Andrzej Kunowski: The Little Doctor
Case Goes Cold
In a cruel twist, Trajce Konev became the initial suspect in the murder.
Police doubted his story about chasing off an attacker, and he was ordered confined while detectives investigated. Zaklina Konev arrived at the police station to find Trajce behind bars wearing a prisoner's overalls.
She jumped to conclusions — perhaps understandably.
"What have you done to our little girl?" Zaklina demanded.
"I remember just banging my head from wall to wall in my cell," Trajce Konev later said. "I couldn't believe what was happening. They must have thought I was a madman. They thought I had killed my Katerina."
He was quickly cleared on evidence that included the eyewitness accounts, a security camera videotape that showed him chasing the suspect, and fingerprints found on the window the attacker had climbed through.
Police found another clue that would prove crucial: A single strange hair on Katerina's sweater.
The investigation revealed that the same man who killed Katerina had earlier stalked three other adolescents in Hammersmith. Each girl had long, dark hair, like Katerina.
Detectives surmised he followed the girl home, made sure she was alone, then knocked. Katerina opened the door, probably assuming it was her father.
It seemed a simple crime to solve, with both forensic and eyewitness evidence. But the investigation went nowhere.
The killer seemed to have disappeared amid the 7 million people of London.
But he was hiding in plain sight and, in fact, had been in and out of police custody within a month of the murder.
Forensic evidence alone cannot bring criminals to justice. Competent investigators use the evidence as to solve crimes.
Unfortunately for Katerina Konev's loved ones, competence went lacking in this case, despite the sterling reputation of London's Metropolitan Police.
But the murderer was accustomed to law enforcement incompetence. He had benefited from bungling bureaucrats from one end of Europe to the other.
The killer would prove to be a native of Poland named Andrzej Kunowski, whose career as a rapist would span 30 years.