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A literary approach to murder: the crime was solved years later thanks to the novel



In December 2000, near the Polish city of Wroclaw, local fishermen found in the river the corpse of a man with his hands tied behind his back and with a noose around his neck. The initial investigation into the brutal murder yielded no results, and only a few years later a vague clue emerged. She brought the Wrocław detective Jacek Wroblewski to the suspect. It turned out to be Christian Bala, author of the postmodern provocative novel Frenzy, which described a very similar murder. Tells about the course of an exciting investigation

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Order to kill

A month before the half-naked body of Dariusz Janiszewski, a thirty-five-year-old businessman, was pulled out of the water, an anonymous call came to the office of his advertising company in Wroclaw. Dariusz's mother, who worked as an accountant in his firm, answered the phone. A man's voice came from the tube through the noise that sounded like a dull roar: "Could you make three signs, two quite large, and the third even bigger, about the size of a billboard?"

Janiszewski's mother tried to find out the details, but the potential client replied that he would only talk to Dariusz. My son was out of the office that morning, so the woman gave him his mobile phone number. The stranger's voice did not strike her as suspicious: she was sure it was an ordinary business call.

A few hours later, Yanishevsky himself showed up at the office - however, not for long: a persistent customer had already phoned him, and they made an appointment. In the early evening of the same day, Yanishevsky was seen alive for the last time.

Several details hinted that the crime was planned, and that the killer may not have been acting alone. For some reason, Yanishevsky did not go to the meeting in his car - his Peugeot remained in the parking lot; there were witnesses who claimed that two men without any special signs followed the businessman from the office itself. Apparently, they persuaded Yanishevsky to get into their car. Or they were forced.

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After the discovery of Yanishevsky's body (with traces of torture and signs of a hunger strike for several days), the police launched an investigation. The brutality with which the murder was committed could indicate that the kidnapper knew his victim. But, despite the interrogations of dozens of officers and acquaintances of the murdered man, no leads were found. Neither the search for forensic experts who combed the coastal forest, nor the work of the attracted divers who examined the bottom of the river helped.

The investigation came to a standstill, and a few months later the case was dropped due to "the impossibility of finding the culprit or criminals," as the police report said. The Polish press dubbed this murder "the perfect crime." Yet the story did not end there.

The Janiszewski case was destined to lie in the archives of the Wroclaw police department for three long years, until it fell into the hands of detective Jacek Wroblewski, nicknamed Jack Sparrow. The unusual nickname was explained by the name of the investigator: Jacek is the Polish analogue of the name Jack, and Vrobel is translated from Polish as "sparrow".

Jack Sparrow takes over

In the fall of 2003, a 38-year-old detective with an eloquent name and surname first opened the folder with the Yanishevsky case. By that time, Wroblewski had worked in the police for less than ten years. In addition to the professional skills of a detective, he had some knowledge in criminal psychology, gleaned by him from lectures at the university, as well as a real hunting passion: the horns of a goat hung over the table in his office - a kind of symbol in honor of the capture of the first killer.

Wroblewski knew from experience that in the case of wood grouses, the clue was often hidden in the text of the report itself: something might have been overlooked during the initial investigation. After reviewing the case, the detective noted an important detail: the killer, who identified himself as a client, called Yanishevsky's office from a telephone booth - this explained the loud noise noted by the victim's mother during the conversation. For the next several days and nights, Wroblewski re-read the report in search of new leads, until he noticed that the victim's phone was never found.

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At that time, the Polish police, following the lead of their Western European colleagues, began to master methods of tracking cell calls. A telecommunications specialist just appeared in the Wroclaw department, whom Wroblewski attracted to the search. And although after the disappearance of Yanishevsky his SIM card was no longer used, the serial number of the phone itself was traced.

To the detective's surprise, this trail led to the site of a Polish Internet auction, where a device with an identical serial number was sold just four days after Janiszewski went missing. The seller's nickname Chris B.7 belonged to Christian Bale, a thirty-year-old writer with a master's degree in philosophy.

It seemed unlikely that the culprit who planned the perfect murder would sell the victim's phone online. Bala could easily have bought it at a pawnshop or from the hands of a real killer, and then resold it. Nevertheless, a suspect appeared in the case - the investigation finally got off the ground.

Intellectual, rebel, killer

Since 2001, Christian Bala, an intellectual with a passion for the philosophy of postmodernism, has traveled the world and only occasionally showed up in Poland to visit his parents. He traveled to the United States and Asia, where he made a living teaching English and scuba diving.

Screenshot: Superwizjer TVN / YouTube

In 1997, he graduated with honors from the University of Wroclaw, where, according to teachers, he was one of the most brilliant students. Beata Sierochka, professor of philosophy, spoke of him as a man with an insatiable thirst for knowledge with an "inquiring, rebellious mind." She said that in life he was "kind, energetic, hardworking and principled."

