Russian Bride

A Tragic End To A Hopeful story

At his bachelor pad in Northern California, Dan McGovern lived the fast bachelor life.

"I enjoy racing the motorcycle and doing what I like to do, and I don't want to be tied down with a wife," he said.

Correspondent Troy Roberts first reported in February on how far he and some other American bachelors will go to find a mate, 48 Hours provides an update.


Lee is looking for a woman's touch in his Chicago apartment.
The trouble is he just hasn't met the right woman.

McGovern traveled to Russia on a matchmaking tour in Moscow organized by a company called European Connections. For $3,000 it sells men the chance to meet lots and lots of Russian women.

"I'm going to go over there and just have fun," McGovern said.

At the receptions in Moscow, the women outnumber the men here by nearly seven to one, and the guys are told to pace themselves and spend no more than 20 minutes talking with each woman, then to take down notes on any woman they believe may have potential.

Does Preston Steckle, the president of European Connections, suspect that there's a few women who are coming to flee the country? "There's a few in there that are trying to take advantage of the situation," he said.

"You're going to have a few girls that are looking to get a ride to the United States. But 90 percent of these girls are actually just looking for a good man," he said.

McGovern said he's just looking: "I came over here with the assumption of just having a good time."

And he's found more than he ever expected: Julia, a 24-year-old aerobics instructor from the Ukraine.

"He's a wonderful person," she said. "You know he's caring and kind and he's handsome, and it seems like he's just perfect person for me." McGovern and Julia spent all day and night together.

According to Steckle, though, the biggest mistake that his clients could make is "just rushing in to the situation and...grabbing the first girl and thinking it's going to work like that."

After just 48 hours in Moscow, McGovern found what he wasn't even looking for: a bride. By the end of this 10-day trip, half the men are engaged. European Connections claims it helped arrange about 2,300 marriages. But no one knows how many of those end in divorce.

Six months after Julia arrived in America, they were married. But the couple soon had trouble getting along. They went to counseling, but decided to divorce.

But then one night, things went very wrong. Julia says Dan tied her up, beat her and sexually assaulted her. The next day she went to the hospital.

Police went to his apartment. They say he pulled a gun on them. Officers shot and killed him.

Julia is now going to school, and is not sure whether she will return to Ukraine or not.

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