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Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Rape
Number of victims: 38
Date of murders: 1971 - 1985
Date of arrest: December 9, 1985
Date of birth: 1947
Victims profile: Women
Method of murder: Strangulation
Location: Belarus
Status: Executed by firing squad on February 3, 1988
photo gallery

On February 3, 1988, the Soviet news agency Tass reported that G. Mikhasevich, a metal worker, had been shot by firing squad upon conviction of murdering thirty-three women in the past fifteen years.

The official report stated that Mikhasevich had "savagely killed women in the territory of the Soviet Republic of Byelorussia." According to Tass, authorities had been working the case since 1973, "but regrettably the investigation veered from the right track."

A dozen innocent men were convicted and sentenced for various crimes in the series, following "breaches of law" by homicide investigators. Officials responsible for miscarriages of justice were reportedly charged and punished for their conduct in the case.

In the absence of more detailed information, it remains unclear whether Mikhasevich was charged with the decapitation murders of four women slain around Moscow in 1978 and '79.


Gennady Modestovich Mikhasevich (Russian: Геннадий Модестович Михасевич) was a Soviet serial killer. He murdered 36 women during the period from 1971 to 1985 in Vitebsk, Polotsk and the rural areas in the nearby regions of the Byelorussian SSR.


Gennady Mikhasevich was born in the village of Ist (Vitebsk Oblast) in 1947, and served in the army. He committed his first murder on 14 May 1971. He himself later explained that the killing spree started after he had returned from the army only to find out that his girlfriend had left him and become married in the meantime. At the night of 14 May 1971, he was on his way from Vitebsk to Polotsk. It was late so he could not catch a bus to Polotsk where his parents lived. Mikhasevich reported he was feeling desolate because of the breakup with his girlfriend and had prepared a loop to hang himself. However, he accidentally met a young woman on the road. He decided to kill her, venting his anger on her.

He murdered again in October, 1971, and strangled 2 other women in 1972, near Vitebsk. Mikhasevich graduated from a technical school in Vitebsk in 1973 and returned to Ist, starting to work in a sovkhoz. He became married in 1976. In the meantime, the murders went on.

Many of his murders coincided with rape. He either strangled or smothered his victims, either assaulting them in solitary locations or (during later years) after having allured them (e.g. hitchhikers) into his own car (he possessed a red Zaporozhets) or the machines of his workplace (he later had a job in machine repair service). He did not carry weapons or other instruments of murder with him, instead, he used improvised means, sometimes rather 'exotic' ones, e.g. a cord made of rye. Besides killing, he robbed his victims of money and valuable items (that he would sometimes give to his wife as a gift), and sometimes even of household items like scissors.

In outward appearance, Gennady Mikhasevich was a good family man, a teetotaller, had two children, was a conscientious worker; he was also member of the Communist Party (also served as a local party functionary) and of Voluntary People's Druzhina.

The investigation started to advance in the 1980s, as the young investigator Nikolay Ignatovich firmly stood up for the idea, that all the killings of females near motorways in the region are committed by one person, a serial killer, not separate murderers, as the investigators had conveniently presumed. The Militsiya also detected that the serial killer was using a red Zaporozhets; as they started checking all the people of the oblast, who possessed such a car, Mikhasevich as a druzhinnik participated in these actions, in a way searching for himself. This also enabled him to learn of the steps the investigators were taking beforehand. The year 1985 was especially 'prolific' for the murderer: he killed 12 females in this year alone.

Eventually, Mikhasevich, who was now getting concerned, made a fatal mistake: in order to derail the investigation, he sent an anonymous letter to the local newspaper on behalf of an imaginary undeground organization 'Patriots of Vitebsk', supposedly calling his fellow militants to intensify their struggle of killing communists and lewd women. When he left a similar hand-written note next to his new victim, again signed on behalf of 'Patriots of Vitebsk', the investigators started to ascertain the handwritings of the male residents of the oblast. Having checked 556 thousand samples, the experts detected that the sample with the handwriting of Gennady Modestovich Mikhasevich had striking resemblance with the handwriting on the murderers' notes. Further investigation revealed other evidence convincing them of Mikhasevich's guilt.

