Skeleton Of ‘Failed Houdini’ Found Tied To Tree Two Years After He Went Missing

by : Charlie Cocksedge on : 17 Apr 2019 13:58
skull of 'failed houdini' who went missing two years ago found tied to treeEAST2WEST

The skeleton of man has been found handcuffed to a tree in Russia two years after he went missing.

It is believed the man was trying to recreate an escape trick, as made famous by Harry Houdini, but failed to pull it off and sadly died. It’s not the only theory however, as detectives are also looking at evidence that suggests it could have been a ‘bizarre sexual experiment’.


The body of 30-year-old Ivan Klyucharev was found in Shatura, around 80 miles from Moscow. He was last seen in May 2017, with major searches failing to find him at the time. He was known to be a keen hiker and survival skill ‘fanatic’.


Police are also examining the possibility that Klyucharev was murdered, with the crime scene made to look like it was an accident.

The 30-year-old’s body was found lying down with handcuffs on, which were attached to a chain wrapped around a tree. Nearby, police found a one-man tent and a camera pointing towards the man. They also found five other sets of handcuffs, three metal chains, six padlocks and a book about knots, as MailOnline reports.


Police are currently examining the camera and its memory card where, according to reports, there is supposed evidence of Klyucharev’s interest in BDSM sex.

The man’s remains were spotted by local resident Eduard Karpov, who spotted Klyucharev’s skull, which was still covered by his hoodie, before seeing the rest of his body covered by leaves.

handcuffs and remains of 'failed houdini' found 2 years after he disappearedEAST2WEST

The Russian Investigative Committee said:


He was on the list of missing persons.

It has been established that the man was a member of a community that practised survival skills in extreme conditions.

Forensic analysis has been ordered to establish the exact cause of death.

Committee official Olga Vradiy added:

Detailed checks are underway aimed at establishing all the circumstances. The opinion of forensic experts has been requested in order to understand the true reason for the man’s death.

Ivan Klyucharev before he went missingEAST2WEST

Before he died, Klyucharev had hitchhiked across Russia, and was known to often go on walking trips to remote spots.

A friend of his said:

I can easily imagine that he went to the forest and decided to try his luck this way by chaining himself and throwing away the keys.

The forest where he was found had reportedly been searched a number of times in the two years since he went missing, had uncovered no clues until now.


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Charlie Cocksedge

Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist and sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.

Topics: News, escape, missing person, Russia


  1. MailOnline

    Skeleton of 'failed Houdini' is found handcuffed to a tree in front of a video camera, two years after he went missing in Russia