January 16, 2007

Men with deep voices and gold chains

I've been writing a lot this month about how the big immigration trend in Los Angeles these days is whites from the ex-Soviet Union and Middle East. The LA Times today has a story on the quintuple kidnapping-murder trial of two Russian immigrant "businessmen" (whom the Times incorrectly headlines "emigres," presumably to avoid offending immigrants) that sounds like a scenario the Coen Bros. and Quentin Tarantino would come up with while on a bender:

Emigres' murder case goes to jury
Organized crime and money laundering are linked to a kidnapping scheme that left five dead, prosecutors say.
By Jill Leovy,

He was a glasnost entrepreneur trying to forge a new future out of the ruins of post-Soviet Russia. Now, the Russian immigrant to the San Fernando Valley is trying to convince a federal jury that his resourceful style of communist-busting capitalism did not turn into a kidnap-for-ransom murder scheme that ended with five bodies in a Sierra lake.

The jury is expected to begin deliberating today whether Iouri Mikhel and co-defendant Jurijus Kadamovas were responsible for the deaths of the five victims, who were strangled with flexible ties or smothered with plastic bags, their heads bound with duct tape, their bodies tossed into a remote Northern California reservoir in the dead of night. Mikhel, 42, and Kadamovas, 40, face possible death sentences for their alleged roles in what prosecutors say was a grisly conspiracy carried out partly in a posh Tudor home in a hillside neighborhood of Encino.

The alleged plot links international money launderers and local muscle-for-hire, Russian organized crime and Valley real estate barons, a phony front man named "Raul" and a temptress dubbed "Natalya from Moscow." For ill-gotten gains that included mink coats, a Mercedes-Benz and a pair of purebred Dobermans, prosecutors say, Mikhel and Kadamovas planned an elaborate set of crimes carried out against members of the Valley's close-knit Russian emigre community. After they were arrested, they allegedly hatched an equally elaborate plot to escape from the federal jail in downtown Los Angeles, going so far as to pull a hydraulic pump up to their cells on a string.

Unfortunately, the article doesn't explain how, precisely, these enterprising gents were going to use the hydraulic pump to escape from jail. It does make their first kidnapping sound like the botched crime in the Coen's "Blood Simple:"

Their first victim was Meyer Muscatel, a Valley real estate developer whom the pair targeted because of his financial success.

"Meyer Muscatel?" C'mon ... The Coens wouldn't even use that.

Using cellphones obtained under false names, they lured Muscatel to Mikhel's hillside Encino home by suggesting that they wanted to talk to him about a real estate deal. Then they stopped at Home Depot and bought what prosecutors called a "kidnapping kit": red duct tape, two kinds of gloves, plastic ties and gauzy boot covers, purchased with Mikhel's credit card.

When Muscatel walked in the front door, the kidnappers jumped on him. They kept him in a room and tried to take money out of his bank accounts. But the plan was foiled when the bank demanded an in-person visit. So they tackled Muscatel on the floor of the garage, wrapping duct tape around his head and sitting on him. Then, according to the testimony of Altmanis, Mikhel twisted a bag around his head until he suffocated.

Afterward, the plotters gathered in the kitchen to scrutinize a map of the state. They spotted a remote Northern California reservoir, the New Melones Reservoir near Sonora, north of Yosemite. A long drive, which prosecutors chronicled by means of traced cellphone calls, took them to a high narrow bridge across the remote reservoir. The body of Muscatel, whose blood was found on the bridge, was thrown in and later floated to the surface, to be discovered by a local boater.

Since that went so well, they decided to try it again:

Similar strategies were used with their next four victims: a financial consultant named Rita Pekler, whom they hoped to use to lure a wealthy client into their clutches. But it didn't work. So they killed her, prosecutors said, and made another trip to the reservoir. [More]

Finland has a 1340 mile-long border with Russia, but I bet it doesn't have to put up with these kind of folks. Why not? Because the government of Finland won't let them in.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer


nozick said...

Russians are in fact the largest immigrant group in Finland, but they still only make up roughly half a percent of population. Swedish speaking people should not be regarded immigrants, as they have either lived in Finland for generations, or are actually genetically Finnish, language only being a cultural trait.

Criminality among the Russians in Finland is somewhat higher than among native Finns, but not nearly as high as in some other immigrant groups, such as Somalis, Iraqis, or Vietnamese.

Anonymous said...

You should note that almost none of the people cited in this article are actually ethnic Russians. They are "Russians". Iouri Mikhel is probably Jewish, Jurijus Kadamovas is a Lithuanian name. One of the victims - Rita Pekler - is also very likely Jewish. Very few of the immingrants to the US from the ex-Soviet Union are actually Russian, they are mostly Jewish, Ukrainian, Armenian or mixed heritage. I suspect criminality among ethnic Russian immigrants in the US is actually fairly low - ethnic Russians tend to blend in and disappear in the US cultural mix fairly quickly. The Jewish and Caucasian immigrants tend to be more clannish and more likely to engage in organized semi or wholly criminal enterprises.

