Young but Mature
When Vladimir Savinkin came to the United States almost six years ago from Ukraine, attending Pace University at 16, none of his friends knew his real age, said his father, Valeriy Savinkin. "He was more mature than all his friends, who were actually 19 or 20," he said. "He was very, very responsible and reliable."
Olga Lerman, Vladimir Savinkin's girlfriend of four years, said they met in a Russian chat room on the Internet. "I really liked how he was talking. He was very polite. I liked that in a guy," she said. When they met three weeks later, "It was love in the first place."
Their birthdays are a day apart in May, so they always celebrated together. They had spoken about marriage, she said, and had planned a vacation to Odessa, the city they were from. "He was the leader of our group," she said, the one who most often made the plans for their clique of four young couples.
Mr. Savinkin, 21, was an accountant with Cantor Fitzgerald, and lived with his parents and sister in Midwood, Brooklyn. He had recently bought a new Acura, impressing his father.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 24, 2001.