He was finally arrested in 1985, he confessed after initial denial and was sentenced to death and executed in 1987. His case became notorious in the USSR (“The Vitebsk Case” (“Витебское дело”)), as it revealed both the incapability of the militsiya and the corruption of the law enforcement agencies: by the time Mikhasevich was finally arrested, 14 people had already been convicted for the crimes Mikhasevich committed, the suspects had been often forced to confess by torture, and a couple of them had been sentenced to death and executed for the crimes they did not commit.


Mikhasevich, Gennadiy

Between 1971 and 1985, 36 women were strangled in the surroundings of Soloniki in White Russia. It wasn't until 1984 that a detective realized all of the murders were committed by one man, because of the striking resemblance of the cases.

Meanwhile, four different 'offenders' had already been taken in custody and convicted, although the murders simply continued. The investigators however, thought that wasn't a problem: they'd done their jobs; they had arrested the killer and got promoted.

The new murders didn't have anything to do with their cases. At most, there could be talk of a copycat killer. However, fame could not be obtained, because such outrages scrupulously were averted from the national newspapers.

In 1974, the first 'killer' was already convicted to ten years of imprisonment. In 1980, N.S. Tereniv got executed. An other 'killer' became blind while serving his sentence, and Oleg Adamov got convicted to 15 years in prison.

In February 1984, a girl student was murdered. This caused drew the attention of police inspector Nicolai Ignatovich. He was stricken by the resemblance with other murders committed in that area. He decided to investigate the case profoundly.

Witnesses often had seen a red Russian car, a Zaparoshet, in the surroundings of the crime scene. Ignatovich followed up this clue and started up an intensive investigation. If the killer even had been aware of this investigation, it didn't stop him. In 1985, two more women were killed. He left a message on the bodies, signed: 'the patriot of Vitebsk'.

Earlier on, the police had received a letter, written in the same handwritings. The author mentioned in that letter he had committed the murders because he wanted to revenge himself on adulterous women. It didn't matter if this was the truth or not, at least, Ignatovich had the disposal of the killer's handwriting.

Eventually, the gigantic list of potential suspects that was composed of the owners of a red car, reduced. Ignatovich realized there was a man living in Soloniki who could help him answering a lot of questions.

When he went to a firm where motorized vehicles were being repaired and checked the handwriting of the author of the letter with those of the employees, he got to a breakthrough in the investigation. On a receipt for delivered merchandise, he found the exact same handwriting. The signature belonged to Gennadiy Mikasevich, who was responsible for the company.

Mikasevich initially denied all charges of the murders, but after an intense interrogation, he made a clean breast of it. Later on, he guided the investigators to the spot where he had hidden the belongings of his victims. He confessed he didn't have any trouble enticing the women. Mikasevich simply offered them a ride in his red Zaparoshet and they enthusiastically agreed. In a Russian provincial town, a ride in a car was something you didn't refuse.

Ironically, Mikasevich diligently took part in the search for the serial killer. In his spare time, he was a volunteer at the local police, and in order not to be suspected, he helped eagerly with the investigation. With other volunteers, he held up red cars, interrogating the drivers who were reported on Ignatovich's list.

It is not known when Mikasevich got executed, but most likely, it happened between 1985 and 1988.

By Queenie - Serial Killers A-Z


Gennadiy Mikasevich

BORN : 1947

DIED : between 1985 and 1988


During the 70's and 80's the U.S.S.R. was a place where it was rather hard to get the full story on anything, especially if the story was one that painted the State in a bad light. While this is not really a bad thing, when combined with corrupt law officials, more worried about not being promoted then solving a case, it can be rather dangerous for both criminals and innocent people (if there are any left?)

It is this combination that allowed Gennadiy Mikasevich to continue murdering for 14 years. During this time four different men were convicted of his crimes due to police trying to close cases quickly.

Mikasevich was born in Polotsk, Byelorussia, in 1947. He went on to work as the chief of a state run motor vehicle repair facility. In his spare time he was a volunteer police man, patrolling his home town of Polotsk.

According to his account he would drive around in his Russian made Zaparoshet and find a woman he liked the look of. He would then offer them a lift, which all the victims accepted willingly. He would then go somewhere quiet, remove his scarf and strangle them. By Mikasevich records his busiest year was 1984 when he killed 14.

