Russian maniac Alexander Komin was a modern day slave owner and serial killer. Despite claiming “only” four victims, he was dubbed the Maniac of the 20th Century by the media.
While serving his first prison sentence for hooliganism, Komin met an inmate who was convicted for imprisoning homeless people in his basement and forcing them to work for him without pay. After meeting a man who enjoyed the absolute power over others, Komin was determined to have the same experience; only his idea was an underground colony of female slaves, who existed for sexual pleasure and financial gain.
The women who survived had the word “slave” crudely tattooed on their foreheads.
Initially, Komin wanted to build a greenhouse where his slaves would grow vegetables for him, but after having met Alexander Mikheyev and discussing the plan, the two decided to go with with clothes-making. For nearly four years, the men dug the underground bunker, working in shifts. With several rooms, electricity, ventilation and even an elevator, by the beginning of 1995, the underground colony was ready.
Finding the ‘slaves.’
The first victim was a neighbor, Vera Tolpayeva. The woman was captured after she had been heavily drinking and being poisoned with Clonidine – a medication used to treat high blood pressure. Vera helped Komin lure an acquaintance, Tatyana Melnikova, and her boyfriend, Nikolai Malykh, both professional tailors, to the bunker. Malykh was quickly poisoned and his body dumped in a nearby field. Later, Tolpayeva fell ill from a fever and was forced to choose to either drink antifreeze or have it injected in her veins. Suicide or murder. She chose the former; and died as the two Tatyanas looked on.
Tatyana Kozikova, a cook from Ulyanovsk, had unsuspectingly accepted Komin’s offer for a drink and a job. Another woman named Tatyana Nazimova was picked up in a railway station, but she was suffering from leukemia and had a work ethic that did not appeal to Komin. She too was forced to drink antifreeze and died.
In order to help expand the bunker, a former paratrooper Yevgeny Shishov was hired. Komin soon didn’t see any value in sharing the business with the former paratrooper and decided to kill him. The police initially assumed all the victims died of alcohol poisoning, a common cause of death in the province areas of Russia at the time. Accomplice Alexander Mikheyev was never present at the executions, but witnessed Komin’s torture to others and assisted him in hiding the bodies.
Throughout his criminal adventures, Komin lived a normal life. He shared an apartment with his mistress where he spent his nights in the garage, despite not owning a vehicle. Yet, this did not raise suspicion among his neighbors or his mistress.
In 1997, Komin found his last victim – 27-year-old Irina Ganushin. Komin fell in love with and wanted to marry her, promising her a good life outside the bunker. The three women present at the time realized it was their best chance to escape, including Irina. Even though Komin promised to kill her two-year-old son if she tried to escape. After leaving her unattended for few minutes, she ran to police.
The stairs which led to the bunker were electrified. Komin’s master plan was to electrocute the policemen and whomever else wanted to enter the underground colony, but the authorities were warned prior to entering the bunker. The two women in the bunker were hospitalized immediately. Upon their release, they were blindfolded in order to protect them from the sun which they had not seen in two years.