Page 1

“dahmer was doomed at age 16” jeff’s classmate on the cannibal killer-to-be

cancer fake monster Belle scammed charities with bogus health claims

e c n e d i v e w e n g n i shock

cub scout

killer ler

mafia boss death room Inside Roy DeMeo’s human slaughter machine

We break the untold story of a sick Soviet cover-up

austin axe massacre he turned a Texan town into a bloodbath

bob’s sex shop of horrors

Berdella simply had to make his horrible fantasies a reality

green bicycle murder – cops bait vicious rapist – & more plus

Issue 034

Kitten Killer’s Video Nasties

They warned police that Luka would move onto bigger prey

INSIDE THE MINDS OF HISTORY’S DEADLIEST AND MOST DEPRAVED KILLERS As depraved as it is fascinating, the murky world of the serial killer has captivated us for centuries. Packed with interviews, crime scene photos and case histories, the world’s most notorious murderers are featured within.



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hen you think of Soviet propaganda and the control of information that flowed from the East during the Cold War, it’s usually a military concern: spies, nukes, a lot of sabre-rattling – that kind of thing. Denying that bad people exist within your ideological sphere seems like a sure-fire way to set yourself up for a fall. And it was. Along with sweeping widespread social problems like drug addiction and prostitution under the carpet, Soviet police routinely refused to connect murders that were clearly committed by the same person. And respected members of the Communist Party

couldn’t possibly be capable of the perverse and barbaric crimes that Young Pioneer leader Anatoly Slivko committed across over two decades. It’s how both he and fellow Iron Curtain serial killer ‘Rostov Ripper’ Andrei Chikatilo were able to slip under the radar for so long: the USSR was willing to endure the stain on its name even less than the horrors these monsters inflicted upon its own people. Enjoy the issue.

Ben biggs Editor

A small troop of Young Pioneers (the Russian equivalent of British Scouts and Guides) poses for a photo in 1983, two years before a young investigator would expose Slivko’s deadly ‘experiments’

Contributors robert murphy An award-winning correspondent for ITV News based in Bristol, Robert has reported on well-known crimes such as the murders of Joanna Yeates, Sian O’Callaghan, Melanie Road and Melanie Hall. Rob has spoken to members of the police team that captured a vicious Bristol rapist, for his feature on page 68.

dr charlie oughton Charlie is a broadcaster, author, lecturer and journalist specialising in taboo (particularly serial killers), horror and gender studies. He’s written Real Crime’s cover feature this issue, the case of a Soviet serial killer that is as incredible as it is horrific. Cub Scout Killer is on page 14.

tanita matthews Tanita has a background in reporting and newspaper journalism and, as Real Crime’s resident writer, she’s had a hand in multiple parts of the magazine. She’s written our gruesome ‘kitten killer’ feature on page 24 and spoken to psychologist Dr Alan Carlisle, on his interviews with two vile child killers, on page 48.

seth ferranti Seth began his career in journalism having served a 21-year stretch of a 25-year sentence for an LSD kingpin conviction. He is now free and writes regularly for Real Crime. Seth has interviewed the man who investigated serial torture-killer Bob Berdella, ‘the Butcher of Kansas City’, for his feature on page 38.

christian cipollini US-based award-winning author Chris has been a freelance journalist, writer, organised crime researcher and designer for more than a decade. He’s written ‘Mafia Murder Room’ on page 54, the case of a deadly New York crew who turned the business of killing for cash into a well-oiled machine.

catherine curzon

/realcrimemag /realcrimemag

Catherine is a historian with an interest in classic crimes, who specialises in the 18th century. She has an extensive list of credits and is currently working on her fifth non-fiction work, cataloguing grisly royal deaths. She’s raided the Austin History Center’s archives for a cold case concerning a brutal axe murderer, on page 62.


