In summer 2007 a spate of killings shocked and terrified locals in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine. Most of the victims were killed by vicious hammer blows to the head; some were also brutally disfigured. But it wasn’t until a ninth murder – that of a 14-year-old boy – that police got the lead they needed: witness sketches of the attackers from the murdered boy’s friend. The cops didn’t know it then, but the sketches depicted Viktor Sayenko and Igor Suprunyuk. The shocking thing? They were just teenagers themselves.
So just who are Viktor Sayenko and Igor Suprunyuk? And what drove them to attack and kill seemingly random strangers? The two boys were at school together and came from relatively well-off, influential families; indeed, Sayenko’s father was a lawyer and later represented him in court.
In fact, it was a mutual fear of heights that brought the pair, then aged 14, closer together. And to fight their vertigo the boys decided to dangle themselves from a 14-story balcony for hours at a time, which apparently helped them to deal with their phobia.