“May 1971. I approached a woman and I attacked her with a metal rod and a knife. I hit her with the metal rod with spiral grooves. I hit her some three times. Because she was screaming I slashed her neck with the knife that is presented to me here in the court. The victim collapsed in the street and then I dragged her into a courtyard and had sexual relations with her.” (Ion Rîmaru – statement to the police after arrest)."
‘Rîmaru – Butcher of Bucharest’ is a factual account of the crimes committed by Ion Rîmaru, their social environment, their impact on the culture of their times, and their lingering legacy in the present day. Popular myth, for instance, enshrines the legend that Rimaru had the qualities of a vampire – a hypnotic attraction for young women – the source of his ability to evade capture.
The authors, Mike Phillips and Stejărel Olaru, have had unprecedented access to police and secret police records, including the testimonies of the killer and his family. They also conducted interviews with various protagonists, and researched the surviving mountain of statements.
The social context, however, and what it tells us about Romanian society at the time and in the present day makes this a remarkable, uneasy and illuminating story.
Desiring to bring to Britain a never-before-seen glimpse of Romania, Profusion Publishers, launched a series of Romanian crime novels with a difference last year: novels that certainly thrill, but also books which can show the audience the reality of a country which used to be behind the Iron Curtain but now emerges as a vibrant European partner after a bloody revolution and a long transition to a market-economy.
The newest crime novel published by the young independent British publishing house, directed by Ramona Mitrica, also director of the Romanian Film Festival in London, has received raving reviews from crime fiction reviewers.
"A valuable historical document, well assembled, a model of how to collect scientific research and present its results in an attractive manner," comments author George Arion. "The two authors conducted a thorough programme of research and created a an authentic image of the first serial killer from post-War Romania. The tormented historical context in which Rimaru appeared – both physically and as a myth – is also described and explained with plenty of details. The location of each crime committed by Rimaru is described with pinpoint accuracy: the Bucharest of the book be comes alive, and one can recognize it." Review: Jack the Ripper of Bucharest by George Arion Jr, published in Flacara Magazine, 20 August 2012.
Profusion has so far published three Romanian crime fiction books in translation: Attack in the Library by George Arion, Kill the General by Bogdan Hrib and Anatomical Clues by Oana Stoica-Mujea.
‘Rimaru – Butcher of Bucharest’
by Mike Phillips and Stejarel Olaru
published by Profusion Books
edited by Ramona Mitrica.
Available in paperback priced GBP 7.99 from Profusion.org.uk, and a GBP 6.39 from Amazon.co.uk, and Waterstones.com, as well as a Kindle e-book for GBP 3.08.