The ex-cop who killed to cre­ate an army of zom­bies

Daily Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - NEWS - BY WAR­REN MANGER war­ren.manger@mir­

Four home­less men stag­ger into a re­mote for­est clear­ing at night. Fire­light casts eerie shad­ows on a makeshift stone ta­ble. There is no sign of the vodka they were promised to warm them against the freez­ing cold. That is no ta­ble. In­stead, it’s an al­tar, and the new friend who promised them free booze has a far more sin­is­ter plan. One by one they are sac­ri­ficed on the al­tar be­fore sa­tanic rit­u­als are per­formed on their mu­ti­lated bod­ies. Th­ese are the ap­palling mur­ders al­legedly car­ried out by former po­lice of­fi­cer Arsen Bairam­bekov out­side the re­mote Rus­sia town of Verkhnyaya Pyshma, 900 miles east of Moscow. Bairam­bekov is ac­cused of bury­ing the bod­ies then re­turn­ing “some time later” to dig them up, be­liev­ing the sac­ri­fices had given him oc­cult pow­ers. It is said he planned to use his vic­tims to build his own zom­bie army. In­ves­ti­ga­tors said: “He tried to bring the dead back to life and turn them into zom­bies. How­ever, all his at­tempts were fu­tile.” Bairam­bekov is also charged with deal­ing firearms and as­sas­si­nat­ing two busi­ness­men in 2002 and 2010. But a psy­chi­atric eval­u­a­tion ruled he was fit to stand trial, and he was canny enough to plea bar­gain to en­sure he faces a max­i­mum jail sen­tence of just 12 years, de­spite his hor­rific crimes. The killing spree is the lat­est in a list of crimes in­spired by Rus­sia’s deadly ob­ses­sion with the oc­cult.

There are re­port­edly 400,000 pro­fes­sional oc­cultists in the coun­try, fu­elling a black-magic black mar­ket worth £24bil­lion a year. In 2008, the in­te­rior min­istry warned satanism was a big­ger threat to na­tional se­cu­rity than Is­lamic ex­trem­ism. That same year, a devil-wor­ship­ping gang of can­ni­bals mur­dered four teenagers, stab­bing them each 666 times – the num­ber revered by sa­tanists. Anya Gorokhova, Olga Pukhova, Varya Kuzmina and An­drei Sorokin, all aged 16 or 17, went miss­ing from the Yaroslavl re­gion, 300 miles north­east of Moscow. Po­lice be­lieve they were forced to drink al­co­hol be­fore they were at­tacked. They were then hacked to pieces, roasted over a fire then eaten by the cult. Po­lice found the re­mains in a pit near the home of cult leader Niko­lai Ogolobyak. Eight peo­ple were ar­rested. One told po­lice: “Sa­tan will help me to avoid re­spon­si­bil­ity. I made lots of sac­ri­fices to him.” Another said: “I tried to turn to God, but it didn’t bring me any money. I prayed to Sa­tan and things im­proved.” Neigh­bour­ing Belarus ex­pe­ri­enced a spate of cases in the late 1990s. Sa­tanic stu­dents burned down the Church of the Holy Trin­ity in the city of Brest in 1995. The fol­low­ing year, the Rus­sian Or­tho­dox Church of the Holy Spirit in Minsk was des­e­crated by cultists. Also in the cap­i­tal in 1996, a satanist was ar­rested for a rit­u­al­ist mur­der. He con­fessed he had pre­pared for his hor­rific crime by ex­e­cut­ing 666 cats. And teenagers in a cult were ar­rested in Crimean city Sim­fer­opol af­ter po­lice found the dis­mem­bered body of a young woman in a ceme­tery. One of those held con­fessed to hav­ing prac­tised Satanism for sev­eral years.

