|“||I am going to love cutting you to pieces... old man.||”|
The son of a Russian mob boss ("pakhan"), Lyov's father, Arseny, was unable to acknowledge his son due to one of the principles of the Russian mob stating that members had to cut all ties to their families and never have children. Living under his mother's maiden name to cut his ties with Arseny, Lyov began abducting Russian immigrants in Baltimore, Maryland, in 2006, alongside his girlfriend Natalya Chernus and partner Fyodor, planning on using the money received from the ransoms, which Arseny always paid from the mafia's fund, to flee the country and live a life of luxury. A year after starting the abductions, Lyov abducted Natalya's father while he was returning home one night. Keeping Chernus captive in a meat locker, Lyov taunted and brutally beat the man, barely kept in check by Fyodor.
Honor Among Thieves
When the BAU becomes involved in the abduction investigation, Lyov, angered by this, cut Chernus's ear off two hours before the ransom deadline and has a boy drop it off at the Chernus home, along with a note saying the ransom has been raised from $100,000 to $500,000. When the money is finally sent by his father, Lyov kills Fyodor and prepares to kill Chernus when Natalya arrives. Realizing his girlfriend is conflicted about killing Chernus, Lyov tells her that they cannot leave him as a witness and allows Natalya to say goodbye. When Natalya goes to wait outside while Lyov deals with her father, several Russian mobsters appear, sent by Arseny, who has become fed up with what his son is doing. After being ordered to drop the knife he had planned to kill Chernus with, Lyov is shot to death by the mobsters, alongside Natalya. The mobsters cut up the couple's bodies and put the pieces in garbage bags, which are thrown off a pier.
Lyov is never actually profiled by the BAU, though he is depicted as taking immense pleasure in brutalizing, taunting, and cutting pieces off the completely helpless Chernus and presumably subjected his other victims to similar treatment.
Since Lyov only killed one person, the term "M.O." is somewhat misused. He and his partner Fyodor would ambush male Russian immigrants, beat them into submission, put a bag over their heads, and throw them into their van, cutting off the captive's ring finger and leaving it at the scene, wrapped in a ransom note. The abducted victims would be kept in a meat locker, hung from the locker's ceiling with rope, and beaten until the ransom was paid. If the money demanded was late, the victims would be mutilated further, losing a body part every six hours past the deadline. When he killed Fyodor, his sole murder victim, he stabbed him once in the chest.
- Unspecified dates from 2006 to 2007:
- Numerous unnamed Russian immigrants (all abducted and mutilated, but were rescued)
- Anton Gorban (abducted and mutilated; was rescued)
- April 3: Sergei Chernus (abducted, mutilated and intended to kill; was rescued the next day)
- April 4: Fyodor (partner; fatally stabbed in the chest)