|“||Suprunyuk: What, he's still alive?
Sayenko: He's still moving his arms after I ripped up his intestines.
— Video of Sergei Yatzenko's murder
Viktor Sayenko, Igor Suprunyuk, and Alexander Hanzha, collectively known as "The Dnepropetrovsk Maniacs", were a pack of Ukrainian serial/spree killers thrill killers, robbers, one-time cop killers, and one-time enucleators who brutally killed nearly two-dozen people during a murder spree that lasted nearly four weeks. While Hanzha never directly participated in the murders, he is considered a part of the group as he was aware of the criminal activities.
Sayenko, Suprunyuk, and Hanzha were all born in 1988 to wealthy, influential parents and attended school together. The three individuals had several phobias, which they dealt with by doing strange activities, such as standing on a balcony of their apartment, hanging over the railing to combat their fear of heights. Hanzha had hemophobia, which Suprunyuk suggested tackling by torturing and killing stray dogs. The three then proceeded to do so and taking pictures of them standing beside the corpses. The boys were also apparently enthusiasts over the Nazi cause.
After graduating high school, Sayenko and Hanzha went to their own jobs, while Suprunyuk, officially being unemployed, became an unlicensed taxi driver. The three took up robbing Suprunyuk's passengers, some of whom were reported to later wind up as their victims. On March 1, 2007, Hanzha committed two armed robberies that he would end charged for. Eventually, Sayenko and Suprunyuk apparently lost interest in robbing and decided to take it to the next step, murdering random people for the sheer thrill of it.
On July 25, 2007, with Ekaterina Ilchenko and Roman Tatarevich, Sayenko and Suprunyuk initiated their killing spree, randomly picking pedestrians and then bludgeoning them with blunt objects, such as hammers and steel construction bars, and recording some of the murders. Several victims were also robbed of their possessions.
Multiple bodies would be found in one day, usually two. Additionally, some victims weren't killed in Dnepropetrovsk, but towns located in the surrounding areas. Their spree came to public attention after a survivor, fourteen-year-old Vadim Lyakhov, immediately ran to the police after his friend was murdered by them, and also when a victim, Natalia Mamarchuk, was beaten to death in front of many witnesses. The investigation was kept secret at first, but eventually, sketches were distributed and the victims' stolen possessions were listed to local pawn shops. The three were arrested a week after the spree ended when Suprunyuk tried selling a mobile phone belonging to one of his victims. The phone had to be turned on to ensure it worked, allowing law enforcement agents to find it and trace its location, leading to the arrests of Sayenko and Suprunyuk.
Meanwhile, authorities invaded Hanzha's home and arrested him, but not before he managed to erase the information on numerous stolen mobile phones he attempted to flush down the toilet. Sayenko, Suprunyuk, and Hanzha were all charged for numerous instances of premeditated murder (excluding Hanzha), animal cruelty, robbery, and armed robbery. All three immediately made confessions, though Suprunyuk would go on to withdraw his. Eventually, all three men were found guilty to all of their respective charges. Sayenko and Suprunyuk were both sentenced to life imprisonment, while Hanzha was sentenced to nine years in prison, the brief sentence being because Hanzha never participated in the murders. Sayenko and Suprunyuk's ghastly videos of their murders received a large amount of attention. One of the videos managed to find its way into the Internet on December 4, 2008; it is a recording of the brutal murder of Sergei Yatzenko, who was killed on July 27, 2007. The leaking of the video received criticism, but it was later admitted that control over videos posted on the Internet was "virtually impossible".
Sayenko and Suprunyuk killed their victims by savagely bludgeoning them with blunt objects like hammers and steel construction rods. They often aimed for the faces, beating them so badly that the victims would be almost unrecognizable. Some of the victims were also subjugated to torture and mutilation, the latter of which included the gouging out of eyes, and some were also robbed of their possessions, which Sayenko and Suprunyuk would later sell at pawn shops.
