(CBS) — An online-gaming friendship turned into a real life obsession and murder. A local woman was stalked and killed by a Canadian man and his stunning confession was obtained by our CBS 2 Investigators.
Hearing what a convicted, deadly stalker has to say, helps teach us how a stalker thinks and what we need to know to protect ourselves.
Investigative Reporter Dave Savini has this Original Report.
It was a friendship that dated back to fourth grade, 28 years of Jitka Vesel and Theresa O’Rourke, until Dmitry Smirnov destroyed it.
“I can’t really think about her not being here,” said O’Rourke.
“I decided to kill her,” Smirnov said in a police interrogation video.
His recorded confession gives a unique understanding, a warning, about how a stalker thinks and operates.
“And then I just shoot her,” said Smirnov.
He lived in Canada and she in Berwyn. They met while playing an online game and became friends. He visited her in 2008. Soon after he returned to Canada, Vesel cutoff all contact.
“Pretty much got depressed and everything,” said Smirnov.
Smirnov kept trying to reach her. Police warned him to leave her alone.
“Jitka did all the things we’re told to do,” said O’Rourke. “Stopped communication, changed her phone number, made sure he wasn’t allowed to contact her thru the game, didn’t respond to any e-mails.”
“I would never even have the guts to kill her, but because of her, like, ignorance for two years, just all the anger just boiled up,” said Smirnov.
In 2011, still obsessed, he left Canada and headed to Washington. He illegally bought a gun from an online dealer and paid a homeless man to buy bullets. Smirnov tested the gun in Montana then found Vesel’s address online. He went to her home and put a GPS tracker on her car which made things easy for him.
“I didn’t have to even follow her. I just go to the internet, anywhere I want, and see where she is,” said Smirnov.
He lived in his car for about two weeks before he used the GPS to find her in an Oak Brook parking lot.
“She was getting in the car, that’s when I started shooting,” said Smirnov. “She then she sat curled up like this, and I started shooting at her.”
He was worried he might not kill her.
“I didn’t want to fail,” said Smirnov. “I was so scared to fail because if I did, I would just look like an idiot in front of her.”
Immediately after the shooting, he sent a lengthy e-mail which said, in part: “I f… Killed her!!!!!!!!!!!!!”.”Her scream will be in my head for the rest of my f… life.”
“He’s a coward. Those are the words of a coward,” said O’Rourke who explains the lessons learned from her friends killing.
“Be careful who you let into your life, whether it’s your virtual life or your real life, because it’s all interconnected.”
After the shooting, Smirnov called police and turned himself in. During his interrogation, he repeatedly said he wanted to talk to Vesel’s boyfriend and wanted to see how he was feeling. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison; a sentence he now is appealing.