Interpreter's death appears 'copy of suicide made to look like murder'

Ukrainian interpreter, 30, found dead in her Turkish flat appears ‘copy of suicide made to look like murder in film starring Kevin Spacey and Kate Winslet’, say police

  • Kristina Novitskaya, 30, was discovered at her apartment in the Bodrum resort
  • She was found with a plastic bag over her head and wearing locked handcuffs 
  • Local officials believe she killed herself but her friends say it’s impossible
  • Police say she ordered the handcuffs online four days before her death

In a shocking new twist over the death of a Ukrainian interpreter in Turkey, police are investigating if she took her own life in a copycat suicide from a 2003 film starring Kevin Spacey and Kate Winslet, say reports.

Kristina Novitskaya’s body was found on a chair in her rented apartment in the Bodrum resort on the Aegean coast on Saturday with a blue plastic rubbish bag over her head – and wearing locked handcuffs.

Friends have disputed law enforcement claims that it could be suicide, suspecting a cover-up to hide the involvement of ‘someone important’, a VIP associate.

Turkish police have also not ruled out murder.

Kristina Novitskaya, 30, was discovered at her home in the Bodrum resort on the Aegean coast on Saturday. She had died a few days earlier

Ms Novitskaya, 30, is believed to have killed herself by local police but her friends say it cannot be and suspect a cover-up to hide the involvement of ‘someone important’

An ambulance pulling out of the apartment complex in Bodrum after Ms Novitskaya was discovered on Saturday

Now it has emerged that the 30-year-old – whose name can also be spelled Khrystyna Novitska – ordered the handcuffs online four days before her death, reported Hurriyet, citing police sources.

The newspaper also suggested she may have been ‘influenced’ by the movie ‘The Life of David Gale’ in which a main character is discovered apparently raped and murdered, suffocated by a plastic bag taped over her head.

In the film, an autopsy shows Constance Harraway, played by Laura Linney, had been forced to swallow the handcuffs key – a torture technique deployed by Romanian communist-era dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.

Evidence points to Gale, a professor and anti-capital punishment campaigner, who is convicted of rape and murder and sentenced to death.

The newspaper also suggested she may have been ‘influenced’ by the movie ‘The Life of David Gale’ in which a main character is discovered apparently raped and murdered, suffocated by a plastic bag taped over her head


Ms Novitskaya’s body was found on a chair in her rented apartment with a blue plastic rubbish bag over her head – and wearing locked handcuffs


Now it has emerged that the 30-year-old – whose name can also be spelled Khrystyna Novitska – ordered the handcuffs online four days before her death

The film shows how Bitsey Bloom, played by Winslet, investigates the death and finds that in fact it was an elaborate suicide – made to look like murder – by Harraway who was suffering from terminal leukaemia.

This discovery is too late to stop Gale – played by Spacey – being sentenced to death.

Reports on the Ukrainian woman say the cause of death is still being examined by Turkish forensic experts.

There was no evidence of a fight, and three locks on a steel door were closed from the inside.

 Hurriyet reported the death appeared similar to the one in the 2003 film, but there was no sign of assault on her body and the handcuff keys were in their box nearby

Hurriyet reported the death appeared similar to the one in the 2003 film, but there was no sign of assault on her body and the handcuff keys were in their box nearby.

No visitors were seen on CCTV cameras entering the compound in Eskiçeşme district where she lived, it was reported.

Turkish law enforcement suspected she had become depressed about the pandemic, but her friends denied this.

Officers also surmised that she may have sought to kill herself with a rope and a scarf found at the scene – before opting for the method in the film, say reports.

Friends say that ‘life-loving’ and ‘cheerful’ Kristina was ‘secretive’ about her private life in Turkey, where she lived.

‘We do not believe that she committed suicide,’ said one.

Turkish law enforcement suspected she had become depressed about the pandemic, but her friends denied this

The last known man to see her alive, security guard Ramadan Askin, 65, said she appeared ‘happy’ after returning from a walk on New Year’s Eve.

Novitskaya had been a regular at a dance studio, where owner Fevzi Deniz Işıldar said she was fluent in Turkish.

‘Both she and her heart were beautiful,’ he said.

‘None of us could believe that someone who radiates so much positive energy could commit suicide,’ he added. 

Ukrainian diplomats had taken the case under ‘special control’, said the country’s foreign ministry.

They were ‘in contact with the Turkish law enforcement agencies carrying out the investigation and the relatives of the deceased citizen’.

‘The consulate, in cooperation with the local funeral service, is also taking measures to prepare the repatriation of the body,’ the foreign ministry added.

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