Here's How Serial Killer Vlado Taneski Gave Himself Away

In the tiny country of Macedonia, he became known as the "Kicevo Monster," named after the town in which the bodies of his three female victims were discovered bound and wrapped in plastic bags after being brutally assaulted, tortured, and strangled to death. The killer's crimes were indeed monstrous, and shocking to a nation in which "almost nothing happens," according to one of its top journalists, Goce Trpkovski of the Nova Makedonija newspaper (per The Guardian).

But perhaps even more shocking to the world at large when the story finally hit headlines internationally was the bizarre manner in which the serial killer eventually gave himself away, a turn of events that resembled the plot of some fantastical crime fiction. The killer in question, Kicevo resident Vlado Taneski, was a well-known journalist who had recently come to prominence reporting on the latest developments in Macedonia's recent crimewave. And it was through his work that Taneski shockingly implicated himself.

Vlado Taneski brought his own crimes to national attention

Vlado Taneski began his career as a journalist in the 1980s, and by the turn of the century had become well respected among his peers in the national Macedonian press, per The Irish Times. Like Goce Trpkovski, Taneski was a longtime contributor to the national daily Nova Makedonija, and later gained work at the newly-formed Utrinski Vesnik newspaper following its formation in 1999, according to

By 2008, Taneski had a bigger readership than ever, thanks to the shocking subject matter he was regularly covering for his readers: the possibility that Kicevo had its own serial killer. Taneski wrote in May that year: "The people of Kicevo live in fear and panic after another butchered body of a woman from the town was found this weekend ... Police sources confirm the existence of a serial murderer in the town based on the fact that the women were tortured and killed in the same way, which eliminates the possibility that this was done by different people" (per journalist Philip Watson).

An experienced and talented writer, Taneski burnished his reports with shocking and lurid details of the recent murders. As The Guardian notes, Taneski somehow knew more about the cases than the police had given to the press, details that only the killer would know.

More disturbing details in the case of the Kicevo Monster

According Philip Watson, writing for British Esquire, Vlado Taneski had been a police suspect for a good deal of time when officers surrounded his house and took him away for questioning in June 2008. He was later formally arrested after his DNA was matched to that found at the crime scenes.

When it was revealed that Taneski — the journalist who had most closely reported the investigation into the unknown Kicevo Monster — was now the police's main suspect, the people of Macedonia were deeply shocked. As Independent notes, Taneski had met many of the victims' families, who had earnestly responded to his requests for interviews and given him facts about the women very women he had killed. Similarly, many of Taneski's own family, friends, and colleagues were unable to comprehend that such a seemingly gentle man had committed such heinous crimes.

But the case never went to trial. Per Independent, just days after his arrest Taneski, was found dead after putting drowning himself in a cell he shared with two other men, having apparently committed suicide. Taneski left a note claiming his innocence (per The Irish Times).

However, as Murderpedia explains, one chilling detail that has come to light is that each of the victims of the Kicevo Monster had known Taneski's mother, who had died in 2002. All three were mature women who worked as cleaners, just as Taneski's mother had, and were reportedly all of similar appearance to her.