A new Gypsy victim in Hungary

A forty-five-year-old widow was killed in her sleep late Sunday night or early Monday morning in Kisléta, a village of 2,000 in northeastern Hungary. Her daughter, who was sleeping in another room, was shot several times with a shotgun but escaped death. The bodies were found when the woman's sister arrived by car to pick her up. They were supposed to go to work at a farm harvesting tobacco. The girl was unconscious and was taken to a nearby hospital where she subsequently underwent a six-hour operation. This X-ray gives an idea of the extent of her injuries.Soret Approximately 100 pieces of shrapnel were found in her body. Some of them were removed, others will most likely remain in her body forever. She is still sedated. Two policemen are sitting in front of her room in the intensive care unit in case the perpetrators try to finish her off in order to silence her. Some of the investigators figure that leaving her alive was the serial killers' first mistake. Others (as it turned out, contrary to crime scene evidence) came to the conclusion that these perpetrators were not "professionals" like the others because of this "slip-up."

The police are piecing things together. At least this is what I gathered from an interview with József Bencze, chief of the national police force. They have identified four distinct sets of footprints, and they are certain that the bullets came from two different weapons. Moreover, they know that these weapons were used at least twice before in cases previously investigated. Thus four or perhaps more people are responsible for at least seven deaths. Out of the nine attacks six were committed on Sunday night or early Monday morning. The Hungarian police have asked for help from the FBI and Interpol. They are hoping to receive information from the police of the neighboring countries as well. Bencze, a man of quiet manners, sounded outright frantic today. He spoke a mile a minute and the reporter had difficulty asking him any questions. One has the feeling that the man is under incredible pressure. Certainly it doesn't help that Fidesz is accusing the police of incompetence. An opposition party official announced that "Fidesz expects results and soon." According to Fidesz, the police must be reinforced "morally" and, of course, a new minister is needed "who doesn't falsify evidence." The reference here is to the unfortunate mishap of misidentifying a video as depicting the handiwork of the Arrows of Hungarians, a terrorist group. 

Let's look at the "record" to date. Here is a list of murders or attempted murders: July 21, 2008 in Galgagyörk, August 8 in Piricse, September 5 in Nyíradony, November 3 in Nagycsécse, December 15 in Alsózsolca, February 24, 2009 in Tatárszentgyörgy, April 23 inTiszalök and now in Kisléta. This map appeared in Népszabadság on March 10, so it's a little out of date.Cigany gyilkossagok Tiszalök and Kisléta, which are not marked on the map, are also in the northeast corner of the country.

There are of course those, especially on the right side of the political spectrum, who simply can't believe that serial killers are responsible for the murders and attempted murders. They are especially loath to entertain the possibility of a racial motivation for these crimes, though it is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the fact that the victims are Gypsies. According to these people "good Hungarians" are incapable of such crimes. They must be foreigners. Very often they talk about some Slovak mafia that wants to "destabilize" the country. They point to the bombings in downtown Budapest in 1998 when different mafioso types were killing each other, and indeed then there was a Slovak thread in this international gang warfare. One of the criminals was a Slovak, Jozef Roháč, recently extradicted from Slovakia and now sitting in a Hungarian jail awaiting trial. However, a Slovak thread in this case would be really far-fetched. There is another right-wing explanation: MSZP is behind all these murders in order to discredit the far-right. Well, that is equally unlikely.

Remains the serial killer theory. Serial killers who hate Gypsies. Or hired hands of some extreme political group. József Bencze often talks about the Hungarian police's inexperience with serial killers. Naturally, they are not as common in Hungary as in the United States. After all, there is a huge difference in the size of the population. However, Hungary has had its share of them. Lajos Soós and his accomplices killed five people in the sixties and seventies. In the nineties László Bene and Aladár Donászi finished off four men. Even in the "good old days" there were serial killers in Hungary. In 1916 the police found the bodies of seven women buried in the yard of Béla Kis; some people suspect that he may have killed between fifty and sixty people. In the 1950s a mother and daughter killed at least five young girls. Between 1957 and 1967 Péter Kovács killed at least five women. In the 1980s a man killed several children. He was caught and put into a psychiatric ward; he killed again after being released. So serial murder is not unknown in Hungary. But serial killers are notoriously difficult to catch. Often the police can only hope that they trip up, that they become careless and cocky.

