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Even before Russian police cracked the case it seemed fairly obvious that the words "Free Pussy Riot" scrawled across the wall at a double murder scene in Kazan were there as a diversion, not an actual political statement. And now that there's been an arrest in the killing of a mother and daughter, as The New York Times' Anna Kordunsky and David M. Herzenhorn report, that suspicion is confirmed. Of course supporters of the punk band members doing time for hooliganism didn't kill people to get their message out.

Russian police said the suspect they arrested Friday, Igor Danilevsky (pictured), "was romantically involved with one of the victims, and had admitted to writing the slogan in an effort to divert investigators by suggesting a religious or political motive in what turned out to be a domestic dispute," according to Kordunsky and Herzenhorn. Dannilevsky, a university professor, was dating the 38-year-old victim and allegedly stabbed her to death after they got into a fight about money, police said. He allegedly killed her 76-year-old mother because she was a witness. "Before leaving, in order to remove any suspicion from himself and make it seem like a ritual killing, he arranged the victims' bodies in a certain manner and wrote Free Pussy Riot on the wall with their blood," police said in a statement, according to The BBC.

Perhaps we're biased, but killing two people didn't ever seem like the kind of thing supporters of the band would do to further their cause. After all, they haven't done anything violent so far, and their cause is basically that people should have more liberty and not go to jail for their political expression. The Times cited a handful of Russian publications that reported supporters of the punk band had carried out the murder to get attention -- "Dancing on Blood: Supporters of Pussy Riot Bludgeoned Two Women and Wrote a Demand to Free the Singers with Blood," blared the Moscow tabloid Your Day. But the fact that the band is well-known enough for the papers to name-check it on their front pages means it's already got plenty of attention. And Kazan, where the murders took place, is 500 miles from Moscow, where Pussy Riot is from and where its members got convicted, so it makes no sense to do something so extreme there. Why Danilevsky thought his diversion attempt would work in the first place is beyond us.

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