On May 31st, around 1 PM, the Krakow police received a phone call from an elderly man stating there was a murder at his house in a tiny village near the city. The man asserted that he believed his grandson was the murderer.
In the basement of the house was a corpse dangling upside down from the ceiling. The victim, a 50-year old man, had been beheaded and the skin of his head and face was found at the scene. It was sewn to form a mask. The head was found outside the house.
The murderer was a Russian immigrant, Wladimir W. The victim, his father Witalij.
The details revealed during interrogation were even more shocking. Wladimir wore his father’s face and clothes for a whole day and pretended to be him in front of his grandfather, who didn’t see very well. The motive, he said, was the hatred he felt towards his father after he cheated on his wife and left her with nothing in Nalchik, Russia to pursue a new life in Poland with his son and father.
Even more frightening, is the possibility that Wladimir knew Kasia. They both studied Psychology at the Uniwersytet Jagiellonski. They were not in the same class, so this data remains as speculation. He started in 1992, she did in 1993, but dropped out after a year. He did not confess to killing her. He is currently spending his 25-year sentence in a Russian jail.
In Krakow, there have only been three cases ever of someone being skinned after death. The last one happened in 1983. Jan N., a perfectly normal citizen, one day decided to murder and skin his wife and teenage son. He then tried to dispose of the bodies by tossing them into the Vistula piece by piece. He was arrested before he completed his plan and was committed to a mental institution indefinitely. His poor physical health led to him being granted “parole” during the time of Katarzyna’s death, but the police determined he couldn’t have done that for the above reason.
Investigation revealed that Katarzyna skipped her classes for two weeks before the disappearance. In fact, she disappeared during one of these truancies. This points to the possibility of a secret relationship. Her friends only knew of one male friend, who had an alibi during the time of her death.
In 2000, DNA belonging to another person was discovered on Kasia’s skin. It was compared to all the suspects and persons of interest in the case, including known sexual offenders, but to no avail.
The case was reopened in 2012. Traces of relatively rare plant species were found on the sweater, which the police believe could pinpoint the location of the crime. Also, it has been revealed that Katarzyna has been tortured before death.