Russian neo-Nazi who kidnapped and tortured gay teens found dead in prison cell
Maxim Martsinkevich, a Russian neo-Nazi who kidnapped, humiliated, tortured and outed gay people, including teenagers, has been found dead in his prison cell.
On Wednesday (September 16), Russian authorities confirmed that Martsinkevich, 36, had been found dead in his cell in an apparent suicide.
Known as Tesak (Machete), the neo-Nazi was the ringleader of a homophobic group that called itself “Occupy Paedophilia”.
The group claimed to target paedophiles, but the Channel 4 documentary Hunted showed their practice of kidnapping gay men who were looking for sex with consenting adults.
The captives were taken to a secluded spot, before being tortured and humiliated, with victims stripped to their underwear, beaten, covered in blood and forced to use sex toys on themselves whilst being photographed or recorded.
The group’s trademark was shaving the heads of their victims and painting them in rainbow colours. The videos were posted online, outing the young people to their families and friends, reportedly driving some to take their own lives.
Martsinkevich was arrested in Cuba in January 2014 after attempting to evade an arrest warrant — not for his extensively-documented role in torturing gay people, but for inciting ethnic and religious hatred during a race riot.
He was extradited back to Russia, and after being convicted of “banditry and hooliganism” had remained in prison since then.
Maxim Martsinkevich ‘suicide’ disputed by lawyer.
According to Moscow Times, Martsinkevich was found dead in a cell at a pre-trial detention centre in the Chelyabinsk region, as he was set to be moved to Moscow for questioning related to another criminal case.
The facts surrounding his death remain murky, and an investigation is ongoing.
He is rumoured to have left a suicide note and prison officials have said that he was alone in his cell when he died.
However, his lawyer Ivan Sidorov said his client had “no reason” to take his own life, and said: “Someone may have helped him.”