The police and Bencze cannot get rattled because then will be a repetition of the mistakes I talked about in the last few days. And that would be very unfortunate.

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Member

These attacks look very like the sort of thing that plagued Northern Ireland through most of the last 40 years, the work of a self-proclaimed political killer not some US style serial killer.
Maybe the Hungarian police should get some help from someone like Ronnie Flanagan, the retired head of the Northern Ireland police, as they have a lot of experience in dealing with these types of offences during the NI “Troubles”. I think he teaches in the FBI academy nowadays.

Odin's lost eye
Guest
I will agree with David. In some ways these attacks do resemble those found in Northern Ireland in the past. There are some differences however. Firstly there is the use of ’Shot Guns’ which are smooth bore weapons and not rifled as stated in the article. ‘Shot guns’ aka in the U.S as ‘scatter guns’ are essentially sporting/hunting weapons used mainly for shooting at moving targets as their charge of shot spreads. They will kill ‘small game’ at 60 to 70 meters and humans at closer range. Their effect is dependant in the size of the shot used in the cartridge. Forensically their shot yields very little information unlike a shot from a rifled weapon which carries a distinctive imprint of the rifling and scratches left during the manufacture of the weapon. From the shot recovered at the scene and from the victims the forensic people could estimate the ‘load’ of the cartridge (How much shot it contained and the size of the individual balls). They could then estimate the ‘bore’ (U.S. ‘gauge’) of the weapon used. Shot guns are only made in a few chosen sizes normally these are 12, 16, 20, 24 and an ‘odd-ball’ the 0.410”. From… Read more »
Katalin
Guest

Odin: “In Hungary you can, so I have been told, only shoot if you belong to a legal shooting syndicate.”
In Hungary you can shoot if you have a weapon. And people do, and they’re not necessarily registered. Just today, the Hungarian police uncovered a huge hidden weapon arsenal (police.hu).
In Hungary you can do many things. The Hungarian Guard was banned and doesn’t give a ***. Why hasn’t their website been shut off instantly? So much about legal vs real life.

Eva S. Balogh
Guest

Katalin: “n Hungary you can do many things. The Hungarian Guard was banned and doesn’t give a ***. Why hasn’t their website been shut off instantly? So much about legal vs real life.”
Good question. Eva

Eva S. Balogh
Guest

Odin: “There are some differences however. Firstly there is the use of ’Shot Guns’ which are smooth bore weapons and not rifled as stated in the article.”
Thanks. I’m totally ignorant of weapons. I tried to check it in the Hungarian-English dictionary but poor Mr. Országh as usual was useless. I will correct it.

Eva S. Balogh
Guest

Odin”: “You say ‘Last Sunday’ was that Sunday the 1st of August?”
Yes.

Odin's lost eye
Guest
Professor – Thank you for confirming the date. Actually the 1st August was a Saturday but it does not really affect the results of some O.R. type analysis I have done on your information. This has proved very interesting and has shown up something quite alarming. The inferences which can be drawn form the results are so alarming that I do not want to reveal the results. I will also be doing more work on your X-ray image of the victims scull when I have time. By doing this I might be able to get a ‘handle’ onto the quality of the cartridge used. Was it an expensive very accurately made cartridge or a cheap and cheerful type. O.R (Operational Research) is an almost forgotten (and unfashionable) way of looking at problems. It can still throw up surprising insights into the area being researched. As to Mr. Országh, my small dictionary by Hollo és Társa defined shotgun as ’vadászpuska’, which I think means ‘wild gun’, but I may be wrong. Just out of interest rifles usually have grooves in the barrel which twist. The shot is forced into the grooves and emerged spinning which stabilises the conical bullet and stops… Read more »
Member

Normally the way these things worked in Northern Ireland is that there is a reasonably small core of killers who take the biggest risk of getting caught and a much larger outer fringe of supporters/helpers. The supporters will provide information, intelligence and targets and some of the reconnaissance for the killers. Their involvement will be done in a deniable way, so that it is more difficult to prosecute them. The supporters are likely to be drawn from the wider circle of the political group within which the killers operate. The political group itself will always pretend that it has no involvement whatsoever in the killings, even if its leadership know about them or have ordered them. The leaders will always be sufficiently distant from the actual killing to get caught. The group itself will have internal Chinese walls so that only trusted members actually get near the killing, both to prevent infiltration by police agents and to preserve deniability amongst the rank and file membership.

