Murder And Mayhem


The grisly scene broadcast on Soviet TV was filmed in a cramped Moscow apartment. A police detective ticked off the details: a man from out of town had called on some acquaintances; the visitor pulled a knife, stabbed the young woman and cracked her husband's skull with a blunt instrument. The woman lay dead on the floor, covered in her own blood. Medics tried to save her husband, but their faces showed little hope.

Such gruesome crimes were once relatively rare in the Soviet Union, whose cities were among the safest in the world. When murders and other violent crimes did...

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