Christian himself, in conversations with friends, described himself as a nihilist and rebel, which, obviously, was proud of; he used his deep academic knowledge rather as food for creating his own countercultural philosophy, often distorting the ideas of Nietzsche, Foucault, Burroughs, Heidegger and de Sade to suit his vision. He claimed that he hated "conventions" and was "ready for anything." He was convinced: "I will not live long, but I will live violently!"

Christian Bala's radical views are reflected in his provocative novel "Rabies" (originally Amok. - Approx. "") published in 2003.

Screenshot: Multikino / YouTube

The cover featured the horns of a goat, an anti-Christian symbol that fully reflects the essence of the work. The protagonist, on whose behalf the story is told, and whose name is also Chris, during the novel reflects on philosophy, drinks, sleeps with women, and in the finale, for no apparent reason, kills his mistress.

When Wroblewski studied the biography of Christian Bala and came across his book, he was struck by its sadistic, pornographic and eerie content. The detective did not understand philosophy and, moreover, was not familiar with postmodern literature; The text of the book seemed to him like a criminal report, in which he began to look for details that could prove the author's guilt.

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Wroblewski paid special attention to the scene with the murder of a woman: “I tightened the noose around her neck. With the other hand, he thrust a knife into her left breast ... Everything was covered in blood. " After that, Chris gets rid of the evidence: "I sold a Japanese knife at an Internet auction." And it was this phrase, as if referring to the missing phone of Yanishevsky, struck the detective: there were too many coincidences to write off everything as a mere coincidence.

In addition, in the text of the novel, the protagonist repeatedly hints at the fact that he killed before: he mentions a man who "behaved inappropriately towards him ten years ago." “Everyone considers it a fable. Maybe it's for the best. Heck. Sometimes I don’t believe in it myself, ”the main character admits.

His confession, according to Wroblewski, was tantamount to confessing the murder of the author himself, that is, Christian Bala. And yet, the quote from the book, of course, could not have become tangible evidence in court, not to mention the fact that the detective did not know what could connect the main suspect with the victim. Wroblewski understood: he needed weighty evidence, as well as a motive for the crime.

Literary approach

The reopened investigation began with a detective distributing copies of Frenzy to his staff. Each he assigned a chapter for "literary analysis": he was interested in missing details, possible encrypted messages and any parallels with reality. At the same time, Wroblewski himself also continued to carefully study the text, becoming, perhaps, the most attentive reader of the work of Christian Bala.

At the same time, the detective was in no hurry to question the author's relatives, he preferred to act cautiously: at that time Bala was still abroad, that is, out of reach of the Polish police. Any active actions could make him go to the bottom. Instead, Wroblewski and his team began to study the public archives and interrogations of Bala's more distant pals, gradually comparing the author to his literary alter ego. The similarities were obvious: like the protagonist of the novel, the author divorced his wife, drank a lot, was fond of philosophy and traveled the world. The last detail led the investigators to another lead.

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In February 2002, a story about the murder of Janiszewski was broadcast on Polish television. Shortly thereafter, information appeared on the show's website for those who could help solve the crime. Wroblewski and his team analyzed the responses received and tracked hundreds of IP addresses of site visitors, many of which surprisingly were registered in the United States, Japan and South Korea. It was hard to imagine foreigners showing such interest in information in Polish about an old crime in Wroclaw.

Meanwhile, Christian Bala was in no hurry to return to Poland. He remained abroad until the fall of 2005, where he moonlighted teaching English and writing articles for travel magazines. For two years Wroblewski patiently waited for a meeting with the writer and continued to collect information. He knew that sooner or later Bala would show up to visit his parents.

Interrogation on what was read

On September 5, 2005, Christian Bala was detained in Wroclaw and taken to the police station for interrogation. According to law enforcement officers, he was handcuffed and taken to Vroblevsky's office without the use of force. Although the writer himself later told a completely different story.

“At about 14:30 pm, when I was leaving the pharmacy on Legnicka Street in Chojnow, I was attacked by three men. One of them twisted my arms behind my back, the other squeezed my throat so that I could hardly breathe. " Then they allegedly pushed Balu into the car and put a plastic bag over his head. “They ordered me to lie face down,” complained Bala.

The writer also insisted that the kidnappers, who turned out to be Polish police officers, threatened him with reprisals if he refused to cooperate.

“None of this happened,” Wroblewski later said. "We only used standard measures and followed the letter of the law."

One way or another, but on that day, Christian Bala first met his fanatical admirer - Jacek Wroblewski. They talked in his office, where goat's horns hung on the wall, as if they had come off the cover of the novel Frenzy. The detective, who still had no evidence against the writer, began his “literary” interrogation, citing strange coincidences with reality found in the text.