Anonymous said...

Swarthy man pride reached its zenith here in LA on Monday night with Sacha Baron-Cohen's tribute to costar Ken Davitian.

Anonymous said...

There are many Ukrainians and Russians (particularly the former) in the Pacific Northwest, and there is a significant "Russian" organized crime problem in the Seattle-Tacoma, Portland, and Spokane areas. Auto theft and chop shops, extortion, ecstasy dealing, and real estate fraud are specialties of these mostly Slavic criminal groups.

As a generalization, Jewish and Armenian criminal organizations from the former Soviet Union tend to specialize in more white-collar and less violent crimes (perhaps because these groups are traditionally "middleman minorities" in Eastern Europe and the Near East.)

For example, Armenian organized crime tends to be involved in medical-insurance fraud, high-yield investment scams, and tax evasion.

Anonymous said...

I second what Vanya said. "Jewish Mafia" doesn't quite have the same ring to it as "Russian Mafia". Unfortunately, all immingrants from former USSR automatically become "Russians" if they do anything outside the law. If they don't they happily remain Ukrainian, Latvian, Jewish etc.

Anonymous said...

Korf and Vanya, bravo! Every time something criminal is commited by the former USSR citizens, the American media calls it the "Russian" crime. But Berezovsry, Nevzlin or Abramovich are NEVER called "Russians" -- they are Jewish tycoons :-)

Anonymous said...


You are a laughable antisemite by blaming Jews as criminals in the US. Check-out the crime that is happening in the former USSR including Moscow, St.Petersburg, and countless other habitats of your magot infested motherland. Is it all Jewish ? The slavs are notorious for being a lawless tribe since ancient times, even as described by foreign travelers of to old Kievan Russ. It is in their genes - alcoholism, drug addiction, theft, prostitution, corruption, and countless other vices. Russians integrating into American society? Ha, Ha, Ha -lol, they are the most ethnocentric "tribe" in the world, just read the press in Russia and find-out what they think of others and not only Jews but of Americans in general. They even claim that Jesus can have spiritual conotation only in Russia. Also, check-out the numerous online articles on Russian women, how scammy they are and what values they carry when they get into an international marriage. Ha ! want to get a Russina wife ? Most divorced nation in the world with Russian population declining at an "alarming" rate, infested with congenital defects and average male life-span of 56 years (official version). Good luck reading to Vanka describing Russian "virtues".

Anonymous said...

This one is interesting, just follow the logic of some of the Ruski posters on this site when they reffer to Jews and Russian. "Its the Jews, not the Russians"... In it we see their insight into their universal understanding of world order. Please note, the Jews in Russia were born without religious upbringing (as most did under Communist regime) and grew alongside locals with the same culture and social values including intermarriage, making them in all sense of the word Russian. There is very little real differentiation,perhaps only that most grew-up in cities and acquired more cosmopolitan professions as city dwellers usually do. Now, listen to the Vankyas posting here, how clear and distinctive are the separation of Russians and Jews (and for that matter everyone who they think is not Russian). Imagine in the US we will be making distinctions openly on who is American and who is not ? " He is black, he is Italian, he is Indian, etc." and openly shouting "America is for Americans". You get the idea of what it is.

Their attacks on Jewish "tycoons" are unfounded and reek of antisemitic vomit. Why? It bothers tehm that they made it and they did not. Face it, communism is gone and people are free to enrich themselves. Better yet, get to your chief murderer and let him establish some civil and business law framework to make the country functional and productive , not just eat-up the temporary energy profits.

Anonymous said...

Christianity in current Russia is a sham and an extension of their nationalism. Its funny but true, check-out images of young women practicing the "night trade" in Russia and you will see crosses shamelesly sprowled on their semi-exposed breasts.

In western mind, Christianity signifies compassion, forgiveness and universal respect for human life. Well not only in the Western Hemisphere but also in the Americas and to many nations of the Pacific and Africa as well.
Well think again and be surprised to what it means when it comes to Russkis. Just ask a Russian on the street and ask them what religion they belong to. You will get a confused and somewhat defensive answer - " I am a Christian". Start probing deeper and Christianity gets displaced with phrases such as "I am Russian" . Crosses usually appear on variety of public riots and demonstrations against foreigners, minorities and various other hate filled activities. To the Russian mind cross is a symbol of Russia, period. Their land is "sacred" and the only one where real Jesus can exist. To many, the answer is that Russia is polluted with Jews, Spys, Foreigners, Caucasians (blanket cover name for all Central Asians and people of dark color). Russians live for the day that they will get-rid-off (shoot, expel, gang-rape, etc. all the undesirables)and bring Jesus back ! Check-out the hardcore fellons, they all have crosses tatooed all over and with variety of hidden meanings (not only religious !) Also, read into various conspiracy theories inundating Russia NOW, of the Jewish Kabal, trying to subvert Christianity in Russia! Most of the population reads it and believes it fully. Trotsky is a devil, Americans created 9/11 to create a stranglehold on Russia. Russian people are pawns in a game played by the Jews and the Americans !