The Academy Maniacs
Artyom Anoufriev and Nikita Lytkin were inspired by the maniacs to commit a killing spree of their own. Nicknamed "The Academy Maniacs", they killed six people and attempted to kill nine others during a five-month span in 2010 and 2011 in Irkutsk, Russia. On April 2, 2013, Anoufriev was sentenced to life in prison, while Lytkin was sentenced to 24 years, for the murders.
- Unspecified date and location in 2005: Unnamed boy (beaten by Suprunyuck and his bike stolen; survived)
- Unspecified dates and locations from 2005 to 2007: Numerous unnamed victims (all robbed only)
- March 1, unspecified locations: Two unspecified armed robberies (committed by Hanzha at Dniprodzerzhynsk)
- June-July: 21 killed, plus eight survivors, in the killing spree. Known victims are:
- June 25, Dnepropetrovsk:
- Ekaterina Ilchenko, 33 (bludgeoned with a hammer by Suprunyuck)
- Roman Tatarevich, 35 (his head was smashed with blunt objects)
- Viktor Pertsev, 58 (his face was smashed with a blunt object; survived)
- June 28, Dnepropetrovsk:
- Alexey Kovbasa, 69
- Valery Krivospitsky, 53
- July 1, Novomoskovsk:
- Yevgenia Grischenko, 15
- Nikolai Serchuk, 56
- July 6, Dnepropetrovsk:
- Egor Nechvoloda, 21 (bludgeoned with a hammer over 15 times; his killers wrote a swastika on his forehead)
- Elena Shram, 28 (bludgeoned eight times with a hammer by Suprunyuk)
- Valentina Hanzha, 51
- July 7, Podgorodnoye:
- Andrei Sidyuck, 14
- Vadim Lyakhov, 14 (attempted; he escaped)
- July 11, Dnepropetrovsk:
- Nikolai Pshenichko, 53
- An unidentified man
- July 12, Dnepropetrovsk:
- Sergei Yatzenko, 48 (struck repeatedly in the face with a hammer 10 times and stabbed in the eye and abdomen with a screwdriver)
- Regina Prokopenko, 85
- July 13, Dnepropetrovsk: Nikolai Maryanchikova
- July 14, Dnepropetrovsk: Natalia Mamarchuk, 45 (bludgeoned her with a hammer or a pipe while riding her scooter)
- July 15, Dnepropetrovsk: Vladimir Rakovsky, 51
- July 16, Dnepropetrovsk: Yuri Pekhotin, 47
- Unspecified dates and locations:
- Unnamed woman (was pregnant; the fetus was ripped from her womb)
- Lidia Mikrenischeva, 70 (survived)
- June 25, Dnepropetrovsk:
On Criminal Minds
While the Maniacs were never directly mentioned or referenced on the show, they appear to have been an inspiration for the following unsubs:
- Season Five
- Turner's Group ("Hopeless") - Both groups consisted of three members, whom all (except Hanzha, who was aware of the group's activities, yet never participated) were spree and thrill killers, recorded some of their murders, killed their victims by savagely bludgeoning them with steel rods and other blunt objects (sometimes even up to the point where their victims were left unrecognizable), and tortured them while doing so (the Group tortured one victim by nailing his hands to a desk and psychologically tortured their other victims, while the Maniacs sometimes mutilated theirs and gouged out their eyes).
- Season Six
- Ben Foster ("With Friends Like These...") - Both were groups (Foster's were made up) of spree killers and robbers who targeted random victims, bludgeoned and stabbed them to death, and sold their belongings. Also the way the BAU initially assumed that Foster's murders were being committed by a pack of thrill killers seems to be a further nod to the Maniacs.
- Horrific True Stories summary of the maniacs' crimes (GRAPHIC DETAILS AND PHOTOS)
- Thought Catalog summary about the maniacs (pg. 1)
- Murderpedia's article on Sayenko
- Valentina has no relation to Alexander Hanzha