Member

I should add that if these murders in Hungary are being perpetrated by the same group, that the group is already quite sophisticated.
Operations like this need reconnaissance and the identification of targets, in this instance in a number of geographically separate areas. They have already decided to use shotguns, which as noted above are more difficult to trace.
One thing that tended to get people caught in Northern Ireland was the getaway car. Either they use their own car, with a high risk of getting caught and lots of forensic evidence in the car, or they steal one, leaving a trail from the theft to the place where the car is abandoned. Either way, this should be the riskiest part, I just hope the Hungarian police are aware of this.

Sophist
Guest

David,
I’m quite intrigued with your comparision with the IRA especially since I have convinced myself that these killings are the result of a racially motivated serial killer rather than an organised terrorist campaign.
Surely the biggest difference with the IRA is target selection. I have the impression that these IRA assassinations were directed at British military or RUC or NI Government figures. The attacks in Hungary have not been directed at prominent Roma politicians or Roma organised criminals or even organisations supporting Roma rights, simply ordinary gypsies. There doesn’t seem to be any political dimension to the killings, simply a racial one.

Member
Sophist, I was thinking about both the IRA and other Loyalist and Republican groups in NI and generalising a bit. When it comes to the IRA, in theory the IRA was targeting British targets, but in practice the connection with the British military could be that vague that virtually anyone in NI that was not an active IRA supporter could be targeted, especially if they were from the Protestant community. As late as the early 1990s there were a series of large scale bomb attacks on (not uncoincidentally) mainly Protestant towns for the alleged crime of allowing policemen to live there. Some of the more indiscriminate targeting was due to the fact that it is safer to blow up unarmed Protestant civilians with under car bombs than to attack armed British soldiers, but a significant amount of it was because the IRA hated their Protestant neighbours more than they hated the British. Politics of this extreme nationalist version is basically racism in a pretty package to keep the funds coming in from the gullible in Irish America. Hungarian extremists do seem to get at least some of their inspiration from Irish Republicans. One of the main post-IRA groups was the… Read more »
Odin's lost eye
Guest
David The IRA used assassination as a weapon directed at the RUC the anti terrorist intelligence, the UVF and the UDA etc. They also used it to drive Protestants out of mixed areas so as to increase their secure bases. Some of their tactics were learned from ETA and EOKA. Unlike the IRA who often operated in daylight and whose ‘hit-men’ were not too worried about being seen, these guys are! Mr Sohpist I think those who are committing these killings and they are relatively small in number. From my O.R. findings some of which are rather frightening, they have a small but very sophisticated organisation. There have been no ‘claims’ which is something no terror organisation seeking publicity can resist. So far there have been only 8 incidents. One problem is we do not know how many abortive attempts there have been. These would be ones which were called off because something was not quite right, a dog barked and a light went on is someone’s window or they had seen a police traffic patrol etc. Their method, after the event, seems to be to fade into the night. They seem careful, well briefed about their target(s) and probably… Read more »
Member

“What are they trying to do? I think they are trying to provoke a Roma backlash but they are taking their time over it. A Roma backlash would be something upon which their political masters would capitalise as it would allow the full power of the state to be unleashed against the Roma. Their hit men would then ‘retire’.”
While provoking a backlash is a highly likely motivation, I am less convinced that the purpose of this is to create a state clampdown. After all the radical nationalist trend in Hungary seems to prefer non-state paramilitary type groups such as the various strands of Magyar Guard etc. They would probably prefer little state response, as they could then portray the state as complicit in Gypsy crime (they do this already) and themselves as the true protectors of decent Hungarians.

Member

PS Odin, I am interested in knowing about your OR (operational research) method. What does that mean in this context?

