Anatoly Moskvin was arrested in 2011 following a police investigation into the desecration of local graveyards, initially attributing the crime to some form of extremism. On searching his house, however, they discovered that there was no political motive for the desecrations - instead Moskvin had been collecting items from the graveyards, including 26 corpses.
Moskvin had gone to some lengths to ensure that the bodies that he removed from the graves were well preserved, and was found to be in possession of literature instructing him on the process of mummification. He would dry out the corpses with a combination of salt and baking powder, leaving them in secure, dry places in the cemeteries until they were adequately dried out. He would then bring the bodies back to his own home where he would wrap them in cloth and provide them padding - due to the fact that the bodies would wither and shrink as they dried out. He would also create wax masks decorated with nail polish, as seen above, and dress them in children’s clothing. They resembled large dolls. He had amassed his collection of corpses over the course of 10 years.
His motivation for these crimes were as bizarre as the crimes themselves, a consequence of his mental health issues. Moskvin believed that he could bring dead children back to life through the use of magic, he had read that druids would sleep on graves in order to communicate with the dead. Moskvin initially started this practice himself, but as he grew older he grew less comfortable sleeping on the hard ground outside and resorted to exhuming the bodies and bringing them home in order to sleep with them there. He also reported that he created the masks and dressed them in children’s clothing in order to make them feel less ugly, as the process of decay may make them feel uncomfortable. He would watch cartoons with the corpses and sing them songs, and denied any form of sexual attraction to the corpses or sexual component to the crimes.
Unsurprisingly Moskvin was found to suffer from significant mental health problems and was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. He was deemed unfit to stand to trial in 2012 and was detained in a psychiatric hospital to receive ‘coercive medical measures’, meaning his treatment is court mandated.
“At 1700 hours, we began our initial
survey of Columbine High School, starting with the west entrance.
Near the west entrance we noticed a one pound propane bottle with a
CO2 cartridge taped to the outside of it. Once we entered the first
set of doors, we encountered a black plastic card file box, which
contained [edited]. We moved down to the main hallway to the library
entrance. We entered the library and began searching for explosives.
On a library desk down the front of the library, we encountered one
CO2 cartridge near the two suspect’s bodies. We also identified an
area where Molotov cocktail was detonated and located another CO2
cartridge on a chair in the same area. At this time, we could see
[edited] exposed in suspect Klebold’s left cargo pocket. At this
time, we began removing the unexploded cartridges, on at a time. We
removed seven CO2 cartridges and one small pipe bomb. Next, we moved
to suspect Harris’ body to the floor near his feet, were five
unexploded CO2 cartridges. Suspect Harris’ right cargo pocket was
buttoned. At this time, I cut along the top edge of the pocket. Once
I did that, I could see in his pocket, and removed four more CO2
cartridges from his right cargo pocket. The [edited] and all the
devices were placed into a blast bag. We exited the library.”
“At approximately 1900 hours, my next
assignment was a large model Honda. A device with a clock timer pipe
bomb and a propane tank was identified inside the vehicle. A shot was
made on the device, attempting to disrupt it failed. At this time,
myself and Araphoe County Bomb Technician place on protective
clothing and moved to the target. I could see a clock timer and a
two-inch pipe bomb laying next to a propane tank. We attempted to
disrupt the device. Our initial attempt failed. At this time, we went
back down on target with a gripping device and rigging equipment. I
attached the gripping device to the pipe bomb. We used the rigging
equipment to remove the pipe bomb from the back seat. At this time,
we went back to the Honda and began removing the items from the
Honda. From the back seat of the Honda, we removed two gas cans, a
pipe bomb, and a propane tank approximately 20 to 25 pounds. Next we
rigged the Honda for remote opening of the trunk. We opened the trunk
of the Honda and from the trunk area of the Honda we removed two
large black containers that were labelled “lane conditioner” and
we believed them to be full of gasoline, two five-gallons gas cans,
two two-gallon gas cans and two-one gallon gas cans. Next we removed
a white plastic gallon jug which was labelled kitchen degreaser,
which we believed to contain a homemade Napalm type substance. We
removed a one point bottle of Clorox and a metal can of charcoal
From Dylan’s car they retrieved four
CO2 cartridges, eight pipe bombs, and three incendiary devices. This
is why ALL the explosive devices and all of Eric’s and Dylan’s
inventory was not found on or near their bodies – Mike Guerra and
other police and SWAT officers had to ensure that their bodies and
cars were not booby-trapped.
The dark history of Poveglia Island began during the Roman Era when it was used to isolate plague victims from the general population. Centuries later, when the Black Death rolled through Europe it served that purpose again. The dead were dumped into large pits and buried or burned. As the plague tightened its grip, the population began to panic and those residents showing the slightest sign of sickness were taken from their homes and to the island of Poveglia kicking and screaming and pleading. They were thrown onto piles of rotting corpses and set ablaze. Men, women, children… all left to die in agony. It’s estimated that the tiny island saw as many as 160,000 bodies during this time.
The island has become a putrid area indeed. The soil of the island combined with the charred remains of the bodies dumped there creating a thick layer of sticky ash. The core of the island is literally human remains that has given the island a loathsome reputation, but appears to be very good for the grapevines that are planted there. Think about that next time you partake of Italian wine!
As if the story was not disturbing enough, it gets worse. In 1922 the island became home to a psychiatric hospital complete with a large and very impressive bell tower. The patients of this hospital immediately began to report that they would see ghosts of plague victims on the island and that they would be kept up at night hearing the tortured wails of the suffering spirits. Because they were already considered mad by the hospital staff, these complaints were largely ignored.
To add to the anguish of the poor souls populating this island hospital, one doctor there decided to make a name for himself by experimenting on his subjects all to find a cure for insanity. Lobotomies were performed on his pitiable patients using crude tools like hand drills, chisels, and hammers. Those patients and even the ones who were not privy to the doctor’s special attentions were taken to the bell tower where they were tortured and subjected to a number of inhumane horrors.
According to the lore, after many years of performing these immoral acts, the evil doctor began to see the tortured plague ridden spirits of Poveglia Island himself. It is said that they led him to the bell tower where he jumped (or was thrown) to the grounds below. The fall did not kill him according to a nurse who witnessed the event, but she related that as he lay on the ground writhing in pain, a mist came up out of the ground and choked him to death. It’s rumored that the doctor is bricked up in the hospital bell tower and on a still night, the bell can be heard tolling across the bay. The hospital closed down.
For a time, the Italian government owned the island, but it was later sold. That owner abandoned it in the 1960’s and was the last person to try and live there. A family recently sought to buy the island and build a holiday home on it but they left the first night there and refused to comment on what happened. The only fact that we do know is that their daughters face was ripped open and required fourteen stitches.
Today Poveglia is uninhabited and tourism to island is strictly forbidden. Every now and then the lapping waves on the shore uncover charred human bones.
Several psychics have visited the island the abandoned hospital, but all of them left scared to death of what they had sensed there. Every now and then daredevils dodge the police patrols to explore the island, but everyone who has made it there have refused to return saying that there is a heavy atmosphere of evil and they the screams and tortured moans that permeate the island make staying there unbearable.
One report from a misguided thrill seeker who fled the island says that after entering the abandoned hospital, a disembodied voice ordered them, “Leave immediately and do not return.”
They never did.”