The Russian police have announced they've caught those responsible for the murder of the man deemed Russia's number one spammer. Vardan Kushnir, who headed the English learning centers the Center for American English, the New York English Center and the Center for Spoken English was brutally murdered on Sunday, July 25. His death was caused by repeated blows to the head.
Mr. Kushnir was responsible for the transmission of millions of spam messages to Russians and others outside the country advertising the services of the companies he headed. He was well-known as a spammer in Russia and various means of exacting revenge for his spam had been tried in Russia. The American English Center's telephone numbers were widely posted on the web to encourage people to tie up the lines with calls not pertaining to purchasing the services he was advertising and his personal data was also published.The Russian deputy minister of communication recorded a message urging American Language Center to stop spamming and Rambler, one of Russia.s biggest Internet holdings, set up a calling system in its office, that played the message non-stop to the American Learning Center call-center operators and answering machines.
And a complaint was filed against him by a Moscow lawyer with the Russian Antitrust Authority, which is charged with the enforcement of ad laws. At the Antitrust Authority hearing, Kushnir claimed he had no idea who might be sending out those millions of ads for his business and the case was closed.
His death was greeted almost with jubilation by many, with Russian-language media often suggesting he got what he deserved. Some of the headlines for articles about his death included "The Spammer Had it Coming", "Spam is Deadly", "Ignoble Death Becomes Russia.s Top Spammer", "An Ultimate Solution to the Spam Problem". There was speculation in the Russian media and western media that his death might have come at the hands of someone fed up with Kushnir's spam.
But on August 14, Russian police arrested a 15-year-old girl and two boys aged 18 and 17 years of age along with a 27-year-old accomplice in connection with Kushnir's deat. They were accused of breaking into his apartment with the intent to rob him. One of the boys supposedly wielded a baseball bat to kill Kushnir. The story from the youths was that Kushnir had invited them to his place where he made passes at the 15-year-old girl. They said they tried to stop him, but Kushnir grabbed a knife and they were forced to defend themselves by hitting him on the head with an empty bottle. Their story sounds about as credible as Kushnir's claim he had no idea where all of the spam orginated from that advertised his business.
Russian Police Claim Biggest Spammer's Murder Solved
August 15, 2005
Russian Media Hails Spammer's Murder
July 26, 2005
Russia.s Biggest Spammer Brutally Murdered in Apartment
MosNews July 25, 2005
Russian Spammer murdered
By John Leyden
The Register July 26, 2005