Sophist
Guest
Again the parallel with NI, the Maygar Guard marches in Gypsy communities – or similar movements like this http://www.caboodle.hu/nc/news/news_archive/single_page/article/11/skinheads_ba/?cHash=17e3f9ec14 were surely intended to provoke a backlash, as the Orangemen marches in Catholic communities do. But I’m not aware that there has been any retaliation by Gypsies. As for the assassinations, again unless the targets have any higher significance to the Gypsy community I can’t see that it would provoke demonstrations and street violence from Gypsies. I suspect that as a community they are not comparable with Northern Irish Republicans, they lack the sense of identity, institutions and historical sense of greivance. As Odin remarks “There have been no ‘claims’ which is something no terror organisation seeking publicity can resist” I still choose to see this as due to a lack of political motivation rather than an excess of sophistication, but time will tell. Interestingly, Jobbik has been trying to broaden its remit as protectors: http://www.politics.hu/20090804/jobbik-stages-demonstration-against-banks-foreign-speculative-capital- This suggests to me that they are looking for a way out of the “Gypsy crime” deadend. To me this is real issue, I know far more victims of foreign-currency loans than I do of “Gypsy crime”. It is also a national issue, as the… Read more »
Odin's lost eye
Guest
David – The techniques I used are really simple. Given the very few facts we have for the eight incidents which are just place names, dates and the fact that the attacks seem to have occurred at ‘dead of night’ – midnight and after-. We can now start. Firstly look at the day of the week when they happened. Here you find a strong preference towards the night of Sunday-Monday. This tells us that the Emmets doing this have to be somewhere else on Monday but can sleep. You can draw other conclusions from this. Now look at the dates and think about night time and the Moon! No we are not into werewolves or vampires etc. What we are looking at is the need for light! These people travel on their final approach on foot and the know how to move unseen in the dark and not give away their position using torches. Now the Moon has 4 phases or quarters each 7 days apart. The 1st quarter (the New Moon) this is when the moon rises at Sun rise. In the 1st quarter there is little moonlight. The 2nd quarter this when the moon rises some 6 hours… Read more »
Bill Davis
Guest
Get outa here with that moon beam bullshit,whoever is waxing these gypsy’s are not calculating the phases of the moon!!!there oppurtunistic hunters who from what i can see,are probably between the age realm of 35 to 55 years old very healthy would not stand out in a crowd,quiet,reserved,definate military training or at least para military training,has a very good understanding of how weapons work,also how to make weapons and load there own rounds,i do not have everything i calculated posted but i can give you a real good idea of this persons profile,it is a white male between 35 and 55 years old has a mixed back ground of half hungarian probably half serb or russian, foreign military training,serbia,russia,u.s and is educated probably 4 or more years of college,in a technical field,most likely a builder/designer, a definate sociopath borderline exremist psycopath with no regard or remorse what so ever,has definately killed enough to be comfortable doing it and can sleep quite well knowing he will never get caught,at least not by a hungarian investigator,will continue to kill until his desired objective is accomplished,if you would like me to help you build a profile you can contact me at lasvegas1973@hotmail.com thanks… Read more »
Member

Bill ..and the reported 4 distinct sets of footprints? Does he have 8 legs?

Sophist
Guest

David,
The “4 distinct sets of footprints” may not all have come from the perpetrators. It rained last week, and then the hot weather baked the soil hard – I can still my footprints in my garden.

ZI
Guest
1)he doesn’t stay to take a good look at his “work” that’s for sure- he is not proud etc. – takes nothing with himself 2)he’s shooting with a shotgun in tight rooms, from close if outdoors, yet still the little girl survived- he’s is not experienced in shooting. 3)villages: the choice of places might be a commom factor, but there are not many real “big cities” in Hungary, the capital itself has a pop. of only 2.000.000 people. and we know villages, they are all the same in the whole world. No police station / no cameras (I mean sec. cameras of fuel stations / banks /stores like in the cities). 4) victims: all of them gypsies, yes. No connection between them, they’ve never met each other, and most likely they have never met the killer(s) before. 5)involving pofilers from the INterPol or FBI is something, but in this case a good profile won’t help either. 6) what investigators can rely on in these cases are a)the weapon which is no matter what they write here, is very hard to come by in Hungary from the black-market- especially high performance shotguns and ammunition. b)people: see Hungary is small. If someone… Read more »
Peter
Guest

I would not be surprised if some of the police or maybe former police turned bad and decided to take the law into their own hands and inflict justice (in their own mind) on the gypsis, I hope not but there are plenty sofisticated people in Hungary (not only in Hungary) that hate gypsis.

wpDiscuz