You really can never tell with some people. On the outside they may be quiet, unassuming, even boring, but deep down, everyone has their secret passions, hobbies, and careers.
Take for instance the tail of former journalist, Vlado Taneski. To everyone, including his wife and two grown children, Vlado was a mild-mannered reporter. What his family and friends didn’t know, however, was that Vlado had a secret life, one that no one he knew could ever have expected…
Vlado Taneski was born 1952 in Kičevo in the former Yugoslavia. His parents were not wealthy people and he grew up destitute. As he grew into adulthood, his relationship with his mother, an uneducated, housekeeper and by all accounts a woman who grew more and more tense.
Vlado married early, and he and his wife had two wonderful children. Sadly, in 1990, when he was in his 40’s, Vlado’s father committed suicide. The loss hit him hard and he slipped into a brief period of depression. Yet despite the hardships that life had thrown at him, he managed to find himself a successful career as a journalist..
Twenty Years in the Biz
For nearly two decades, Vlado honed his craft and became a well-respected journalist in his little corner of the world. To those around him, he was a smart, educated family man, with two grown children and a penchant for the truth that made him a wanted man in his field.
It happened in 2005, that Vlado’s hometown of Kičevo was the site of not one, not two, but three grisly murders over the course of three years.The victims Mitra Simjanoska, 64, Ljubica Licoska, 56, and Zivana Temelkoska, 65, were found murdered in 2005, 2007, and 2008 respectively. And their ends were not exactly pleasant ones…
The bodies of the elderly women were found naked, wrapped in telephone cables and stuffed into nylon bags in different locations in Kicevo. It wasn’t until 2008 that Vlado spoke to his editor about covering the murders in his column. He believed that they might have been connected to a series of killings.
After a persuasive pitch to his editor, Vlado wrote some vivid accounts of the grisly murders. His eye for detail was such that the story soon had readers completely hooked. It was as if he had some sort of inside source into the killings. Perhaps he had someone in the police department feeding him information?
The article, entitled, “Serial Killer Stalks Kicevo”, was drawing in more and more readers and Vlado’s editors couldn’t have been more pleased with his work. In it, Vlado wrote about how it might have happened that one of the victims, Ljubica Licoska, was lured to her death by the killers.
Vlado surmised that the 56-year-old woman was abducted after two men approached her, told her that her son had been injured in an accident, and then lured her to their car. It was suspiciously accurate, and the article soon drew the attention of the entire police force: whom as it turned out, were still fairly clueless about how the crimes happened in the first place…
Their suspicions only increased when he began to insult the police for their failure to locate the killers. In an article for another newspaper, Vlado faulted them for implicating two men in the death of one of the victims. He noted that the accused men couldn’t have done it, as they had been in jail at the time the first murders occurred.
As expected, these articles brought the police right to his doorstep. More suspicious still were his seemingly first-hand accounts of the killings. He even had information in them which had not previously been released to the public. He either knew someone on the inside, a disgruntled employee perhaps, or he knew the killer and had gotten the information first-hand…
Vlado Taneski’s articles differed so much from all other published reports in the Macedonian press that he even had specific knowledge of the type of phone cord that was used by the killer to both kill and tie-up his victims. Still, without any proof, the police couldn’t do much to accuse him outright.
As police delved deeper into Vlado’s past, they also came upon some striking coincidences. All the murdered women were poor, uneducated cleaners, the same as Taneski’s mother. More than that, they had all known Taneski’s mother personally at some point in their lives. This meant that it was entirely possible Vlado knew them as well…
Even worse, all of these women had lived mere meters away from his house. It seemed open and shut, all they needed to do now was get a DNA sample. First though, they’d have to bring him in. In June 2008, Vlado Taneski was arrested in connection with the deaths of the women he’d written about.
Ognen Cancarevik, a crime reporter at New Macedonia, who collaborated with Taneski on the articles, spoke to police after the arrest. “When the police rang me to say, ‘Your reporter is the murderer,’ I could barely believe my ears.” He, like many others who knew the mild-mannered reporter, were flabbergasted…
Never Believe It
Taneski’s editor in chief of Utrinski Vesnik, Ljupco Popovski, also knew Vlado personally and couldn’t believe it when he’d heard he was arrested for the murders. “I would never believe that he is capable of doing something like that,” he explained in an interview. Even Taneski’s wife was aghast.
Vlado and his wife had been separated for a number of years prior to the incident, but even she could scarcely believe the news. After all, she’d lived with him for 31 years. “He was always quiet and gentle. The only time I ever saw him get aggressive was when we were living with his parents.” This offered some clues into his mindset and his reason for the murders…
Subsequent DNA tests connected Taneski to the murders and he was imprisoned on June 22, 2008, soon after his arrest. The police had gathered enough information to put him away for life, not to mention the fact that they were also planning to connect him to the 2003 disappearance of 78-year-old Gorica Pavleska as well.
The Coward’s Way
Unfortunately for his victims, Vlado Taneski would never face any sort of earthly justice for his crimes. The day after he was imprisoned, guards found him dead of an apparent suicide in his cell at a prison in Tetovo. He was discovered with his head completely submerged in a bucket of water….
A Terrible Man
“All these women were raped, molested and murdered in the most terrible way,” explained a police spokesperson after the announcement of Taneski’s suicide. “…We have very strong evidence that Taneski was responsible for all three,” It was an ignominious end to what was obviously a very troubled man.
We may never know exactly what happened in Vlado Taneski’s life to push him over the edge. Some could say that it was his father’s suicide that triggered a murderous anger in him, an anger that with the absence of his late mother, could only be directed upon her peers and that could only be held at bay for the span of 12 months at a time. Though why he wanted to write about it, we may also never know.