A Polish serial killer who raped and murdered four boys in the 1980s is a free man again despite uproar over the prospect of an infamous murderer living among the public.
Mariusz Trynkiewicz left prison in the southern town of Rzeszow under police escort late on Monday night for an undisclosed location, and will remain under the watch of police owing to a fear of lynching.
Called the “Satan of Piotrkow” after the town where he committed his crimes, Trynkiewicz murdered the boys in July 1988, strangling the first and stabbing dead the other three after he lured them back to his flat.
He initially received a death sentence for each of his young victims but these were commuted to 25 years in prison owing to a general amnesty agreement after 1989’s fall of communism.
People across Poland are afraid Trynkiewicz could end up living near them, and may strike again. “A man like this never changes,” said Zofia Pryczek, the mother of one of the victims. “He has freedom, and he will do the same. He should stay behind bars or get the death penalty.”
The prospect of his release triggered desperate attempts by the authorities to keep 52-year-old Trynkiewicz behind bars.
The government rushed through a bill allowing the detention of criminals beyond their sentence if they are deemed a threat to the public, but this failed to prevent the release. Authorities also face accusations of trying to frame Trynkiewicz in a last-ditch effort to keep him behind bars.
Supposedly pornographic pictures of children and two teeth were found in his cell days before his release, prompting speculation he may face new charges. But investigators ruled the pictures were not pornographic, and questioned how they got in his cell considering the high security.
Trynkiewicz has made no comment to the press, but his lawyer said he fears people will take revenge, if they find out where he lives. The possibility of a lynching has resulted in him being granted protection.
“He will receive police protection, first to protect him from possible retribution from members of the public, and second to protect the public from possible criminal activity,” explained Marek Dzialoszynski, spokesman for the Polish police.
Even the murderer’s mother, Urszula, wished her son could remain behind bars. “He knows he cannot come back to Piotrkow; he knows he can’t be with me,” she told Fakt, Poland’s biggest-selling newspaper. “This is a sick man. I’d be a lot calmer if he was behind the walls.”
The uproar surrounding the release of a man who committed four brutal murders has led to calls for the resignation of Marek Biernacki, the justice minister. But the minister said his “ministry made no errors”.
Poland’s government has stressed it will ensure the security of citizens, and there remains a possibility that Trynkiewicz may be re-arrested, if a meeting of experts, due to convene next month, deems him still a threat.