By Mark McConville
YOU CAN GAZE into the eyes of serial killers though this series of chilling portraits who are surprisingly well-cared for despite their hideous crimes and can even rent a £4 “love room” to enjoy conjugal visits.
Taken in former Soviet prisons in the Ukraine, every person pictured in this hair-raising set of images has killed more than one person. With the ice cold stare of a killer, the intense eyes of Ruslan Khudoliy, who has 29 victims and is serving a life sentence for a series of robberies, thefts and brutal murders, almost appear to pierce the screen which separates him from freedom.
Other hard gazes come from Kateryna Schuka, who was convicted in 2010 of murder and homicide of three people and is now serving a life sentence, Valentyna Luchaninova who was convicted in 2008 on an identical charge sheet and one woman where the only fact the photographer could learn is that she had killed more people than any other prisoner.
Czech photographer David Tesinsky has released his new photo series looking at the gazes of these serial killers. It was shot inside a prison in Kharkiv, east Ukraine.
Each prisoner included in the series has killed at least person and this was Tesinsky’s way of looking into their soul to see how they could commit these evil deeds.
“I’m an independent documentary photographer of the subculture of “people’s stories” and I’m seeking to find out controversial, unique, special or just somehow deep view about the usual or unusual social topics,” said the Prague-born photographer.
“I look for bright moments and also problems of nowadays. Photography is a weapon and a cake for me at the same time.
“It can open the eyes of people by seeing moments captured my way and also feel a pleasure by having the good times looking at them.”
One of the most surprising things Tesinsky noticed was that the prison for the absolute ‘worst case’ inmates looked little different to a standard hostel.
It contained clean showers, TVs in every cell and if an inmate wished to spend some time with their lover they could rent a room for several nights at just £4 per night.
One of Tesinsky’s images captures a tender moment as mass murderer Kateryna Schuka looks at photographs from her wedding on a TV screen.
The killer’s wedding took place inside prison a few years ago and she looks wistfully at the photographs of her big day.
Other striking images show all the prisoners facing the wall showing their hands behind their back, a move they must do any time an officer or prison worker comes into a working room.
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