Yesterday, the news of a shocking series of murders rippled through the Slavic community in Sacramento and the rest of the US. It is alleged that on Tuesday, Grigory Bukhantsov slaughtered his sister-in-law, along with her 3-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son. In between the tears, angst, and gasps of horror, we have seen the community react with prayer and heartfelt compassion for the remainder of the Bukhantsov family. But there have also been probing questions. “How could someone do such a thing?” Or “why would someone kill their family!?” Perhaps we may never know the answer, though many will speculate it to be one of the most common reasons (drugs, insanity, demonic possession, a combination of all three.
We join the family in mourning this horrific tragedy. We also encourage leaders in our community who deal with similar behaviors to take very serious note of them.
1. This is not the only murder of children by a relative in the Slavic church community.
The bloodshed is eerily similar to another horrid case from Oregon WA. Nikolay Lazukin, a man so normal that the local community could not believe the allegations, was found guilty of murdering his wife and three young daughters (1). Likewise in 2001 another Sacramento man, Nickolay Soltys, went on a rampage, killing a pregnant wife, two young cousins, his son, and two older relatives. (2)
2. Bukhantsov had a serious problem with drugs.
Bukhanstosv was known for drug use and wild outbursts. He was often described as “possessed by drugs.” On a few occasions the church and family attempted to intervene and help Bukhanstov with his drug problem. In an attempted drug counseling session one of the pastors trying to help Grigory was met with an uncontrolled outburst or rage, which frightened everyone present. (3, 5)
3. Bukhantsov had a history of breaking the law.
He was convicted in December 2011 for the burglary of a home, jailed for seven months, and sentenced to five years of probation. Various family members called the police throughout this year to report Grigory for other cases of theft and vandalism. (3)
4. Bukhantsov frightened 13 family members into getting a restraining order
Two restraining orders were filed against Grigoriy Bukhantsov. This was done at the request of Bukhantsov’s father (Aleksey Bukhantsov) and included 13 family members who felt they needed protection. The victims of Tuesday’s homicide were part of the 13 people seeking protection. (3)
5. Bukhantsov previously assaulted his family, at least 7 times.
Court records show seven separate incidents where Bukhantsov “allegedly assaulted family members, threatening to kill and stab them.” He reportedly hit his father hard enough to knock him down. He also punched his sister in the stomach face, and even assaulted his 12 year old brother. (3, 4)
6. Bukhantsov threatened to kill his family and become like Nickolay Soltys
It was reported that Bukhantsov threatened his family by saying “I will kill you like Soltys did his family.” His father reported in 2011 that Grigory was “”threatening to stab everyone and the children to death.” Court documents also show he “threatened to have his friends come and block all exits and set the house on fire while everyone is sleeping.” Later, one of the pastors at Bukhantsov’s church reported that Grigory went to the church two months ago and threatened to kill people there (3, 4, 5)
7. Bukhantsov stated he was Christian on his Facebook page
Grigory was not active on Facebook, but browsing his page you will find that he “liked” things like worship music, God, prayer. Basically the check-boxes that Christians are supposed to check, were checked on his page. In addition he offered an unusual statement about his faith, seen below:
UPDATE: Here is a press conference video with the family.
UPDATE 2: There is a great Russian Language Article that I would encourage you to read: Солтысы, Лазукины, теперь Буханцевы… Сколько еще?