Long-time readers of Time Extension might recall that we ran a piece a short time ago on the tragic story of Vladimir Pokhilko, the Russian academic and clinical psychologist who assisted Alexey Pajitnov in the creation of Tetris, arguably one of the most famous video games of all time.
When Tetris became a global smash hit, Pajitnov and Pokhilko left their native Russia and relocated to the US, where they established an AnimaTek studio in San Francisco. While Pajitnov was able to leverage the success of his creation via the establishment of The Tetris Company (alongside Henk Rogers, the businessman and developer who helped secure the rights to the game for Nintendo), Pokhilko's outlook was less positive. AnimaTek was struggling, and economic problems in Russia – where most of the company's staff were based – made matters worse.
On the night of September 21st, 1998, Pokhilko used a hammer and hunting knife to murder his wife, Elena, while she slept. He then killed his 12-year-old son Peter before slitting his own throat with the knife. A note discovered at the scene read: "I've been eaten alive. Vladimir. Just remember that I am exist. The devil."
The events of that tragic night in 1998 are the topic of The Tetris Murders, new three-part documentary series on ID and discovery+, which airs on December 5th in North America.
As you can see from the trailer above, the series attempts to dig even deeper into what happened to Pokhilko and his family, with elements such as the Russian Mafia and the FBI being touched upon.
On a lighter note, the story of how Tetris became such a global smash is to be covered in Jon S. Baird's forthcoming movie for Apple TV+, starring Taron Egerton as Rogers. The movie wrapped in early 2021 but reshoots have taken place this year, according to Egerton.