While under the guise of policeman he conducted his own investigation into the unsolved murders. He stopped people in little red cars (which it was believed the killer drove) and he even interviewed suspects about the murders that he was committing. Mikasevich truly was a very smart man. During his murder spree 4 men were found guilty of his crimes.


O. P. Glushahov - 1974: Sentenced to 10 years.

N. S. Tereniv - 1980: Executed

V. Gorelov - ??: Spent six years in prison where he went blind.

Oleg Adamov - ??: Sentenced to 15 years in prison. Attempted suicide (some say he died, some say he is still alive)

But it all went wrong for Mikasevich when he got cocky. He sent a letter to police stating that he was committing "revenge against adulterous women." He signed the letter "Patriot of Vitebsk." He also placed similar letters next to the final two victims.

This gave police something to go on - Handwriting.

Police also believed that the killer drove a small red car, so over 200,000 registrations were checked. One Detective, Nicolai Ivanovich Ignatovich, also checked the passports of over 312,000 citizens looking for a handwriting match. This really is an unbelievable amount of crap to have to sift through for someone that they had already caught four times and executed once.

So, eventually they narrowed it down to a couple and after viewing Mikasevich's writing on a receipt from his work it was decide that this was the guy.

After a couple of days 'interrogation' Mikasevich cracked. He admitted to everything. Usually I would probably be really sarcastic here, stating how anyone would crack after being tortured for days on end by police and admit to anything, but in this case I can't because he then led police to a well where he had hidden personal belongings of his victims. So it is probably a bit hard to deny that he was guilty.

As is the norm in the old Soviet Union the killer was taken into the woods and executed. This happened sometime between 1985 and 1988, but as this information is not actually released to the public this is all I know about the execution.

All information for this story came from the one source:

Nash, Jay Robert. World Encyclopedia of 20th Century Murder. (1992) Headline Book Publishing, London.

The Wacky World of Murder



The first Russian serial killer acknowledged by the state-controlled Soviet news media, Gennadiy Mikhasevich was born in 1947, in the territory of Byelorussia (present-day Belarus).

Details of his crimes remain sparse: the February 3, 1988, Tass announcement of his execution simply states that Mikhasevich had "savagely killed" 33 women over the past 15 years.  Some Western reports cite a body count of 36, with the first death recorded in 1971, but the reliabillty of those accounts is still unclear.

We know that Mikhasevich was employed as a factory worker in Saloniki, serving for a time as chief of the state motor vehicle repair works, voluntecring as an auxiliary policeman in his spare time. In the latter capacity, he helped "investigase" his own crimes, questioning various suspects and sometimes stopping drivers of cars that resembled the elusive slayer's vehicle. Through ¡t all, he continued to kill, with 14 victims murdered in the peak year of 1984.

Soviet police might not admit to a killer at large, but they were aware of his crimes, all the same.  Regrettably, as Tass admitted years later, "the investigation veered from the right track," with a dozen defendants convicted and sentenced for varlous crimes they did not commit, following "breaches of law" by Byelorussian homicide investigators.

Four innocent suspects were actually framed and convicted on murder charges: one of them was executed, another killed himself in custody, and a third innocent defendant went blind in prison. Officials responsable for the frame-ups were belatedly punished, according to Tass, but once again the details are unavailable.

No matter who they sent to jail, the murders continued; the clusive slayer picked women up in his small, red Zaporachet car and strangled them with a scarf. A letter was sent to police at one point, signed "Patriot of Vitebsk," which attributed the slaylngs to "revenge against adulterous women." Detectives knew the letter was authentic when similar notes were left with the killer's last two victims in 1985. 

Meanwhile, Detective Nikolai Iquatovich was slogging through mountains of paperwork, checking out the owners of some 200,000 red cars and the holders of 312,000 interstate passports. lt was reportedly the latter approach which led to Mikhasevich's arrest, sometime in 1985.  He confessed to the murders in custody and was sentenced to death by firing squad.

Michael Newton - An Encyclopedia of Modern Serial Killers - Hunting Humans



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