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May 4, 2012 | by James Arger

The Devil’s Name

Moby_Dick_Final_Chase

There is a certain appeal to codenames. In a world turned mundane, where corporate crime has replaced highway bandits, where tax evasion becomes headline material rather than runaway killers, where even major stories too often turn out to be the result of petty manipulations and the basest of motivations, the always-colorful codenames that you sometimes encounter retain some welcome wonder. Deep Throat. Carlos the Jackal. Zodiac. Alan Smithee. Truth be told, you cannot beat a good name.

But before I start waxing romantic, let me be clear: codenames are the curse of investigative journalism. Codenames are nothing but the reluctant acceptance of ignorance. Codenames mean there is, in effect, no name at all. There might be a face, but a face is not of much help. Sure, a face can be changed. But what is worse, is that a face rarely comes up in databases. There are no faces in the numerous records that any one of us inevitably leaves behind. Without a name, the only thing you can hope for is a lucky break. And those do not happen often.

But once in a while, Fate looks in our direction. And thanks to the efforts of one of our friends, the elusive POI GRIGORI has now a name. He appears to be one Boris Tchevchenko from Russia, as his driver’s license can attest. To be honest, it does feel a little strange — I had gotten so used to seeing him as a “Grigori”, that he doesn’t look like a “Boris” to me now. I’ll get over it quickly though. With a name, Boris Tchevchenko is now less of an enigma, and more of a lead. With a name, he can be found. The hunt is on.

Welcome to the real world.
Welcome to Warmongers, inc.

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May 4, 2012

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  1. Is that real?

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