Alleged Russian Murderer Attemps to Mislead Police at Crime SceneSep 04, 2012
|This image taken from TV footage provided by The Associated Press Television News shows a place where two women stabbed to death were found under this sign on the wall of their apartment in the central Russian city of Kazan on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. The sign is presumably written with blood, prosecutors said adding that the murderer probably tried to mislead police by the writing that supports three members of the provocative feminist band jailed for their "punk prayer" at a Moscow cathedral. Courtesy of AP Photo/APTN TV OUT|
A university instructor has confessed to killing two women in an apartment where a message demanding freedom for jailed members of the Pussy Riot band was scrawled on the wall, news reports said.
The killing in the city of Kazan of a 76-year-old woman and her 38-year-old daughter attracted nationwide attention because of the Pussy Riot connection. Three members of the feminist punk band were sentenced two weeks ago to two years in prison in a politically charged case.
At a court arraignment, 38-year-old suspect Igor Danilevsky said "the killing took place in a passion ... I confess to everything," the state news agency RIA Novosti reported.
Russia's Investigative Committee said Danilevsky wrote "Free Pussy Riot" on a wall in the victims' blood because he wanted to mislead investigators. He had dated the younger victim, the committee said. News reports identified him as a sociology instructor at the Architecture and Construction University in Kazan.
The arrest and sentencing of the Pussy Riot members was one of Russia's most divisive cases of recent years, pitting adherents of President Vladimir Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church against opposition supporters.
They were convicted of hooliganism based on religious hatred for performing a "punk prayer" in Moscow's main cathedral entreating the Virgin Mary to save Russia from Putin.
The jailed band members' attorney had called the killing of the two women "either a horrendous provocation or a psychopathic" case.
Kremlin-friendly media and Orthodox Church clerics had seized upon the alleged link between the murders and the band to lambast the artists and their supporters, and compared them to mass murderer Charles Manson, whose followers used the blood of victims to write on the walls of their houses.
Some Russian publications ran headlines claiming Pussy Riot supporters "committed" or "inspired" the double homicide. The coverage was full of the mostly negative terms used by Kremlin-friendly television networks and media in their coverage of the protesters' trial.
The Orthodox Church has called the band's stunt sacrilegious, but hundreds of artists, musicians and other intellectuals have signed petitions urging authorities to free them.
Source: The Associated Press, Mansur Mirovalev