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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Private Eye Unwittingly Films Murder

Moscow PoliceSergei Odintsov, front, and Andrei Migachyov, who is suspected of pulling the trigger, fishing in an undated photo.
A private detective hired by a husband worried that his wife was cheating on him inadvertently captured a contract hit on videotape -- helping police to apprehend the suspected killers.

The husband, a businessman who lives on Kashirskoye Shosse near the Kashirskaya metro station in southern Moscow, left for a business trip on Jan. 26 and hired the detective to watch his apartment to see if his wife would bring home a lover, city police spokeswoman Natalya Maltseva said. She declined to name the businessman, the wife or the detective.

The detective set up a video camera in his car near the apartment building and watched the wife's comings and goings for two days, Maltseva said. She always returned home alone.

Then at about 7:20 p.m. on Jan. 29, Vladimir Zheleznov, a car parts dealer, drove into the courtyard, followed by a second car, Maltseva said.

As Zheleznov got out of his car, a man emerged from the other car, pulled out a Lueger pistol and emptied the chamber into Zheleznov, killing him on the spot.

It was unclear if the private detective was in his car at the time, but his video camera captured the murder on tape, Maltseva said. "You can't see faces on the video, but you can see the cars and how the murder happened," she said. "Investigators used the tape to piece together the course of events and check them against other witnesses' accounts."

The investigation went on for five months before the suspected gunman, Andrei Migachyov, 27, was arrested in Kaluga on May 14 and brought to Moscow. Migachyov led investigators to a suspected accomplice, Dmitry Agoshkov, 31, and the man who may have ordered the killing, Sergei Odintsov, 31, who were subsequently arrested. A fourth suspect, Vladimir Shevlyakov, 41, is still at large and is believed to have organized the killing, Maltseva said.

City Crime Statistics
May 25 - May 31
Theft (total)1,045302
Apartment burglaries--
Car theft--
For the Record
Car accidents239
a) killed10
b) injured256
Public drunkenness3,517
a) detained overnight1,132
Missing persons-
Bodies discovered-
*Police said these statistics were unavailable due to a technical problem
Source: Moscow police

All four men have been charged with organizing a murder and could face life imprisonment if convicted.

Maltseva said Odintsov owed Zheleznov $250,000 for a loan he took out to finance his car parts business. The debt is the primary motive for the murder, she said. "When he took the loan, he started spending the money wildly, buying an expensive new car," Maltseva said. "It was as if he never planned to repay the money."

The four suspects are close friends who hunted and fished together, Maltseva said.

Odintsov has denied any guilt and claimed that he was set up by the other two suspects in custody, Maltseva said.

Agoshkov and Migachyov have admitted to their role in the murder, she said.

She said Migachyov received $2,000 to pull the trigger.

It was unclear if the private detective eventually uncovered any evidence of infidelity, Maltseva said.