Andrzej Kunowski: The Little Doctor
Caught in the Act
"It's Daddy! Open up!"
Trajce Konev stood knocking at the locked door of his home in the London suburb of Hammersmith. His 12-year-old daughter, Katerina, was home alone. He couldn't understand why she didn't answer.
It was May 22, 1997, two years after Konev, a Macedonian, had arrived in England with his family as refugees from the ethnic war in the Balkans.
They were all learning English together—wife Zaklina; son Christian, 6, and daughter Katerina, a lovely and lively adolescent with long, sable-colored hair, a bright smile and eyes the color of mahogany.
Konev was studying at a local college and had been delayed by an exam.
"I raced home fast on my bicycle, because it was the first time my daughter was alone in the house after school," he would later explain. "I expected everything to be all right."
But it was not all right. She wasn't answering.
"At first I thought, 'Katerina may be changing her clothes,' and waited a few seconds," he said.
Konev peered through the keyhole and saw Katerina's school bag on the floor. He then dropped to his knees and looked under the door.
"I saw two men's black shoes," he said. "I was shocked. I knew she was there ... I knew something was wrong."
Konev banged his shoulder into the door to no effect, so he ran around the house — just in time to find a strange man climbing out a window.
"We came face to face," Konev said. "I noticed one small drop of blood on the left side of his face...He was staring at me. I asked him, 'What are you doing in my house?' He was just so calm. He didn't say anything. He just looked at me and ran away. I went after him."