“It was crazy,” Bala later admitted. - The detective took the book as if it was literally my autobiography. He must have read the book a hundred times because he knew it by heart. "

And at a certain point, Wroblewski turned to facts. He asked the suspect how he got the victim's phone. Bala replied that he could buy it at a pawnshop, as he had done many times. He also agreed to testify on a lie detector, for which Wroblewski personally prepared questions:

"Not long before Dariusz Janiszewski died, did you know that this would happen?"
"Did you kill him?"
"Do you know who actually killed him?"
"Did you know Yanishevsky?"
"Have you been to the place where Yanishevsky was held hostage?"

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Bala responded negatively to each of these questions. During the test, he held his breath several times, and the examiner concluded that Bala was trying to manipulate the testimony. And yet, despite the conflicting test results, Christian Bala was released shortly after his arrest - by law he could not be held for more than 48 hours. The police had nothing against the author of "Rabies", except circumstantial evidence, insufficient for an accusation.

Before returning the passport to the writer, Wroblewski drew attention to stamps from Japan, South Korea and the United States. The time periods that Bala spent in these countries coincided with the dates when foreign visitors came to the site with information about the Yanishevsky murder.

Crime and Punishment

After the interrogation, Bale was forbidden to leave Poland, so Wroblewski was finally able to openly begin interrogating his relatives and close friends. But while the detective continued his investigation, the writer also did not sit idle: he was going to rebuff Wroblewsky, accusing the Wroclaw police department of exceeding his powers.

Bala wrote letters to international human rights organizations and the international PEN Club, a global writers' organization. The author of "Rabies" complained that he was being "spied" and declared: "I want you to know that I will fight to the end."

Denise Reinhart is a theater director and one of Bala's girls, who traveled with him to the United States and South Korea, supported the writer and published an open letter on the Internet. She argued that the charges were absurd and that the investigation should be stopped immediately.

“Christian is the author of the philosophical novel“ Rabies ”. It is written in harsh language, its content is shocking, and there are also several metaphors that can be perceived as criticism of the Catholic Church and Polish traditions. During the brutal interrogation, the police repeatedly referred to his book, using the novel as proof of his guilt, ”Denise Reinhart was indignant.

Soon, the Polish Ministry of Justice was inundated with requests to review Bala's case and punish those responsible for his illegal police detention.

In the meantime, Wroblewski and his team, despite public pressure, continued to work and found another lead. Knowing that on the day of Yanishevsky's murder, both calls - to the victim's office and to the victim's mobile phone - were made from a street telephone, telecommunications specialists figured out the phone card number that the criminal had used to pay for the calls. 32 calls were made through it, including: the home number of Bala's parents, his girlfriend, close friends, as well as work colleagues. “The truth became more and more obvious,” concluded Wroblewski.

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It only remained to determine the motive. And with this the police were helped by the testimony of the friend of the writer's ex-wife, Stanislava, with whom he divorced just before the murder. In the summer of 2000, the girls went together to the Crazy Horse nightclub in Wroclaw, where Stanislava met a man with long hair and blue eyes. His name was Dariusz Janiszewski.

Stanislava confirmed this story: “I ordered fries and asked a man standing outside the bar if he knew when the fries would be ready. It was Dariush. " After that, they talked all night, and Yanishevsky gave her his number. They later went on a date and even rented a hotel room. Stanislava insisted that nothing had happened between them - however, this did not matter any more: Bala learned about the betrayal thanks to a hired private detective.

A few weeks later, the philosopher and intellectual came to his ex-wife in a drunken stupor, broke down the front door and hit the woman.

“He also mentioned that he was in Dariusz's office and described him to me,” Stanislava recalled. “Then he said he knew which hotel we had come to and which room we were in.”

This was direct evidence that Bala saw and knew the victim. Detective Wroblewski no longer had any doubts about the identity of the criminal. He could answer with a quote from the novel "Rabies": "It was a man who was killed by blind jealousy."

Continued story

In 2008, Christian Bala was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the murder of Dariusz Janiszewski. The writer never confessed to the crime. Answering questions during the trial, he remained true to his philosophical concept and tried to get away from answers or turn everything into a "language game".

Due to the hype in the press, "Rabies" became a bestseller for several years, but after being convicted it disappeared from sale. But its author, apparently, was not going to dwell on one novel. Shortly before the arrest of Christian Bala, records were found on his computer indicating that he was planning another murder.

While in prison, the writer announced that he was working on a new book called De Denise Reinhart: “This is a pun. I combined in the title “lyrics” and “delirium”, that is, “delirium”. "

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