Mihaela Runceanu, a life ended tragically and far too soon: the artist left behind music, mystery and pain

Mihaela Runceanu was killed on 1 November 1989, and the tragic event cannot be forgotten even now.

Mihaela Runceanu was, without fail, one of Romania’s finest voices, and her untimely death left a void in the industry, leading to countless conspiracy theories. Somehow, people can’t come to terms with her death, so there are still those who have been trying to unravel the mystery for 33 years, refusing to accept the investigation and its outcome. Officially, Daniel Cosmin Stefanescu killed Runceanu that night. Unofficially, the truth is believed to be “beyond us”.

Mihaela Runceanu – archive photo with autograph

Mihaela Runceanu’s road to immortality

Mihaela Runceanu was born in Buzău on May 4, 1955 and was the only child of Lenuta and Nicolae Runceanu. She finished music high school in the same city, then attended the Conservatory in Bucharest and the Popular School of Art.

He taught the violin in Brăila, then in Buzău, and later took over the chair from his former teacher at the Popular School of Art in Bucharest.

“With the same dedication I divide my time between the stage and the “new buds” of our light music. Each direction with its own specificity, I enrich my personal palette of interpretation. I keep in touch with the younger generation through constant contact. You have to give people room to assert themselves.

I don’t want to build imitators. That’s not why I honor the double quality of my social work. To stimulate some talents in finding their own personality. To learn to give themselves to those for whom they vibrate. This is our message. And even the existential meaning. From an interpretive point of view, Romanian light music seems to be going through happy times”, declared Mihaela Runceanu in an interview in 1989, a month before her life was taken.

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It can be said that an artist never actually dies. Mihaela Runceanu became immortal thanks to the songs loved, at the time, by the whole of Romania. Among them are: Luna, How beautiful I dreamed, If you were to come, Believe in my love, Forgive, Don’t hide, No, I don’t want to know anymore, With every star, Happiness has your face, If you still go away and Let’s be children.

Mihaela Runceanu

33 years since the murder of one of Romania’s greatest voices

Although music has changed a lot in 2022, Mihaela Runceanu’s songs are still in the “cult” category. The artist’s death still arouses people’s morbid fascination even now, 33 years after her murder.

Officially, Daniel Cosmin Ștefănescu is the name of the man who took her life on the morning of November 1, 1989. The man spent 17 years in prison for the crime, and now, after his release, continues his life in the UK.

“I’m fine. I’ve gone to England. I work in a warehouse near London. I don’t want to know anything more about Romania. Anything is possible if you really want it. Motivation is found in us if we look deeply for it,” Ștefănescu told Click in 2017.

Naturally, there are still voices claiming that the truth behind Mihaela Runceanu’s murder is much more complex than that, but in the absence of evidence, no other conclusion could be drawn than the one that remains official.

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Among those who always believed that justice had not been fully served in the case of Mihaela Runceanu’s death was the artist’s own mother, Lenuta.

“Mr. Prosecutor, I, as a mother with a heavy heart, feel that my little girl was not killed for robbery (as they try to claim), but out of a desire to curtail her artistic career, a career that probably threatened the positions of other light music stars,” the woman wrote in a letter to the prosecutor. This letter appeared in the book “A Song Killed” by N. Penes.

“The robbery and all that was done was only a pretext. So behind the murderer are the moral authors of the crime. How much was he (the murderer) compelled to tell the truth? If we admit that the robbery was the motive for the murder, he could have done it without killing her, because he had “n” opportunities to do it. As we know, Mihaela was on tour for 2-4 days frequently… Mr Prosecutor, I am convinced that Mihaela’s murderer was paid to do this murder (…) I believe that he did not act alone.

I can’t accept that only the killer’s statements are sufficient to solve this case. It would be too simple, because it wasn’t for the robbery that Mihaela was killed. I wish you success and thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you will do for Mihaela”, Lenuța Runceanu added in her letter.

Mihaela Runceanu was buried on 4 September 1989 in Buzău.

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