The Serial Homicide Case of the Day, from "Hunting Humans, the Encyclopedia of 20th Century Serial Killers" , by Michael Newton
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Described by Soviet reporters as a leader of the "Volga pirates," cruel Kuznetsof stood accused, in 1929, of some 200 crimes, including six known homicides in which his relatives were normally selected as the victims . Unrepentant to the end, he chilled and titillated Russian audiences with his philosophical approach to murder, offering decisive proof that differences in politics have little bearing on the bestial side of man.
The first three victims charged against Kuznetsof were his uncle, his aunt, and their lodger, an invalid soldier. According to Kuznetsof's own description of the crime, the triple murder grew out of resentment toward his uncle. "When I went away," the killer said, "he stole my property. He offered to give it back, but I thought buried men cannot bear witness, so I shot him, with his wife and lodger."
Next, Kuznetsof killed his infant daughter, whom he had regarded as a nuisance. "You cannot make a good plank out of rotten wood," he decided, "so she was better off dead." When his grieving wife called Kuznetsof a murderer, he threw her in the Volga River, "because flowing streams wash away sorrow." A second wife was also murdered, after Kuznetsof adopted a full-time criminal career. "She knew too much," he told assembled journalists, "but in the grave all knowledge ends."
Asked if he believed he could escape detection for his crime, Kuznetsof said, "Of course not. My exploits became famous as soon as done. We criminals have our ways of communication faster than your telegraph, but the more and quicker they know us, the more they fear us." On conviction for his crimes, Kuznetsof was immediately executed by a firing squad .
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