Investigator's name: Yvgeny Schuss
Place of Birth: Odessa
Occupation: Small time thief/businessman
Life History: Yvgeny Schuss was born in the working class port area of Odessa, 1892, becoming accustomed at an early age to poverty and crime. His father was drunk and abusive, abandoning his mother shortly after he was born. Later, she got ridden down by cossacks in a bread riot, but her dead body shielded the young Yvgeny from injury. From age nine he was living as a street kid, and by his early teens was acquiring a 'hard criminal' reputation as a particularly audacious gang robber. At fifteen, he was imprisoned for the first time and met political activists, who gave him a focus for his hatred and a direction to his criminal energy. On being released he returned to his underworld activities, but now also carrying out 'fund raising' robberies on behalf of Bolshevik and other socialist groups. After shooting a policeman dead in 1913, he faced execution, but escaped and laid low with the help of his political allies. During this enforced seclusion, he gradually became more 'politicized' and drifted away from street crime. When revolution came again in 1917 however, he made a break from the authoritarian Bolsheviks and threw himself into organizing support for the Ukrainian Makhnovista (anarchist) insurgency, which kept him in Odessa until 1921.
Fleeing the victorious Bolshevik state, he moved from one European nation to another, always unwanted and in a permanent state of legal uncertainty, before emigrating to America. During this period he reverted to criminal form once again, partly in disillusion with politics, and partly just to survive. Again he spent time in jail. However, he moved into the less dangerous profession of 'security/ floor manager' in brothels, gambling houses, opium dens, and once in America, the speakeasies. His earlier close proximity with political activists had paid off with semi-literacy and organizational skills, which meant more access to promotion and positions of responsibility.His individualistic aversion to big organized crime has led him into 'semi-respectable' business ventures over the past couple of years, without completely breaking his ties to the underworld.
Appearance: Yvgeny is of medium height, about 5'9, and of tough, sinewy build. His hair is usually cropped short, though in the past he has had it in various styles. This is combined with a very Slavic moustache and thick eyebrows, black like the rest of his hair, showing a few premature gray hairs as wear and tear from his tough life. His skin is bronzed and he has a few body scars from fights and police beatings. His eyes are dark and penetrating. Yvgeny either wears suits that are a little too big for him or a collarless shirt rolled up at the elbow with braces. Sometimes he sets this off with an unconventional nod to bohemianism, such as a cravat, golfing shoes or a floppy hat.
Yvgeny lives with his common-law wife, Mariella, a young Italian-American girl barely out of her teens whom he met waitressing at a speakeasy in Boston.