Monday, 14 November 2011

Boys and Their Dolls

In the debate on whether boys should be allowed to play with dolls, I have to come out in the Against column when the boy is Anatoly Moskvin.

Last week, Russian police finally solved the "numerous blasphemous acts against the graves and the dead bodies" around Nizhny Novgorod, a large city about 250 miles east of Moscow. Graves had been dug up and bodies removed for the past two years.

When police searched the apartment of Anatoly Moskvin, they found the mummified corpses and skeletons of 29 women that Moskvin had dug up and transported home. The bodies of the women (all between 15 to 25 years old when they died) were dressed as dolls.

Police video of the apartment make it look like an episode of Hoarders with dolls, clothes, newspapers, and corpses all over the cramped apartment.

Moskvin, described by neighbors as a genius, speaks 13 languages, has published several academic books (including histories of cemeteries in Russia) and is a well-known historian specializing in Celtic studies. In newspaper articles promoting his books, Moskvin had stated that he has visited 752 cemeteries in Russia.

Some of the corpses had items put in the rib cage including one “doll” that would play a children’s song when you touched its stomach. Another was dressed up like a teddy bear.

Authorities now face the task of determining the identity of the corpses, not even knowing if each corpse is complete or if Moskvin mixed and matched parts.

Moskvin faces charges of desecrating dead bodies and their burial sites. He could face up to three months in jail or a year of correctional labor.

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