Dying For A Scoop
By Walton Golightly
It seemed a serial killer was at work in Kičevo, in Macedonia. He had murdered at least three women – Mitra Simjanoska, 64, found dead in 2005; Ljubica Licoska, 56, murdered in February 2007; and Zivana Temelkoska, 65, murdered in May 2008. Each had been raped, beaten repeatedly and strangled with a phone cord, then wrapped in plastic bags and dumped.
Here’s how local journalist Vlado Taneski, 56, writing in the newspaper New Macedonia on May 19, 2008, described the way things were after the discovery of Temelkoska: “The people of Kičevo live in fear after another butchered body has been found in the town. The corpse strongly resembles one discovered 20km outside Kičevo last year and there is a possibility that these monstrous murders are the work of a serial killer…
The latest body was found in a rubbish dump. It had been tied up with a piece of phone cable with which the woman had clearly been previously strangled.”
It was this eye for detail, as well as the journalist’s ‘inside knowledge’ of the brutal murders, that had Taneski’s readers riveted. It also made the police suspicious. A close reading of Taneski’s reports revealed they contained information which had not been released to the public!
“He knew too much,” said police spokesperson Ivo Kotevski later.
Taneski was arrested on June 22, 2008, after his DNA was matched to the semen found on the victims, and charged with the murder of two of the women.
Crime reporter Ognen Cancarevik, who collaborated with Taneski on the articles, said Taneski was ‘a nice and educated guy who seemed completely normal’. “When the police rang me to say, ‘Your reporter is the murderer,’ I could barely believe my ears.”
Cancarevik added that Taneski was separated from his wife and had two grown children. He had had a tense relationship with his mother, which had worsened after his father committed suicide in 1990.
“He was so calm when he was discussing the murders. All of these women lived only metres away from his house,” Cancarevik told The Associated Press.
The police, meanwhile, noted the fact the victims were cleaners, as was Taneski’s dead mother, and all three bore a striking resemblance to her!
“There is obvious symbolism in the fact that his mother, like the victims, was a cleaner,” said psychiatrist Prof Antoni Novotni.
On the day after his arrest Taneski was
found in the cell he shared with two other men, dead with his head in a bucket of water.