news

A married Russian couple is suspected of murdering and eating up to 30 people

Meduza
15:35, 25 september 2017

Vladimir Anosov / PhotoXPress

Warning! This text contains gruesome details that are not for the faint of heart.

On September 11, 2017, road workers in Krasnodar discovered a lost mobile phone that contained selfies of a man in his 30s posing with a woman’s severed hand and scalp. The phone was delivered to police, who soon identified and detained the man in the photos. According to Masha, a Telegram channel connected to the tabloid Life, the phone and the pictures belong to a man named Dmitry Baksheyev. Local investigators say the suspect claims to have found the body parts in Krasnodar’s Aviagorodok area, and for some reason decided to take photographs of himself with the body parts, before losing his phone. “He said he simply found the hands, feet, and head in a dumpster. Later, laughing, he said he brought the human remains home as a joke, in order to take pictures with them. After taking the selfies, he said he put all the body parts in the trash, except for the head, which he put in a bucket of cold water, in order to preserve it,” an investigator told the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda.

According to the publication Zhivaya Kuban, the 35-year-old man spent at least two days photographing himself with the body parts — first at home and later at work (he remodels apartments) — before taking them to one of the locations featured in his selfies.

On September 18, police found the dismembered body of a woman near a military aviation academy in Krasnodar. Investigators say they discovered bags and a bucket containing human remains near a military academy on Dzerzhinsky Street (in Aviagorodok, where the selfie suspect claims to have “found” the body parts). Coroners later identified the victim as a local 35-year-old woman. Police opened a murder case and reportedly began investigating Dmitry Baksheyev, who previously worked as a repairman at the aviation academy, where his wife, Natalya, also worked as a nurse. Both later quit these jobs, but the couple continues to rent housing from the school. Neighbors say they often see them drunk and have complained to building managers about the unpleasant smell from their room. Investigators say they believe the Baksheyevs drank together with the victim, before arguing with her and murdering her.

The Baksheyevs may have killed and eaten up to 30 people. According to the Telegram channel Mash, the Baksheyevs have kidnapped, murdered, and eaten people since 1999, judging by photographs reportedly seized at their home. The Krasnodar news publication Bloknot published pictures from December 28, 1999, found in the Baksheyevs’ apartment, showing a cooked human head served on a platter with oranges. (You can see the photos here, but be warned that the images are horrifyingly graphic.) In the Baksheyevs’ home, police uncovered 19 skin fragments torn from victims, and seven refrigerated jars containing human remains.

A source told the publication Zhivaya Kuban that Natalya Baksheyeva has already confessed to the murders and cannibalism. A source told Bloknot that investigators searching her apartment discovered the mobile phones of several victims and cooking recipes for human flesh. According to the news agency RIA Novosti, the suspect has confessed to two separate murders.

Both the Baksheyevs are now in police custody. Officially, Krasnodar investigators have only acknowledged the couple’s involvement in one murder: the killing of the local woman whose remains were recently discovered at the aviation academy. Officials are investigating the other murders and currently refuse to confirm or deny any information about these crimes. Mash says police psychiatrists are examining the Baksheyevs to determine their mental fitness to stand trial. Doctors have reportedly concluded that Natalya Baksheyeva is of sound mind.

Russian text by Pavel Merzlikin, translation by Kevin Rothrock