Few murders are as widely celebrated as the recent bludgeoning death of Vardan Kushnir, the reviled director of the American Language Center in Moscow. As noted in many articles reporting on his murder, Kushnir was responsible for the most persistently annoying spamming campaign in Russia, which daily filled the inbox of every exile.ru email account with advertisements for his company's courses teaching conversational American English.
Initially, it was suggested that one of his many pissed-off spam-victims might have gone vigilante and done society a favor. But the truth of the murder -- at the hands a trio of sluts he met at the Hungry Duck last Saturday night, who slipped him a mickey in his drink -- shows that a very un-hi-tech obsession is what drove his life...and death.
"He liked to fuck whores in the ass, and not wear a condom, and then brag about it," said a former acquaintance who asked not to be identified. "And he did it all the time."
An angry Russian net geek composed this fake ad in honor of Kushnir
In another typical day in the office, the acquaintance recounted, "Kushnir came to work all bubbly and happy. He said, 'Let me show you something.' We went to his laptop, and he shows me this prostitute website. There, he shows me what's advertised as a 'mother-daughter' duo. Kushnir said to me, 'They're coming over tonight!' It was like his fantasy come true. Even though they probably weren't even a mother-daughter team, he wanted to believe it was true, so in his mind they really were."
Kushnir, described as a short, balding, unremarkable-looking 35-year-old ("the epitome of a loser," according to one), apparently had a Herculean appetite for sex. A former employee estimated that Kushnir probably raked in between seven and ten thousand dollars per month from the ALC, and that nearly all of it went to courting prostitutes and sluts, which left him little money to pay his teachers.
"It had to do with his priorities. Let's say if he owed one teacher 500 dollars, and another 1,000, and he just collected 1,000 that day. He wouldn't pay you all your money. He'd give you 50 bucks, whatever, give the other guy 50, then blow the rest on prostitutes. A lot of teachers just left. The others realized that you'll get paid somewhere down the line, you just had to be really persistent and tough on him, keep hitting him up for it over and over."
According to sources, Kushnir was an obsessive surfer of sex web sites, ICQ chats, online forums, and frequented sex clubs and slut-nests like the Hungry Duck. "He brought me to my first massage parlor," said one American.
He also recounted a story about how Kushnir met a pair of sisters seeking sex via an SMS forum on the cellphone. "The girls actually came over to his apartment, and they just met on this SMS thing. He wound up fucking one of them."
The same manic-obsessiveness drove his spamming strategy, which was actually no strategy at all. "It's not like all that spamming actually helped business," said a former employee. "He only did it because he was obsessed with it. He wanted to be somebody, to be recognized somehow. So he way overdid it."
Kushnir was also deeply devoted to Scientology, or at least his understanding of it, which he thought would give him "power" and "domination over people." All prospective employees were required to take a 400-question personality test which Kushnir took from a Scientology book. His hiring decisions were based on the dubious results of this test.
His life as an obsessive, spam-mad aferist wasn't confined to Russia. On April 23, 2001, the state of Kansas issued an "Emergency Cease and Desist Order" against Kushnir and his associate, Michael Walker, for spamming local residents to invest in the stock of a company, Sophim Inc. The stock was not registered, and neither Kushnir nor his associate, who at the time were living in Florida, were registered brokers.
As some suggested, the mass-spamming campaign for the ALC was really about getting known and respected. "His email is 'president@' whatever. He was a megalomaniac. All he wanted was people to know him."
Late last Saturday, Kushnir took three sluts from the Duck back to his apartment, a three-room which he shared with his mother (who had left at 7pm in order to let him bring some dyevs back) on Sadovaya-Karetnaya, near the Mayakovskaya metro station. But his big score went bad: the girls slipped a mickey in his drink. Sometime while they were cleaning out his apartment, he woke up. Ten blows to the head later, Kushnir was asleep forever, and the apartment was cleared of its valuables. His mother came home early Sunday morning and discovered his body. It's not known if the Duck sluts bludgeoned him, or if they brought some boys in to clean the apartment out, but we at the eXile want to believe that the girls did it all by themselves.
In his widely-reported death, Kushnir finally got what he wanted. "He's finally famous now," mused the acquaintance. "Everyone finally knows his name."