'Pussy Riot' Graffiti Was Killer's Trick: Russian Cops

Message on wall meant to confuse police

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Aug 31, 2012 12:32 PM CDT

(Newser) – Police have detained a man who has confessed to killing two women in a central Russian city and scrawling a message at the murder scene demanding freedom for jailed members of Pussy Riot, investigators say. The graffiti, however, was merely an attempt to mislead police, they say. The man—a 38-year-old university professor—wrote "Free Pussy Riot" on a wall in the victims' blood because he wanted the deaths of the 38-year-old woman he dated and her mother, 76, to appear as if they were a "ritual killing," say investigators.

Russia's Investigative Committee said the suspect had convinced his girlfriend to take out a loan to repay his debts, and promised to marry her. Kremlin-friendly media and Orthodox Church clerics had seized upon the alleged link between the murder and the band to lambaste the artists and their supporters, and compared them to mass murderer Charles Manson. Some Russian publications ran headlines claiming Pussy Riot supporters "committed" or "inspired" the double homicide.

In this Aug. 17 file photo, feminist punk group Pussy Riot members show the court's verdict as they sit in a glass cage at a courtroom in Moscow.
In this Aug. 17 file photo, feminist punk group Pussy Riot members show the court's verdict as they sit in a glass cage at a courtroom in Moscow.   (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel, File)
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