Artistic License? Scientist in Antarctica Stabs Colleague For Repeatedly Spoiling The Ending Of Books

Aan_de_Zuidpool_-_p1913-160Many people might empathize with Scientific Engineer Sergey Savitsky, 55, who was fed up with a fellow scientist who repeatedly told him the endings of books that he was reading.  It made it all the worse when the two men were confined to a research center in Antarctica.  However, Savitsky took the spoiler gripe a bit too far in stabbing welder Oleg Beloguzov, 52, with a kitchen knife.  It is reportedly the first recorded attempted murder in Antarctica  — a rare distinction to be the first such criminal in an entire continent.

The two men had spent four years in the remote Russian Bellingshausen station on King George Island. At the facility, you can read or read or apparently stab people. Police said that Savitsky had become enraged that Beloguzov “kept telling his colleague the endings of books before he read them”.

Beloguzov had to be evacuated to Chile for medical treatment for his chest wound. Savitsky was deported to St. Petersburg for prosecution.  It is an interesting jurisdictional question given the location in Antarctica where there is no legal authority.

Under the 53-nation Antarctic Treaty, workers accused of serious crimes at a research base are subject to the jurisdiction of their home country.  The record as the first accused murderer may run into difficulty with a 1996 case when an American cook attacked a co-worker with a hammer at McMurdo Station.  F.B.I. agents  investigated the matter while the cook was confined to a hut.

19 thoughts on “Artistic License? Scientist in Antarctica Stabs Colleague For Repeatedly Spoiling The Ending Of Books”

  1. So what country has jurisdiction of the crime? Antarctica has no legal system. I suppose there will be some extraterritorial application of national law similar to what is done on ships but is a camp in Antarctica really similar?

    1. There is a treaty under which each country is responsible for their own camps.

  2. Maybe we should rename it Soliloquy of the Antarctic Cloister…

    Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister
    Robert Browning, 1812 – 1889

    Gr-r-r–there go, my heart’s abhorrence!
    Water your damned flower-pots, do!
    If hate killed men, Brother Lawrence,
    God’s blood, would not mine kill you!
    What? your myrtle-bush wants trimming?
    Oh, that rose has prior claims–
    Needs its leaden vase filled brimming?
    Hell dry you up with its flames!

    At the meal we sit together;
    Salve tibi! I must hear
    Wise talk of the kind of weather,
    Sort of season, time of year:
    Not a plenteous cork crop: scarcely
    Dare we hope oak-galls, I doubt;
    What’s the Latin name for “parsley”?
    What’s the Greek name for “swine’s snout”?

    Whew! We’ll have our platter burnished,
    Laid with care on our own shelf!
    With a fire-new spoon we’re furnished,
    And a goblet for ourself,
    Rinsed like something sacrificial
    Ere ‘tis fit to touch our chaps–
    Marked with L. for our initial!
    (He-he! There his lily snaps!)

    Saint, forsooth! While Brown Dolores
    Squats outside the Convent bank
    With Sanchicha, telling stories,
    Steeping tresses in the tank,
    Blue-black, lustrous, thick like horsehairs,
    –Can’t I see his dead eye glow,
    Bright as ‘twere a Barbary corsair’s?
    (That is, if he’d let it show!)

    When he finishes refection,
    Knife and fork he never lays
    Cross-wise, to my recollection,
    As do I, in Jesu’s praise.
    I the Trinity illustrate,
    Drinking watered orange pulp–
    In three sips the Arian frustrate;
    While he drains his at one gulp!

    Oh, those melons! if he’s able
    We’re to have a feast; so nice!
    One goes to the Abbot’s table,
    All of us get each a slice.
    How go on your flowers? None double?
    Not one fruit-sort can you spy?
    Strange!–And I, too, at such trouble,
    Keep them close-nipped on the sly!

    There’s a great text in Galatians,
    Once you trip on it, entails
    Twenty-nine district damnations,
    One sure, if another fails;
    If I trip him just a-dying,
    Sure of heaven as sure can be,
    Spin him round and send him flying
    Off to hell, a Manichee?

    Or, my scrofulous French novel
    On grey paper with blunt type!
    Simply glance at it, you grovel
    Hand and foot in Belial’s gripe;
    If I double down its pages
    At the woeful sixteenth print,
    When he gathers his greengages,
    Ope a sieve and slip it in’t?

    Or, there’s Satan!–one might venture
    Pledge one’s soul to him, yet leave
    Such a flaw in the indenture
    As he’d miss till, past retrieve,
    Blasted lay that rose-acacia
    We’re so proud of! Hy, Zy, Hine…
    ‘St, there’s Vespers! Plena gratia
    Ave, Virgo! Gr-r-r–you swine!

  3. I can empathize with the man. Reading is one of the many things sailors do while deployed to break up the monotony. There are ways to deal with that one a-hole, however that won’t lead to NJP or court martial. I’ll bet after 4 years there is enough for him to write his own book while he languishes in prison. He can put his own ending on it.

  4. Well, that’s their problem right there. They spent 4 years alone together in Antarctica. At that point, anyone would go mad.

    There are just seals, penguins, birds, and other research stations there. It’s a bloody icy rock in the Southern Ocean. They study glaciers, fish communities like the deep water mesopelagic, pinnipeds, and it’s bitter cold most of the year. What is there to do but stab someone who has ruined the ending of the 50th book you’ve tried to read? (This is tongue in cheek. Don’t stab anyone.)

  5. Mespo — At the moment, St. Petersburg is still warmer than King George Island. So, an improvement of sorts.

  6. I’m expecting JT to post a topic on where Birthplace Citizenship Reform is heading in light of the proposed EO and Sen. Graham’s promise to launch a Senate bill.

    1. And, I have specific questions about how a challenge case would be mounted. Who would the plaintiff be? A baby having foreign nationality? I don’t see how the parents could be plaintiffs, since the EO does not affect their immigration status. Would a foreign nationality baby have standing? Based on what?

      Even if plaintiff and standing are surmounted, what harm would be claimed? I don’t think it’s ever been legally established that a baby obtaining the same nationality as its parents is a form of harm.

      I hope JT will analyze a Birthplace Reform EO from as challenge case perspective.

    1. Independent Bob, no. Confined to close quarters with others not necessarily chosen for companionship.

  7. The Spokane paper article mentions a Soviet era axe murder; appears to be the first homicide since the treaty.

  8. I am will the attacker, he should have killed him. There is no excuse for people who spoil the endings of books or films or tell you there is a twist to look out for. Die, die, die. Put me on the jury and I will vote not guilty right now.

  9. “Beloguzov had to be evacuated to Chile for medical treatment for his chest wound. Savitsky was deported to St. Petersburg for prosecution.
    I bet that was cold comfort.

    1. Mespo — At the moment, St. Petersburg is still warmer than King George Island. So, an improvement of sorts.

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