Vlado Taneski (Macedonian: Владо Танески; 1952 – June 23, 2008) was a Macedonian serial killer. A career journalist for over twenty years, Taneski was arrested in June 2008 in his hometown of Kičevo for the murders of two women on whose deaths he had also written freelance articles; when arrested he was also being investigated over the death of an additional woman. These articles had aroused the suspicion of the police, since they contained information which had not been released to the public. After DNA tests connected Taneski to the murders, he was arrested and imprisoned on 22 June 2008 and was found dead in his cell the following day, after an apparent suicide.
|Died||June 23, 2008 (aged 56)|
|Cause of death||Suicide|
|Other names||The Kičevo Monster|
Span of crimes
|June 22, 2008|
Vlado Taneski was born in 1952 in Kičevo, SFR Yugoslavia, the second of three children. His parents were both conservative disciplinarians and he had a particularly tense relationship with his mother. His father was a World War II veteran. After studying journalism in Croatia, Taneski began an interest in poetry and writing. At age 21 he met his future wife, a law student named Vesna, with whom he had two children.
Taneski worked at a radio station, while Vesna went on to become the city's first female lawyer. Taneski's journalistic career spanned over 20 years, and by the 1980s he worked as a reporter for Skopje-based newspapers Nova Makedonija and Utrinski Vesnik. In 2002, his father committed suicide, and, a few months later, his mother accidentally overdosed on medicine. In 2003, exacerbating the financial problems he was facing, Taneski was laid off from the newspaper, and in 2004, his wife received a promotion and moved to Skopje.
Taneski's victims were:
- Mitra Simjanoska (64) - disappeared November 16, 2004 after a trip to the market; found January 12, 2005. She had been strangled, bound, tortured, and raped, and had been dead for less than two weeks.
- Ljubica Licoska (56) - disappeared in early November 2007 after going to buy groceries; found on February 3, 2008. She had been strangled, bound, beaten, and raped, and had been dead for only a few days.
- Zivana Temelkoska (65) - disappeared on May 7, 2008 after a hoax about her son being hospitalised; found on May 16. She had been tortured, raped, strangled, and was bound with telephone cords.
All these women were poor, uneducated cleaners, which was also how Taneski's mother had earned a living. The victims had known Taneski's mother personally, which may have been the reason for their selection as victims.
Investigation and suicideEdit
Taneski came under suspicion for murder after having written articles about the three murders, and was questioned on several occasions. According to police, Taneski's articles contained information which had not been released to the public. For example, differing from all other reports published in the Macedonian press on the murders, Taneski knew that the killer used a telephone cord to bind Temelkoska and that the same cord was left at the scene by the murderer.
Taneski was arrested on June 20, 2008 after his DNA was matched to semen found on the victims. Examination of the Taneski family's rural cottage uncovered a cache of pornographic material, ropes and cords matching those used to tie the victims, and items belonging to the victims. Taneski was charged with the murder of two of the women, and the police were preparing to charge him with the murder of the third. Details of the case were printed on June 21, and police were also planning to question Taneski on the May 30, 2003, disappearance of the 73-year-old retired cleaner, Gorica Pavleska. After being transferred to Tetovo, Taneski was found dead in his shared prison cell on June 23. He had apparently drowned in a plastic bucket of water. An inquest concluded that, in the absence of other evidence, his death was suicide.
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- "Case 108: The Kicevo Monster". Casefile: True Crime Podcast. 2019-03-02. Retrieved 2019-03-20.
- Smith, Helena (2008-06-24). "The shocking story of the newspaper crime reporter who knew too much". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
- Bilefsky, Dan (2008-06-24). "Macedonian Murder Suspect Dead in Cell". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
- "Ubio se makedonski novinar ubojica Vlado Tanevski". Index.hr (in Croatian). 23 June 2008. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
- Bilefsky, Dan (2008-06-23). "Murder mystery in Macedonia". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-03-20.