Tsarskoye Selo murderer: how a serial killer was in the service of the lyceum student A. S. Pushkin

The Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum, from the walls of which many glorious sons of Russia came out, keeps many secrets. There are also bloody ones among them, which do not fit in with the image of the temple of sciences and arts created by historians and writers. One of the terrible secrets is connected with the most famous lyceum student — Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin, and its terrible circumstances could well have cost the poet his life at the very beginning of his glorious career.

Tsarskoye Selo murderer: how a serial killer was in the service of the lyceum student A. S. Pushkin

In 1814, Tsarskoye Selo was shaken by several treacherous murders, which were committed with extreme cruelty. The killer attacked lone passers-by and dealt with them, inflicting several strong and accurate stabs in the chest or neck. Sometimes the murderer previously stunned his victim and only then took up the knife.

Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum in the early 19th century

It is quite obvious that a man of remarkable physical strength was wielding, since sometimes a knife pierced through the body, and after cutting one of the unfortunate people's throat, the killer almost separated the head from the body. All the victims were robbed cleanly — the criminal did not disdain anything and took not only money and watches, but also small valuables, such as tie pins and cufflinks.

There have been fatal duels and fights with accidental murder on the territory of the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum, but this was the first time such a thing happened. The lyceum students were immediately warned that their lives could be in danger and they were ordered to move in the evenings by several people or accompanied by "uncles" - male servants who were assigned to each lyceum student.

Tsarskoye Selo murderer: how a serial killer was in the service of the lyceum student A. S. Pushkin

Sazonov brought a cleaned uniform and morning coffee to Pushkin in this room

No one suspected that the "Tsarskoye Selo murderer", as he began to be called after the second murder, was quietly living within the walls of the lyceum. Moreover, he serves as an "uncle" for one of the lyceum students, whose name is Alexander Pushkin. The name of the villain was Konstantin Sazonov and he was about 20 years old at the time of the first murder.

Tsarskoye Selo murderer: how a serial killer was in the service of the lyceum student A. S. Pushkin

The lyceum was surrounded by a large park, in which the killer felt at home

Most likely, Sazonov performed his duties well under the young Pushkin — there is not a word in any document or diary of the poet about the problems associated with the"uncle". During the day, Sazonov cleaned the lyceum student's clothes and shoes, washed his underwear, ran to the shop for gingerbread and ink, and late in the evening, when the lyceum fell asleep, he went out into the dark alleys and waited for belated travelers and drunken revelers.

From 1814 to 1816, Konstantin Sazonov committed 8 or 9 robberies, during which 7 people were killed. And these are only proven episodes committed in Tsarskoye Selo. Today it seems strange that in a place where everyone knows each other and lives almost in plain sight, they could not find a serial killer for so long and were silent about his crimes for a long time.

Tsarskoye Selo murderer: how a serial killer was in the service of the lyceum student A. S. Pushkin

Pushkin and the Lyceum students

Modern historians attribute this to the fact that the lyceum belonged to the department of the Minister of Education Razumovsky, who did not want publicity. The rector of the educational institution, Professor Koshansky, fully supported the patron. Most of all, the elderly scientist feared for the reputation of his lyceum, which was more expensive to him than the safety of students and teachers. Fortunately, Sazonov was not interested in students who lived in a semi-barrack situation and did not keep any special values with them.

The second hero of the verse — Franz Osipovich Peshel, a Slovak by nationality, was a favorite of lyceum students. Jokes, life stories and puns literally poured out of him, and his pockets were always filled with pharmacy sweets for young friends. Obviously, Pushkin mentioned him in the epigram for contrast.

Tsarskoye Selo murderer: how a serial killer was in the service of the lyceum student A. S. Pushkin

Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum at night. Our days

Konstantin Sazonov got caught by chance and his pettiness played an important role in this. The last victim of the maniac was a cabman, from whose pockets the killer raked out change. After a while, the killer lost fifty kopecks and began to search for him feverishly in front of everyone. The unnatural behavior of the servant attracted the attention of the lyceum employees to him, and then the suspicious "uncle" was reported to the police.

Tsarskoye Selo murderer: how a serial killer was in the service of the lyceum student A. S. Pushkin

A frame from the movie "18-14"

The story of the "Tsarskoye Selo murderer" was not forgotten. Almost immediately after his arrest, the lyceum students published a collective comic poem "Sazoniada". In 2007, the Russian feature film "18-14" was released, the plot of which was based on the story of Sazonov, however, radically revised and abundantly supplemented with fiction.

Now it seems to us that serial killers are the trouble of our time, and we can only remember Jack the Ripper from the maniacs of the past. But there have been such criminals at all times, including in Of Russia. No less cruel than the London beast was the killer from Nikolai Radkevich of St. Petersburg, who kept the city in fear at the beginning of the 20th century.

Keywords: Victim | Maniac | Poet | Pushkin | Murderer | Study

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