Below you can read the english translation of our article published on 29th march.
Trial of multiple Roma murders continues on the second day with the hearing of Árpád K., primary suspect – Flóra Takács
If you would have crossed paths with him before on the street, you wouldn’t have had in mind about this modestly dressed, soft-spoken man in his early 40’s, playing music for a living, that not much later he will be sharing the dock with his three partners, being the primary suspects of multiple murders.
Árpád K. is being charged with „premeditated, willful multiple murders, partly for creating a great risk of death for many persons, partly for murder committed upon a person less than 14 years of age”, which he committed „partly as perpetrator, partly as fellow-perpetrator, partly as aider”. If the above are confirmed, Árpád K. may be sentenced to multiple life imprisonment. According to the charges he is responsible for a number of acts directly risking human life, among others the shot fired at Alsózsolca which injured and cripled Krisztián Rontó, he may have the murder of Jenő Kóka in Tiszalök on his conscience as well. The suspected killer shot his gun from a distant hideaway at Alsózsolca, but in the other case, Jenő Kóka, on his way to work at night was shot in the heart face-to-face and lost his life immediately.
What should we think of Árpád K . then? What could have been the past events that led so far? What was his motivation? Who were close to him, who might have supported him emotionally or financially? How did the silent, peaceful drummer of a metal band become the primary accused of merciless multiple murders?
Árpád K. was born in 1967 and grew up in Mezőtúr with his sister and younger brother, István K. (latter is the secondary defendant of the present trial, charged with murder and with other serious crimes). Their father died early and partly because of this a very close relationship developed between the brothers from early childhood. Árpád K. cared a great deal for his difficult brother and tried to shepherd him to the best of his abilities. According to reports Árpád K. was the dominant member of the family and his brother always listened to him. Their mother later remarried and moved away from the Debrecen region with their sister, but the brothers stayed.
In the late 80’s Árpád K. received training in firearms as a conscript in the army, but didn’t show a specific interest in their use at the time. Instead, his attention was directed at playing music. In the mid-90’s he gained some fame as the drummer of a metal band in Debrecen, afterwards he attended the jazz conservatory in Budapest. According to the indictment he played music with Romas as well and lived the life of an average young man. It is difficult to imagine for his fellow musicians from that time that the then quiet, reclusive guy could have become a murderer. One of them remembers him: „He got drunk once in his life, we never even saw him smoking. He didn’t stand out, wore woven, often antiracist slogens on his T-shirts.”
In the meantime his brother, István K. took a very different direction. Since his teenage years he has been involved in various far-right, Nazi and racist organizations. The very close relationship between the brothers loosened during the time when Árpád K. studied in Budapest. István K. often criticized his brother’s „overly libertine” lifestyle, which he strongly disapproved of. By contrast, he himself openly voiced his racist, discriminatory views, while nothing similar was heard from his brother at the time, only one friend mentions a momentum suggesting this:”In the meantime in the 90’s he ran a disco with a concert-manager buddy of his in Hajdúhadháztéglás. He was proud that the place was Gypsy-free.” Even if he had such feelings, he certainly didn’t profess them widely.
Árpád K finished high school and tried to make a living as a musician afterwards, however his hopes in this field probably failed, so he needed a change. In 1998 he started working as a data processor in the Hajdú-Bihar County Tax Office. It was there where he met Éva Ny. F. who was his boss, but even more than that. A relationship developed between the two, which - with it’s short and long breaks - lasted for a long period. Árpád K. left the Tax Office in 2000 and temporarily lost connection with Éva Ny. F. as well. He moved to Israel for three years where he worked as a caterer, in order to earn money according to his friends. They also recall that he loved living in Israel and returned home contented with his financial situation in 2003. Back home, he completed a sound technician course at the Hungarian Radio Station. Those around him point out that his mentality or temperament remained the same after the trip, noticing hardly any change at all.
After his return from Israel he met Erika N. and moved in with her not much later. In 2005 they got married and in 2009 their child was born. After they first met, they spent a longer period living with Erika N’s parents, in Mikepércs. According to the indictment the marriage changed him, he became retractive, living a more sober life, meeting his musician friends less frequently. In the year he got married he met Éva Ny. F. again, who at the time made money operating a popular Debrecen nightclub. Árpád K. probably had financial difficulties during this period, as a friend’s account points out: „Then around ’97 he left the band and ended up in Israel, becoming a hotel cleaner. Following his return home, he started selling fake CDs and videotapes near the marketplace with Gypsies. After the tape-business he made a living as a sound technician, he worked in small clubs, with local decrepit equipments.” It was Éva Ny. F. who came to his rescue in this situation and offered him a job as a sound technician in her clubs. History repeated itself: Éva Ny. F. once again became Árpád K’s boss and they renewed their relationship as well. In 2008 Éva Ny. F. took over the management of the club Perényi 1 and brought Árpád K. along with her. They renovated the place together and Árpád K. worked as a sound technician in the club from its opening night until his arrest.
Among the four suspects, Árpád K. clearly has the highest emotional and intellectual qualities. According to the psychological profile of the indictment he is introverted, but doesn’t have difficulties in the company of others, he follows conventions and has a good work-morale. He sets high standards for himself, trying to perform outstandingly, he is precise and orderly. However, when things don’t go according to plan he may have temper tantrums. In addition to this he is a sensitive personality, his behaviour is determined by his desires and failures, he is also apt to manipulate others in order to achieve his goals. According to a friend from Debrecen: „He is intelligent, one could very well imagine that he was the mastermind of the multiple Roma murders. You can’t tell what he thinks: wants you to go to hell or agrees with you? He is a chameleon, insincerity radiating from him. He’s the kind of guy who borrowed 20 thousand forints from you at the begining of the 90’s, and when pay-off time came, he’d laugh and say: he won’t repay you, because that’s how he is, and that’s it.”
According to Zsolt Bérdi, Árpád K’s defence lawyer he „worked hard to investigate the mutiple Roma murders, but important details were left out”. He considers the indictment superficial and claims that suspicion is rising that numerous, clearly loose ends were not investigated, calling the pieces of evidence ’weak’. In his previous statement, Ápárd K. has admitted that he had been to some of the locations and shot with the gun, but still denies the murders. According to Bérdi it is still unclear where some of the guns that weren’t stolen in Besenyszög, came from, and claims that some traces pointing at Árpád K. (such as shoe-size or height) are unclear on many locations. Talking to Magyar Nemzet last week, he also hinted the possibility that his defendant won’t be giving a testimony ont he next trial day Wednesday.
What seems certain is that Árpád K. was capable of planning, executing and coordinating such multiple murders, however plenty of question marks remain. We still don’t know why he developed his racist views (if they needed to be developed at all), what led him to become an extremist, violent, merciless murderer. His motivations are unclear, and we don’t yet know whether he had any assistance, either in the form of financial or psychological aid. A friend from Debrecen told 168 óra: „If Árpi was a killer, ideeological reasons are out of the question. Naturally, if they payed him, anything is possible.” We’re looking forward to hearing his confession.