Incidents » Crimes

Child kidnapping in Moscow-Tales from the crypt

Where do kids vanish?

“Where is my baby? Has anyone seen my child?!”- a woman's heart-rending cry shook the walls of one of the local supermarkets. The store sighs, “Oh God, another one has been kidnapped…”.

Cases like these give rise to all sorts of rumors…. “Parents, do not take your children with you inside large supermarkets; do not leave your kids unattended! Children are being kidnapped from specially designated play rooms.” Such message first appeared on the Net about four months ago. Rumors only worsened with time.

Rumors about missing children and incised kidneys have flooded the Russian capital. Information concerning more and more cases with horrifying details started to emerge in printed media. Today, “MK” conducts its own investigation to present the truth about such frequent kidnapping cases.

Talks about child kidnapping straight from play rooms of Moscow’s stores have reached universal scale. During the last four months for instance, young mothers have been discussing terrifying details of recent child kidnapping cases. “On the city's outskirts, kids are being kidnapped and have their organs cut out.” There have already been seven or eight of such cases. Radio and newspapers were prohibited to report such cases in order to avoid public panic. Young Moscow mothers are eager to share the latest rumors.

-Michael was seven. His parents went to a furniture store and left the boy in a play room. When they returned for him, Michael was nowhere to be found. Parents continued searching for their missing child until closing house, filed a report to the police, but the report has mysteriously disappeared. Obviously, those cops were bribed. In two weeks, devastating parents received a phone call informing that their kid's been found. Little Michael was sitting in the same play room, wearing the same clothes. He could not recall anything that happened to him. Afterwards, his mom noticed a scar on his back and results of a medical examination revealed that the boy was missing one kidney, Today, the kid remains in the institute of organ transplants and his mother is in critical condition due to stress.

-Listen, but why did they decided to return the kid right after the surgery?- asks another young mother.

- May be they simply felt pitiful for the donor? Besides, it’s not like they permanently damaged the boy's health…One can still leave without one kidney.
This was story #115. At first, we did not believe such stories. But as time passed, we finally decided to conduct our own investigation and find at least one such child who had been kidnapped for the purpose of organ “donation”.

However, all our attempts to reach a real family whose child been kidnapped in a supermarket has not yield any positive results. Moscow police was not of much help either. Russian Internet in turn was and still full of comments pertaining to the subject matter. Chatting rooms are overflowing with statements regarding kidnapping.

Head physician of the institute of organ transplants Victor Arazumanov considers such statements to be total nonsense. “Only our institute in the whole country conducts such surgeries and deals with organ transplants. That is why all of those child donors would have definitely registered in our clinic. …No one would kidnap children for these purposes.”

Overall, it isn’t difficult to find potential donors in Moscow. One can easily find tons of postings in hospitals that read something like “I’m a 33-year-old male. Would be willing to sell a kidney for 120 000 Euro.” Some offer even a hundred bucks for a kidney. Prices tend to vary…

Rumors are like the world, they never occur from nowhere. If people are talking about something, it means that someone is really interested in spreading such rumors.

There exist three types of rumors. Those are “rumors-wishes”, “rumors-scarecrows” and those rumors that are aimed at one particular social group (for example, “oligarchs are getting ready to impeach the president”), says Ekaterina Egorova, professor. “In our case, we are dealing with the second type of rumors, the so-called “rumors-scarecrows” that are aimed at scaring the masses, as simple as that. I am certain that whoever is behind these “tales from the crypt” are simply trying to act against a particular company. The campaign appears to be done professionally.

Competitors use the most developed communication channel for their tales from the crypt—the Internet. People love to chat on the Net; a good start in a form of such scary story will definitely ignite discussions.  

“However, in this case it is important to keep things real,” says Ekaterina Egorova. “There exists a simple psychological law: a crowd is always dumber than individuals."

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