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Siberian 'Blood Magic' teens kill 5 on orders of failed teacher


MOSCOW, April 2 (RIA Novosti) - Police in East Siberia have completed their investigation into a gang of teenagers suspected of killing at least five people on the orders of a 22-year-old failed teacher, regional media said on Thursday.

The case materials were handed over to a court in the city of Irkutsk on Wednesday. Police have labeled the Blood Magic gang one of the most dangerous and brutal ever to have been uncovered in the region, Federal Press reported, citing local prosecutors.

Investigators allege that the gang of 14- and 15-year-old boys from some of the city's poorest families was formed by 22-year-old Konstantin Shumkov, a teacher-training college dropout.

"After abusing drugs and alcohol, the accused set out to look for victims. They then inflicted numerous bodily injuries on them, from which they died," senior investigator Olga Aksamentov told the irkutsk.rfn.ru website.

"I was interested in how a person dies. How it happens. It was something personal. Knowledge," Shumkov was quoted by the site as saying.

Investigators say the murders were all carried out from January to June, 2008. Most of the victims were homeless. The teens beat them with metal poles, dropped rocks on them and burnt at least one alive on a bonfire. The group has also been accused of rape.

"I did what I wanted. I was not hung up on any moral code," said Shumkov, who worked as a DJ in a local bar. Shumkov has also admitted cutting off the fingers of one victim, keeping them in his flat along with the eye of another.

Investigators said that in May of last year the gang became even more frenzied than usual, cutting up a vagrant into dozens of pieces and dumping them on the grounds of local schools. The man's head was left impaled on a fence.

Shumkov could be sentenced to life imprisonment if found guilty of the charges. The teenagers face up to 10 years behind bars.

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