Contents Xxxxxxx

case notes

06 h  ostage in her home, 14 year-old gets life, mob boss’s deadly haircut and more Stunning crime photos, present and past, from around the world

14 cub scout killer

Anatoly Slivko hid behind a veneer of respectability to ‘experiment’ on the Soviet youngsters he was supposed to care for

24 k  itten killer’s video nasties

Activists warned police that Luka would do worse than make animal snuff films: why didn’t they take action?

minute by minute

32 “ £1 Million or we will kill her”

Blow-by-blow, how the ransom of a newspaper boss’s wife went wrong right from the start

38 b  izarre bob’s dark dreamhouse

Kansas City shop owner Bob Berdella had pent his awful torture fantasies up for years, until a young man came knocking at his door...


46 c  racking the case of the body in the boot

Her boyfriend found Wendy stuffed into the boot of her own car. 48 years later, police discovered her killer

48 why they kill kids

The psychologist who helped assess Ted Bundy talks us through two of his most disturbing cases

54 mafia murder room

Roy DeMeo and his murder crew had perfected their method, turning the Gemini Lounge into a slaughterhouse

62 all hell broke loose The Austin axe murderer held the city in a grip of fear


conversations w child killersith

contents 68 “ There’s a killer on your tail”

In the pursuit of a vicious rapist, UK cops were stumped. Then someone had the bright idea of providing ‘bait’ and setting a trap...

unsolved case

76 who shot bella on her bicycle?

uk cop drag-nes t

Nearly 100 years ago, a young woman was shot in the face on a quiet country lane. Was this a terrible accident? Or did her killer get away with murder?

84 recipe for deception

The miraculous recovery of Belle Gibson raised thousands for charity. But her donations were as suspect as her claims of incurable cancer


90 on the run, caniba, new world, jack the ripper faq and more

The latest crime film, mystery fiction and true tales reviewed

94 derf backderf

We spoke to the author of My Friend Dahmer about his time in school with a future cannibal serial killer

strange case

98 dumb and dumber

These bungling burglars discovered a conspicuous permanent marker face disguise is less easy to take off than apply

her elaborate scam conned $$$’s out of charities

discover more REAL Crime


page 74


Case notes


case notes


One child’s life for another In a trial that stunned the nation, 14-year-old Eric Smith is convicted of the murder of four-year-old Derrick Robie


© Shutterstock

he killing of a child is the most shocking of crimes, but it becomes even harder to comprehend when the person responsible is also a child. The realisation that a 13-year-old boy could be capable of butchering little Derrick Robie in cold blood appalled America. Having already displayed the telltale signs of a vicious killer by strangling a neighbour’s cat, Smith was a troubled young boy frustrated with life. This anger would boil over with tragic consequences on the morning of 2 August 1993 as Derrick walked to summer camp. At the same time, Smith was heading home from the park, having been told to leave for twice riding his bicycle on a stretch of concrete. In what police quickly realised was an opportunistic crime, Smith encountered Derrick on the edge of a wooded area and convinced the four year old that he knew a shortcut Derrick could take. Instead, he lured his victim into a secluded spot, where he strangled Derrick before bludgeoning him with a rock. To ensure the boy was dead, Smith inserted a branch into his rectum. Smith would soon confess to the crime, for which he received a sentence of nine years to life. While Smith has since apologised to the Robie family, he has been denied parole on eight occasions. Now 37, he continues to languish in Collins Correctional Facility in New York City.


Case notes

Manchester,England, 14December1992

A hostage in her own home The evidence of Suzanne Capper’s painful last days lies scattered around the room in which she was cruelly abused


