Blurb: When eighteen year old mail order bride Anna Tonkov came to the U.S. from Russian, little did the blonde beauty know, that the man she married and who swore to love and protect her, wanted her dead. When Anna’s parents cannot contact their daughter, they begin an odyssey of finding the truth, and bringing their daughter’s killer to justice. This story is about persons from different cultures having the same goal-solving a murder and bringing closure to a family.
Excerpt: Back in Russian, when Anna’s parents discovered their son-in-law was all show and no blow, they said they were disappointed and angry with him. They both agreed that if they wanted their daughter to marry a pauper, she could have stayed in Russia.
Vida knew of the couple’s financial problems first hand. According to her, Anna and Lionel received a shut-off notice for utilities, which only added to the couple’s already rocky relationship. She claimed Anna and Lionel began quarreling constantly, saying, “Anna see through lies.” She claimed Anna said she did not love Lionel and feared becoming homeless.
Anna’s complaints to her parents continued. She wrote of relinquishing her job at Lionel’s insistence. A job her parents said she enjoyed, and did help somewhat with bills. According to Mrs. Tonkov, Anna saw her losing her job as another way for Lionel to “keep her nailed to the house.” Anna complained of numerous chores and of having no personal time. According to Mrs. Tonkov, Anna told her Lionel always found something around the house and yard for her to do, saying, “Anna say she feel like a servant.”
Mr. Tonkov agreed that Lionel’s unfairness toward Anna was abuse, saying, “Lionel not love Anna. His love twisted.” The couple fought non-stop, he claimed, and with Lionel unable to keep steady employment, the household bills piled up.
Uncovered was that Lionel had a string of menial employment. During Detective Blatt’s investigation, and from interviews with Anna friends, Lionel was controlling, with Anna working herself ragged to please him. She kept the home immaculate and had dinner on the table when he came home from work…“when he was employed.”
As the marriage progressed, Lionel’s restrictions for Anna progressed also. According to Mrs. Tonkov, Anna wrote of Lionel’s forbidding her to associate with Vida and other Russian friends. How he kept her at the marital home constantly, and how she was, “Very sad and lonely.”
The situation for Anna became worse, when in December 1997; Lionel took in boarders to supplement the household income. Most of the boarders were male drifters with criminal backgrounds and ogled over the beautiful Russian girl.
Vida knew of Anna’s fear of these strangers in her home, saying, “Anna lock self in bedroom if husband not home.”
When detectives learned one of the boarders was twenty-two-year-old Daniel Larson, they knew to keep an eye on him. According to Detective Blat, Daniel Larson had a past conviction for rape and was a known drug user.