Friday, May 08, 2009

Polish Film extra turns out to be murderer

A man in Poland who brutally murdered a 70 year old woman took part in the reconstruction of the crime for a popular TV crime programme.

Ryszard S. who acted as an extra in a sensationalist TV program about crime turns out to be a murderer in real life.

On 20 April 1999 Ryszard S. from Pustowo, a village in the north west of Poland, murdered his elderly neighbour. Although police suspected 54-years-old Ryszard S. of committing his guilt was not proved and the investigation was suspended.

The same year journalists from “997”, a popular TV program about the most shocking crimes committed in Poland, visited Pustowo to film a reconstruction of the crime. The main roles in the reconstruction were already cast but the film crew needed extras. Ryszard S. volunteered for the role of a local drunkard, the victim’s neighbour, in the hope of earning some money.

From the very beginning Ryszard S. seemed unusually interested in the subject of the old woman’s death. He wanted to know what the police had managed to establish and was very convincing in his role, which aroused suspicion.

Ten years after the murder, policemen from Slupsk reopened the case, which is a normal procedure in cases of unsolved crimes from the past.

“We analyzed the evidence and compared it with Ryszard S.’s DNA,” Robert Czerwinski from Police Headquarters in Slupsk told “Then it turned out he is indeed the murderer.”

In 1999, DNA testing were not available and the popular method of establishing the identity of the suspect was examining finger prints.

“Ryszard S. was surprised when we arrested him ten years after the crime. He was convinced he would escape punishment,” said Czerwinski.

The suspect is waiting for a trial in the custody in Slupsk and may face up to 25 years in prison. The investigation is still running, as the police are trying to establish whether Ryszard S. had any partners in crime.

The policemen from Slupsk received a prize for solving the mysterious crime committed ten years ago.