CRIME

Who ate the Serbian gangster?

Investigators still unraveling Madrid cannibal killing

He was one of the most sadistic killers of recent times, although nobody knew it until six years after the events.

Milan Jurisic was a member of the Zemun criminal clan - a Serbian mafia organization that became the successor to the paramilitary group known as the Tigers of Arkan, which assassinated former Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic in 2003. In 2006 Jurisic was bludgeoned to death at his home in Madrid.

Afterward, his body was cut into pieces. Parts of it were flushed down the lavatory. What remained was ground and, in a macabre ritual, cooked and eaten by his killers, but not before they had made a mask from the skin of his face and his hair. His bones were discovered in the Manzanares river last March.

The crime had gone undetected until February, when police arrested the leader of the same criminal clan, Luka Bojovic, and two of his lieutenants, Vladimir Mijanovic and Vladimir Milisavljevic, at a Valencia restaurant.

What remained of his body was ground and, in a macabre ritual, cooked and eaten by his killers

In searches carried out after the detentions, among an arsenal of heavy duty weaponry, agents found a letter detailing the murder of Jurisic and accusing another member of the group, Sretko Kalinic, of carrying it out. Known as "The Beast," Kalinic is in jail in Serbia for killing two protected witnesses who were going to shed light on the murder of Djindjic.

High Court Judge Fernando Andreu traveled to Belgrade on Tuesday to take a statement from Kalinic. After learning of the letter found among Bojovic's possessions, The Beast - implicated in other cannibalistic murders and under threat of death from his partners in crime - told Serbian prosecutors that the document was a lie.

Kalinic stated the crime had been ordered by Bojovic and carried out by his right-hand man Milisavljevic.

Andreu was also due to interrogate another member of the Zemun clan in Belgrade: Milan Simovic, also a hired assassin for the organization.

In contrast to Kalinic, Simovic claims Bojovic had nothing to do with the death of Jurisic. He says it was The Beast, as the letter claims. But both would-be informers have been warring for many years. Simovic apparently made an attempt on Kalinic's life in the Serbian capital in 2010. He is also in prison for the murder of Djindjic.

Investigators have not ruled out the theory that the accusatory letter cold be a ruse by Bojovic to distance himself from the killing of Jurisic.

The leader of the Zemun crime syndicate, one of the most dangerous gangsters in Europe, has lived in Spain for the past 10 years. When Bojovic was arrested, he invoked the paramilitary past of his organization by shouting in perfect Spanish: "We are soldiers!"