In July 2007, a grainy cellphone video titled ‘3 guys, 1 hammer’ leaked onto the internet. The video shows two 19-year-old Ukranian men, Viktor Sayenko and Igor Suprunyuk, as they savagely pummel to death 48-year-old Sergei Yatzenko, an innocent passerby. The disturbing video spread quickly, racking up millions of views, and soon the two savages who happily destroyed a man's face with a hammer became known as the 'Dnepropetrovsk Maniacs.'
Those bold enough to watch the '3 guys, 1 hammer' video online may feel nauseated, forced to look away, while others become frozen with shock and disbelief at what they are seeing. Trust me, it's as dreadful as it seems.
The video is short, at only 8 minutes, and in low definition, but is utterly harrowing to see. The two deranged killers, Viktor Sayenko and Igor Suprunyuk, are seen laughing and joking with each blow of the hammer, clearly enjoying the pain they inflict on Yatzenko.
The hammer is wrapped inside a yellow plastic bag, which contrasts the bright-red color of the victim's blood seeping and spurting from the eye sockets.
The beatings with the hammer last several minutes, although the depravity of the content makes it seem longer. Even if you look away from the video, you still hear the moaning of the dying man as he chokes on his own blood.
And then the two men pull out a rusty screwdriver, which they use to pry and poke through the Yatzenko's flesh.
Words can hardly describe the vileness here, if you are still curious, you may just have to see it for yourself.
Yatzenko was a 48-year-old married man, happy father of two children, and recent grandfather. Known for his kindness and gentle nature, he was man well-loved and appreciated by his family.
A recent survivor of throat cancer, Yatzenko chose to spend his evenings riding through the beautiful countryside of his Ukranian on his motorbike. It was on one of these trips that he was ambushed by the two psychopathic killers.
Yatzenko suffered an unimaginable death that he did not deserve.
Police believe that Sayenko and Suprunyuk killed 21 innocent people before finally being arrested. They would ambush their victims, often by hiding in nearby bushes, hammer in hand. This is how they surprised and killed their first victim, Yekaterina Ilchenko, as well.
The two men pounced on Ilchenko after she walked a friend home in the Krasny Kamen district. IIchenko’s mother found her daughter’s body lying on the street brutally bludgeoned, her face completely unrecognizable.
The victim’s face was mutilated and according to her mother, “There was no face, only parts of it.”
If this horrific crime wasn’t terrible enough, not even ninety minutes later, the two maniacs killed a homeless man as he slept on a park bench. The man was beaten and killed in the same horrific manner as IIchenko, his face left destroyed beyond all recognition.
Another victim of the 21-day-terror-spree was Yegor Nechvoloda. This young ex-Ukranian Army soldier was only 21-years-old when he his life and future were chipped away with strikes of the Dnepropetrovsk maniac’s hammer.
Like many other victims, it was his mother that found his corpse, only five blocks away from his apartment.
Another victim was Elena Chrunk, a 28-year-old “chubby woman” walking home from her job where she worked as a security guard. Chrunk felt sick on the night of her murder, so she asked her boss if she could walk home early. She could have never known that on her path awaited the two maniacs, equipped with hammers, screwdrivers, and cell phones to document their crimes.
Chrunk’s mother found her daughter’s mangled body. She recalled, “They beat her; her face was a mess. There was not a part of that wasn’t destroyed. When we arrived at the morgue, we could not recognize her.
Elena Chrunk left behind her 12-year-old son.
The simple answer is, no one knows, really. One maniac admitted they killed so that in old age “there was something to remember”. The other one claimed that he once read a mythology book that said the “more lives you take, the more respect you will get in heaven.”
One theory that I believe is easily ruled out is that Sayenko and Suprunyuk were killing to rob from the victims. Yes, the two would take any valuables they could from their victims (bank cards, jewelry, mobile phones, etc), but this isn’t widely believed to be their prime motive. The victims of the two killers ranged from elderly pensioners with no money to homeless men, with even less money. They even claimed the life of a 14-year-old boy who had nothing but a cheap fishing rod.
One of the most popular theories, and the most likely, is that these two blood-lusting psychos were killing in hopes of a big payday. The theory of being someone with a lot of money wanted some fresh snuff films, and he or she wanted it real, up close, and full of gore.
Further giving credence to the ‘snuff film theory’ is the 3 guys, 1 hammer video is just one out of 7, or 8, or more. Just because the films aren’t on the internet doesn’t mean they don’t exist. In the Chilean documentary (linked below), the documentary crew receives another full length torture video from an anonymous Ukranian news source. Although, they don’t show the torture parts of the video, the Dnepropetrovsk maniacs clearly filmed it.
Maybe this video will eventually surface. 3 guys, 1 hammer part two perhaps.
I saw many Ukranian sources describing how the country’s own population has complete distrust in its government and officials. And if the Ukranian government runs as inefficiently and corruptly as the local police department did with the Dnepropetrovsk maniacs case, then I can see why.
One popular news source claimed regarding the police investigation, “at first, local law enforcement officers flatly refused to believe” in the serial crimes committed.
After not believing didn’t work, the police refused to alert the public of the horrific murders happening in their same district. Once townsfolk started recognizing that there may be a crazed serial killer(s) walking their streets at night, police shifted gears and led people to believe that they weren’t victims of murder, but that of car accidents.
Finally, police acted. They did this by bringing in random people off the streets, welcoming them with threats against them if they refused to confess, punches and kicks, and other police interrogation tactics.
It wasn’t the 3 guys, 1 hammer video that got the Dnepropetrovsk maniacs caught by police, although that would of surely happened eventually, but pawn shop receipts found in their homes. These receipts not only showed purchases of knives and hammers, the murder weapons, but also for selling their victims’ cell phones to the pawnshop owners.
This is where they got sloppy with their crimes. Police could track GPS data back to the stolen cell phones, which led them to the pawnshops, and soon the public finally knew the true identity of the manic killers.
A judge sentenced Viktor Sayenko and Igor Suprunyuk to life in prison on November 24, 2009. Their accomplice, Alexander Ghanza, who apparently only took part in the robberies, spent nine years in prison for his part in the crimes. He is now over 30-years-old, married, and has two children.