He tried to bring the dead back to life... how­ever, all his at­tempts were fu­tile IN­VES­TI­GA­TORS ON FORMER PO­LICE­MAN’S AL­LEGED MUR­DER OF FOUR HOME­LESS MEN

They had re­moved a skull and bones from two graves to per­form “magic rites”. Back in cen­tral Rus­sia, in 2010, po­lice in Saransk learned a devil-wor­ship­ping cult had en­cour­aged its mem­bers to in­fil­trate the force to ex­tend its evil in­flu­ence. It is not known how many were suc­cess­ful. Ei­ther way, it has sparked fears of Rus­sia re­turn­ing to the dark days of the early 20th cen­tury, when oc­cultists in­fil­trated the in­ner­most cor­ri­dors of power. A French­man called Mon­sieur Philippe held seances to help the royal fam­ily con­tact the dead and prayed with the Tsar Ni­cholas II and his wife Alexandra. But the most fa­mous was the mys­tic monk Grig­ori Rasputin. Born to a peas­ant fam­ily in the frozen wilds of Siberia, it was said he could read minds and heal an­i­mals by the time he was 10. Rasputin joined a Rus­sian or­tho­dox cult that be­lieved its mem­bers needed to ex­pe­ri­ence sin, which suited his love of drink­ing and vi­o­lent sex at bath houses. Even­tu­ally, he cap­tured the at­ten­tion of Alexandra by sup­pos­edly heal­ing her son Alexei Niko­lae­vich’s life-threat­en­ing haemophilia, where the blood doesn’t clot nor­mally. There are nu­mer­ous the­o­ries on how he did this, from hyp­no­tis­ing the young prince to giv­ing him herbs. Oth­ers be­lieve Rasputin used in­side in­for­ma­tion leaked by Alexandra’s la­dyin-wait­ing to time his treat­ments for when the prince was al­ready re­cov­er­ing. The Tsar was less im­pressed, but dared not dis­miss Rasputin. His­to­rian Pierre Gil­liard ob­served: “He did not like to send Rasputin away for, if Alexei had died, in the eyes of the mother he would have been the mur­derer of his own son.”

But the peo­ple feared Rasputin had led the Tsar and his wife astray. Af­ter nu­mer­ous failed as­sas­si­na­tion at­tempts, he was mur­dered in 1916. His killers hoped this would save the Ro­manov royal dy­nasty but pub­lic sup­port for the Tsar was low, stok­ing the flames of the Rus­sian Revo­lu­tion in 1917. The idea that the royal fam­ily turned to the oc­cult to help them rule the coun­try may have con­trib­uted to their down­fall, but many Rus­sians still em­brace it as part of their own lives. The col­lapse of the Soviet sys­tem in the 80s led to such a surge in oc­cult be­liefs that one in five Rus­sians has seen a psychic or mys­tic at least once. Witches will cast a spell to bring back a lover, or help an al­co­holic rel­a­tive back on track. Busi­ness­men ad­mit to us­ing clair­voy­ants to help them make vi­tal busi­ness deals. There have even been or­gan­ised zom­bie events in Moscow and St Peters­burg. Af­ter the fall of Com­mu­nism, psychic heal­ers got a pub­lic plat­form on sta­te­owned TV on the au­thor­ity of Pres­i­dent Boris Yeltsin, who was cap­ti­vated by the para­nor­mal. The most suc­cess­ful was psy­chi­a­trist and psychic Ana­toly Kash­pirovsky, dubbed the new Rasputin. The former weightlifter reg­u­larly beat Yeltsin into se­cond place in pop­u­lar­ity polls be­fore claims his show led to a wave of sui­cides. His great ri­val was Al­lan Chu­mak, who claimed to charge jars of wa­ter in his view­ers’ homes with heal­ing pow­ers. Yeltsin also ap­proved projects such as hir­ing psy­chics to se­cu­rity agen­cies, fund­ing schemes to ex­tract en­ergy from stones, and re­port­edly em­ploy­ing 127 psy­chics to search for a plane that dis­ap­peared in East Rus­sia in 1995. Its wreck­age was found when the au­thor­i­ties be­gan us­ing their radar sys­tems. The days of state-spon­sored psy­chics seem to be over, as Rus­sia has in­tro­duced laws to stop mys­tics ad­ver­tis­ing in the mass me­dia. Dis­pelling the coun­try’s ob­ses­sion with the oc­cult may prove rather more dif­fi­cult.

God didn’t help so I prayed to Sa­tan and things im­proved ONE SATANIST AR­RESTED OVER 2008 TEEN MUR­DERS

RASPUTIN Claimed to heal Tsar’s son

LIV­ING DEAD Zom­bie events in St Peters­burg, left, and Moscow

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