Mary Rose Tiburcio. Her 6-year-old daughter Sierra. Arian Palanas Lozano, 28, Maricar Valdez Arquila, 31, all from the Philippines. Livia Florentina Bunea, 36, and Elena Natalia Bunea, 8, from Romania.
Those are the names of six of the seven victims a married 35-year-old Cypriot Army Captain admitted he murdered as part of his thrill kills spree, getting his kick from meeting foreign women online at dating sites before luring them to their death. He enjoyed it.
Sierra Tiburcio, he said, was a witness so he tossed the poor little girl into the toxic red lake, part of a disused copper pyrite mine, where divers, even with robotic cameras, had trouble finding bodies he packed into suitcases to try to hide what he did before a tourist found a body in a mineshaft.
That’s what woke up the somnolent, negligent, uncaring, incompetent Cypriot police force who essentially ignored or laughed off reports that many foreign women had gone missing the last few years, saying they went to the Turkish-occupied part of the island or back home.
We know the names of the victims but they won’t release the name of the killer – let’s skip alleged here because he said he did it, and liked it – and if he hadn’t been caught and confessed he’d still be doing it and the Cypriot police would still be napping.
The Keystone Cops would identify him only as Orestes, his online lure for lonely women far from home, hungry for companionship or other human needs, preyed on by a creepy amoeba who killed them.
His two children will see another day, but Sierra won’t, her life taken away from her by a man who was the one who deserves to die.
European privacy rights are so strict in some cases that if a terrorist is on the loose governments will release only his first name and, if you’re lucky and run into him so you can ask him to fill in the blanks, the first letter of his – or her – last name.
So newspapers don’t identify suspects no matter how heinous the crime and names aren’t given unless the accused is a political rival or someone a government wants embarrassed, such as when Greek Prime Minister and Looney Left leader Alexis “Che” Tsipras said 10 of his political opponents took bribes from the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis.
Since he has immunity, he could say anything he wants, smear people, ruin lives and get away with it, and while the Greek media dutifully reports what he says, it’s been left to a couple of brave Greek websites and foreign media to give Orestes’ real name.
The ghoulish serial killer case is so ghastly and lurid it’s the stuff of horror movies – you can bet someone’s already working on a film for this one, perhaps Mitseros, after the name of the lake – and it will delight fans of this stuff, so unshockable are we now in a time when suicide bombers aren’t evil enough to satisfy the masses.
As the case unspooled – so bumbling are the Cypriot cops that Scotland Yard and British CSI teams had to be called in to help – it got the attention of headlines around the world, with the British newspaper The Sun aptly putting it right: Face of Evil.
The fact of the matter is that the police, Police Chief Zacharias Chrysostomou, and nobody on Cyprus cared about these women other than their families and friends because they were invisible and disposable, so they disappeared and were disposed of.
Hundreds of people held a vigil at Cyprus’ Presidential palace to mourn the dead while President Nicos Anastasiades, in China, put out a weak press release decrying the crime instead of insisting Chrysostomou and the cops who took missing persons reports and put them in File 13 – the wastebasket – should be fired yesterday.
“Such instincts are contrary to our culture’s traditions and values,” Anastasiades added, before heading back for some chop suey after a cold response to the savage murders instead of hustling back to sack some people and bring in real law enforcement types.
A vigil organizer, Maria Mappouridou, used a bullhorn to read out the victims’ names as well as those of other missing women, as others shouted, “Where are they?” said the Associated Press. Some participants held placards decrying “sexist, misogynist, and racist” attitudes about women who work as housekeepers or in low-paying service jobs.
“I felt obliged to do something for these women, all the missing women, all the killed women,” Mappouridou, said. “I think deep down, all that we want, what everybody wants, is justice,” too late for the dead.
One campaigner, Louis Koutroukides, said cops questioned his motives over reporting the missing women. “If they believed me when I went to the police things would have turned out differently,” he told state TV.
Police spokesman Andreas Angelides predictably said it wasn’t the fault of the department for not investigating the disappearances. He dismissed criticism police botched the initial missing persons’ reports, saying that an internal investigation is underway, post-mortem.
Now the police will circle the wagons and defend their inaction and slowly but surely the names of these women will be forgotten while the name of their killer can’t be released.
It’s Nicos Metaxas.