Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Murder He Wrote

Well, you could never have figured out the ending to this murder mystery, without sneaking a look at the final page. But since it's a real-life murder, that was impossible.

Today, Polish crime-writer Krystian Bala was jailed for 25 years by a court in Wroclaw for a murder which he not only committed (presumably) but then went on to write about in his own novel, the best-selling Amok.

That's crazy enough, so that no TV detective series would dare to use it as a plot. It gets worse.

The tip-off was given to the police by an anonymous phone call five years after the killing. At that point they had no suspect and no motive for the murder of Dariusz Janiszewski, who had been tortured, tied up with a noose around his neck and thrown still alive into the River Oder. The case had been virtually shelved after six unproductive months.

Bala may have made that tip-off call himself, police think. Some mind game.

He offered to take a lie detector test, and then was said to have used breathing techniques to beat the polygraph. He is able to do such a thing because he's an accomplished diver and underwater photographer.

You couldn't make it up, right? But look: four days after the murder he tried selling a phone on the Internet, which turned out to be the victim's phone. Bala claimed he had found it.

Bala was apparently pathologically jealous of his estranged wife, with whom he suspected Janiszewski had been having an affair. At the trial, the court was told he had already begun gathering information on another man he also suspected of seeing his ex-wife.

Too many newspaper articles on this case to mention. Google News is your friend.

Popularest headline: Murder He Wrote.