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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Tatum's Life Headed for Silver Screen?

The gruesome murder of flamboyant U.S. businessman Paul Tatum last November seemed like something out of a book or a movie. It soon will be.


Tatum's brother-in-law, Rick Furmanek, is about to publish a book called "Stranded in Moscow," which tells the story of his 1 1/2 year stay in Moscow working for Tatum, ending with a chilling epilogue that touches on Tatum's murder.


Furmanek is publishing "Stranded in Moscow" himself in the United States. But he has much bigger plans for a second book, with the working title "Murder in Moscow," that will give his version of events surrounding Tatum's murder.


Not a word has been penned so far, but Furmanek said he is already talking with national U.S. publishers about a book that "ideally I'd like to have done in the next 90 days. If not, I'd like to have it released on Paul's birthday next year, April 2, 1998."


Furmanek also said he had been approached to write a screenplay based on Tatum's career in Moscow and his murder and to sell the rights for a made for television "movie of the week" to be broadcast on U.S. television.


The primary motivation for the book, Furmanek said, is that Tatum's parents, Edward and Mildred, asked him to write it.


"Stranded in Moscow" tells about the Furmanek family's adventures living in Russia's capital.


At Tatum's invitation, Furmanek, his wife, Robin -- Tatum's sister -- and their two children came to live in Moscow in 1992 after the brash entrepreneur took the whole family on a whirlwind tour of Russia. Furmanek worked for Tatum's company, Americom.


Tatum, who had joined up with Radisson Hotels and Soviet Intourist in 1990 to create the hotel complex, was already beginning to trade salvos with his two partners over running the business.


After a year and a half, the Furmanek family returned to Arizona, but the experience emerged as the material for Furmanek's "Stranded in Moscow."


"It's basically just the story of our daily life over there," Furmanek said in an interview from Gilbert, Arizona, where the family resides. Unlike Tatum, the Furmaneks didn't live in the five-star Radisson Slavjanskaya hotel but in a regular Russian apartment, and the children attended a Russian school.


Furmanek had already completed the book when Tatum was murdered. But the author has since added an epilogue recounting the 41-year-old entrepreneur's mafia-style killing on the Kievskaya metro station steps, just yards from the hotel and business center venture that became Tatum's obsession.


"Stranded in Moscow" is due out the third week of February and is self-published by Furmanek's Square Peg Press.


In fact, a third Tatum book could be in the pipeline. A collaborative effort, it would combine Tatum's writings with recollections of friends.


"That's still in negotiation," Furmanek said, "as well as a movie of the week, and the whole issue of a screenplay."


Natalya Bokadorova, a close Tatum friend who spoke at his memorial service, said she was hoping to contribute more than 60 articles he wrote about Russia's economy, free economic zones and other issues. In the meantime, she's organizing a roundtable about the new mafia elite and the criminalization of Russia's economy.


An Americom employee, who asked not to be identified, said the books were "a good idea ... otherwise this case will be forgotten."


Earlier this week, a Stockholm arbitration court ruled in a suit between Tatum and his Russian joint-venture partners that Americom had diverted funds and used improper accounting.


Nevertheless, Tatum's family doesn't want that to be the end of the story. "I just hope that it's not perceived as if his murder was sanctioned by this [ruling in Stockholm]," Furmanek said. "We don't believe he got what he deserved."