The Tetris Murders is featuring the case of Vladimir Pokhilko, who murdered his wife, Elena Fedotova, and their son, Peter Pokhilko, before taking his own life.
At around 3 p.m. on Sept. 22, 1998, a family friend went to Vladimir’s home in the 400 block of Ferne Avenue in Palo Alto, California, after several attempts to reach Vladimir were unsuccessful.
When the friend entered the home, he found the Russian family of three dead.
Vladimir, 44, the co-founder and president of a software company called AnimaTek, was found in a bedroom with his 12-year-old son, a student at Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School.
His 38-year-old wife, the owner of a yoga studio, was found dead in another bedroom.
Fedotova and Peter were in their pajamas.
A police investigation determined that the Russian family killings were a double murder-suicide
Investigators initially believed Vladimir and his family were murdered by an intruder, but an investigation showed no signs of a struggle or forced entry, and nothing was taken from the house.Watch the Latest on our YouTube Channel
An autopsy revealed that the killings were the result of a double murder-suicide.
According to the Santa Clara County Coroner’s Office, Fedotova and Peter were asleep when Vladimir attacked them with a hammer and stabbed them with an 8-inch hunting knife.
Vladimir was holding the knife in his hand when he died after slitting his throat.
The medical examiner ruled his death a suicide.
Another forensic pathologist, who conducted a second autopsy, came to the same conclusion.
Vladimir Pokhilko left behind a questionable suicide note
While searching Vladimir’s home, police officials found a handwritten note on a desk in his office that they believe was a suicide note.
It read, “I’ve been eaten alive. Vladimir. Just remember that I am exist. The davil.”
The note was sent to the FBI for a thorough investigation. Afterward, the Palo Alto Police Department concluded that it was a suicide note, and they subsequently closed the case.
They believe Vladimir became depressed when his company began having financial problems, which drove him to kill himself and his family.
The attorney’s office and an investigator disagreed. They believe there may have been more to the story.
Dr. David Spiegel, a professor of psychiatry at Stanford Medical Center, said, “Business failure could make someone depressed and even suicidal, but not homicidal.”
“We may never know the reason,” said a lieutenant.
The Tetris Murders, a three-part documentary series, airs Monday at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.