The Scene of the Crime


About twenty years ago in Ukraine a family of four was brutally killed by one of the worst serial killers in modern history. The brother, his wife and daughter of one of the killed family members today live in the house where the murders took place.

−Some people think we should have sold the house we inherited, but that wouldn’t have changed anything, Natasha says. She is married to Tolik, who’s sister and family were brutally murder by the serial killer.

-It took us eight years to make our minds up, but we realised that life must go on. Nothing will bring our loved ones back anyway, Tolik adds.

The family that was brutally murdered, was only one of many tragedies that was instigated by Anatoly Onoprienko in Ukraine. In 1996 he was found guilty of 52 murders. Onoprienko serves a life time sentence for his atrocities.

Read more about Natasha and Tolik on Untold Stories.


About Otto von Münchow

Photographer based in Norway
This entry was posted in Photography, Photojournalism and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to The Scene of the Crime

  1. Helen Cherry says:

    none of us have the rigyht to determine how others should deal with their grief.

  2. I think Natasha is right, moving wouldn’t change anything, but it seems like it would be hard to live with so many reminders. At least Onoprienko was locked up and can’t hurt any more people.

  3. lensandpensbysally says:

    Otto, another powerful story that has a wide range of emotion attached to it. You continue to share these riveting stories, which show how individuals can sustain a present and future even in the throes of a tragic past. Thanks.

  4. Phillip says:

    What an amazing story Otto. Well written and interesting.

  5. They probably feel closer to their loved ones even if there is a reminder of their brutal deaths. What a shame that the murderer wasn’t caught sooner.

  6. I have always wondered about this type of thing. A young notorious couple in my home area were responsible for the deaths of several young women. The home they lived in, tortured and murdered their victims when put on the market would not sell. Eventually they had to demolish the house.
    There are probably lots of homes that horrible things have happened in that we are unaware of and people live in them and are happy. It is just the awareness that makes the outsiders uncomfortable and they pass it along to who lives there. I am not sure how I would feel about it if it were me.

  7. Linda says:

    This are strong and reasoned people. I’m not sure I could do the same, but I admire their ability to rise above the crime.

  8. So sorry for their loss and grief. No man and woman has the right to take anyone’s life or cause such unconsolable pain. My thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families. I’m glad the killer got caught. He needs to be answerable for every horror he created.

  9. I know that it is my responsibility as a member of this world to support the healing process for the victims of such tragedy. Thanks for sharing. The photo is quietly powerful.

  10. Elaine- says:

    Wow, that’s a horrible thing to happen and have to live with the memory of, they must be very strong people… I’m not sure I could do that, well actually i’m sure i couldn’t.

  11. What a chilling story! I hadn’t heard of this crime, and it’s a terribly sad story. 52 murders! I can’t imagine living in the same home, but that’s me. This family has been through the worst thing imaginable! Untold Stories is an interesting blog! Thank you for directing me to it.

  12. Luiza says:

    Cool and scary story. Congrats for people and trips like this!

  13. Lesley Ann says:

    Amazing but very sad story you covered there the images are so sensitive and poignant . I admire your skill in portraying stories.

  14. Patti Kuche says:

    A poignant tale of tragedy, inhumanity and the power of the human spirit to love and endure.

  15. Horribly devastating story and very moving photo. Don’t know how anyone goes on very well after something like that.

  16. Bashar A. says:

    You have to be mentally strong to be able to stay in the same place… good for them.

  17. Horrible events but your photo is not only respectful and illustrative, but wonderfully composed.

  18. A sensitive image for a horrifying story…

  19. likeitiz says:

    This is such a tragedy. What a waste of people’s lives. The dad part is, there is no reforming a sociopath no matter what religious groups say. It’s a personality disorder. Some are made worse with psychosis.

  20. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    Wow. That’s heavy going. I’ve always not wanted to live in a place where someone died – be it murder, natural death, suicide. But imagine how many places would go to waste for such reason. Still, I’d rather not.

    This is awful – brutally murdered. So evil. No reason, no purpose.

  21. That is so sad. So very sad. I don’t think I would be able to live in the house though. I just couldn’t. And I can’t feel sorry for the murderer no matter what his background. Maybe I should but I can’t find it in me. I feel bad that he suffered so as a child but to purposelly kill completely inocent people like that, no. Especially if he won’t or can’t change or isn’t sorry at all.

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