s a vulnerable young girl from a broken home, it was understandable that Suzanne Capper sought refuge in the home of Jean Powell, the woman for whom she had babysat since Suzanne was ten years old. But instead of finding the stability that she craved, Suzanne found herself living alongside the “evil friends” that Powell had begun to associate with – a group that would go on to kidnap, torture and ultimately murder Suzanne. It had all started when Bernadette McNeilly moved into Powell’s home with her children. McNeilly’s 16-year-old boyfriend, Anthony Dudson, soon began visiting the house, as did Powell’s younger brother, Clifford Pook, and another regular called Jeffrey Leigh. Along with Powell’s ex-husband Glyn, this twisted group concocted a range of unfounded reasons for tormenting Suzanne, from blaming her for Dudson and McNeilly contracting pubic lice from Suzanne’s bed, to claiming she’d stolen a coat. Having tricked Suzanne into returning to the house, Glyn Powell and Dudson seized their prey and set about shaving her hair off. Suzanne was then subjected to five days of torture, which included being burnt with cigarettes and injected with amphetamines. However, their ‘fun’ couldn’t last. Fearing that their quarry may be reported missing, the group concluded that Suzanne had to be finished off. Bundling Suzanne into a stolen car, they drove her to a remote stretch of woodland outside Stockport. She was then forced down an embankment before her killers doused her in petrol and set her on fire. Assuming Suzanne was dead, the six left the scene. Found by commuters on their way to work, Suzanne was rushed to hospital, where she managed to cling on long enough to reveal the names of those responsible before slipping into a coma and passing away.


Š Shutterstock

case notes


Case notes


case notes

New York City, USA, 25 October 1957

Snip, snip, bang, bang Detectives examine the scene of the murder of notorious mafia gangster Albert Anastasia in a New York barber shop

and lucrative world in which Anastasia operated, many criminals found themselves vying for top spot. Unfortunately for Anastasia, a former associate by the name of Vito Genovese wanted to gain total control of the Luciano family. In order to do so, he had to remove Anastasia. His murder would be cold and calculating. Having been left by his driver, Anastasia was completely exposed as he waited for a haircut on the morning of his murder. He couldn’t possibly have anticipated the arrival of two gunmen, their faces hidden behind scarves as they burst into the barbers and fired repeatedly at their target. In a state of shock, Anastasia attempted to grapple with his assailants but only succeeded in lunging at their reflections before collapsing. Genovese’s orders had been ruthlessly carried out.

© Getty Images


n the dog-eat-dog world of the American mafia, the risk of being gunned down by a rival was a possibility that stalked even the most prominent of gangsters. And it was exactly this fate that befell Albert Anastasia, an Italian immigrant, on 25 October 1957. A founder of both the American mafia and Murder Inc., Anastasia signed up to serve in the US Army in 1942 to escape the glare of the law, a decision that saw him granted US citizenship in 1943. Yet this second chance at becoming a law-abiding member of society couldn’t compare to the seductive life of a gangster. As an associate of such infamous underworld kingpins as Charles ‘Lucky’ Luciano and Frank Costello, Anastasia rapidly climbed through the ranks of the criminal establishment he’d worked to found. However, in the dark


Case notes

Freiburg, Germany, 8 December 2016

“I wanted to wash her blood from me” Flowers cling to a tree in a Freiburg park to commemorate the brutal murder of a young medical student by an Afghan immigrant


he loss of any young life is a tragedy, but when it is the life of a promising medical student with her whole career ahead of her, the inescapable feeling of grief can consume a community, and sometimes the ripples are felt even further away. Such was the case following the senseless killing of 19-year-old Maria Landenburger in a park in Freiburg in December 2016. Maria was murdered by an Afghan refugee who had entered Germany thanks to a controversial policy to welcome up to 1 million displaced people. Having smoked several marijuana joints and shared two bottles of vodka with friends, prosecutors believe that Hussein Khavari went in search of a victim to


satisfy his sexual urges. It was Maria’s great misfortune to encounter him as she cycled home. Khavari is alleged to have thrown her from her bike before raping Maria and then drowning her in the Dreisam River in an attempt to wash her blood off him. Following Khavari’s arrest, police discovered that he’d previously been jailed in Greece for throwing a woman off a cliff in 2013. Tragically, this crucial information was not passed on to German authorities, enabling Khavari to remain in the country and murder Maria – an act for which Khavari has given a selfpitying half-apology to Maria’s family, saying, “I wanted to wash her blood from me… I live with the agony of what I did and this torment destroys my life.”


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Real Crime 34 (Sampler)  

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