I imagine for a while the townspeople were holding their collective breaths, not sure the right person had been implicated for the crimes.
posted by misha at 9:55 AM on August 5, 2009


Really intriguing once I waded through some of the flowery prose at the beginning (too much gingerbread house and corn stalks, too little detective story).

I can picture the author started writing this while thinking about all the publishers who rejected his novel and muttering to himself, "I'll show them.... I'll show them ALL!" Then, after the first couple of painstaking pages, he realized he was under a deadline and need to tighten up his prose and move things along.
posted by deanc at 10:18 AM on August 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


Tired of reading about blogging murderers.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:39 AM on August 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


deanc: I can picture the author started writing this while thinking about all the publishers who rejected his novel and muttering to himself, "I'll show them.... I'll show them ALL!"

That's funny. I read the same passage as a nod towards Taneski, that Kenarov was attempting to see Kičevo the way Taneski had. Though, admittedly, I didn't think of that until I got to the end and Kenarov bought that single candle.
posted by Kattullus at 10:40 AM on August 5, 2009


In cold cases the key to solving the crime is often an overlooked clue in the original file. The file detailed a series of calls to Janiszewski’s cell phone on the day of the murder, some from a phone booth down the street from his office. Yet the cell phone had never been found. Wroblewski and a colleague traced the cell phone, which had been sold on an Internet auction site four days after Janiszewski disappeared. The seller, investigators learned, was a thirty-year old Polish intellectual named Krystian Bala. Bala had recently published a sadistic, pornographic, creepy novel called “Amok.” The book featured a murder not unlike Janiszewski’s and a narrator named Chris, the English version of Bala’s first name.

ABSTRACT: LETTER FROM POLAND about novelist Krystian Bala and the murder of Dariusz Janiszewski.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:27 AM on August 5, 2009


Even the English version of Wikipedia made room for Taneski.

You don't say.
posted by dhartung at 11:51 AM on August 5, 2009


Good lord. I'm only halfway through--killer identified--and it is incredibly gripping.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:18 PM on August 5, 2009


..and now (spoiler alert) the interesting bit at the end. I was on paroxetine for a while, and it fucked me up significantly more severely than I already was.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:37 PM on August 5, 2009


I've only just started the second page and once again wonder why I don't read VQR more often. Jesus fuck this a good publication.
posted by zoomorphic at 5:03 PM on August 5, 2009


Jesus fuck this a good publication.

I wonder if I can get away with quoting that on our subscription page. But, hey, while I was thinking of it added a discount code of "metafilter" to our new Shopify* store. It'll get you 10% off the order of a subscription or an issue or whatever. (It used to be that you had to call us up and mention Metafilter. And I don't know about you, but calling some place and mentioning X has always struck me as incredibly goofy. How do you work the word "Metafilter" into a conversation about ordering a magazine? And what if the person answering the phone is just like, "hey, that's nice--I've heard of that website," and doesn't give you the discount? Yeah, so, not that.)

* Shopify is great. Recommended highly.
posted by waldo at 7:13 PM on August 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yes, great article. Very sad. Highlights the uncertainty that can run through systems that people perceive to be less than 100%, a perception that I at leas tin Australia tend to take largely for granted. (with some exceptions of course).
posted by smoke at 9:29 PM on August 5, 2009


Interesting read. The beginning and end of the piece were far too flowery, but as a whole, it read well. Bizarre.
posted by flippant at 4:07 AM on August 6, 2009


Eww. My sister is in Macedonia with the Peace Corps. I suspect I wont be feeding this into my Google Reader feed, lest my mother go batshit insane and fly to Macedonia to save my sister. (Ignoring, of course, the fact that the stretch of I-45 outside our hometown has seen dozens and dozens of unsolved murders over the last few decades.)
posted by greekphilosophy at 7:34 AM on August 7, 2009


His occasional pieces were soaked with metaphors and similes, the spine of his prose cracking under the weight of unrealized literary ambition.

Is this what they mean by : "the pot calling the kettle black"?
posted by Bango Skank at 12:23 PM on August 7, 2009


Just wanted to chime in here and say that I'm about halfway through the article and am finding it fascinating. This may be the one that finally gets me to subscribe to VQR (please please please allow international subscriptions).
posted by triggerfinger at 12:35 PM on August 7, 2009


This may be the one that finally gets me to subscribe to VQR (please please please allow international subscriptions).

For the record, we do allow international subscriptions, but the cost of postage is just beastly, so it's expensive. (We actually lose money on international subscriptions.) I'm working on writing a way-cheaper online-only subscription system, so that folks can just be e-mailed a link to download a PDF of the issue quarterly, plus read all of the articles as HTML, cutting out the whole mailing-dead-trees step.
posted by waldo at 6:37 AM on August 10, 2009


Will you keep us (or at least me) updated? I don't want to subscribe if it loses you money.
posted by triggerfinger at 10:47 AM on August 10, 2009


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