A cellphone was found by a construction worker on a street in the south-east Russian region of Krasnodar containing gruesome photos of a dismembered woman. In the pictures, a man stands in front of the victim, posing for several selfies. In at least one he has pieces of the woman's body in his mouth.
The construction worker turned the phone over to authorities after discovering the photos. After tracing the SIM card, authorities discovered that the phone belonged to a 35-year-old man named Dmitry Baksheev. He was also the man in the photos. Police arrested him and his 42-year-old wife, Natalia. There are reports that Natalia adopted Dmitry and then married him when he turned 18.
A body had been found on September 12th at the military academy where the couple worked, prompting an investigation. The body had been stored in a freezer on the property. Authorities quickly connected the crimes after the photos were found.
In the start of the interrogation, Baksheev denied killing anyone. He told authorities that he had stumbled upon the woman and decided to take selfies with her dismembered body. He told them he then lost his phone.
He later admitted that he had committed the murder, and then told police about another murder he had committed in 2012. It is reported that their residence was inside the academy.
In her interrogation, Natalia Baksheev apparently admitted to killing up to 30 people, beginning in 1999, though this fact has not yet been confirmed by police. The couple may have used a stolen cellphone and dating apps to lure their victims.
The couple allegedly used an over-the-counter drug called Corvalol to sedate the victims before murdering them. Corvalol is a popular medication in Eastern Europe, made from valerian root and a barbiturate called Phenobarbital that can cause a hypnotic state. It is a mild sedative when used correctly, often prescribed for heart conditions. Authorities stated that the drug left a strong odor in their home, probably due to the large amount used.
A damning search of the home also revealed eight frozen body parts and skin that had been flayed. It is not yet confirmed if this is human meat or animal meat. However, they also found footage named “video lessons for cannibals” and the persevered skin of at least 19 people. Images were also found, including one from 1999 in which the couple poses with a severed head that was served as “Christmas dinner.” The photo was labeled as such. There are also reports of a hand that had been canned in a jar. It is also alleged that the couple may have fed human meat to servicemen at their work.
A worker at the hostel where they were living said that there had been complaints about the smell coming from the couple's apartment, but when they tried to enter the residence, the couple screamed at them through the door and would not allow them inside: “Each time we tried to enter their room, they started wild shouting and crying. Natalia is a scandalous woman, aggressive, so we did not risk it.”
A shopkeeper who claims to have known the couple for ten years has spoken out in an interview with Ruptly. She mentions Natalia Baksheev’s drinking problem, saying that she “didn’t work at all, just drank all the time.” She continued, speaking about the time since Natalia Baksheev had lost her job: “She was drunk more frequently. She’s a really untidy woman. She used to be neat, employed as a medical worker. But lately she was jobless, and she kept on drinking.”
In typical fashion, she had this to say about Dmitry Baksheev: “I did not notice anything strange about him. He was neighborly.” She spoke more positively about Dmitry Baksheev in general, saying “he is a hard working man.” She continued, "He was always wearing work clothes, carrying around tools and building materials. When I heard about what had happened, I was shocked."
A neighbor also commented on Natalia Baksheev’s drinking, saying that the community was well-aware that she had a problem: “She was calm. But, you know, when a person is drinking, it shows. Judging by her looks it was obvious that she has a drinking problem. Lately, she’s been drunk much more. It never happened before. She used to work somewhere previously, took care of herself. But then suddenly it all went downhill for her.” Again, the neighbor felt more positively about her husband, saying that he was an “okay guy.”
Another neighbor told the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper that Natalia Baksheev baked pies to make extra money, telling restaurant owners they were filled with "whatever's around." No word yet on whether it was certainly human meat.
This is a breaking story and there is not much more information available, but it seems that with the evidence discovered, they have caught a pair of serial killers that have been committing incredibly gruesome acts for almost 20 years. And all by chance—if the cellphone hadn’t been lost and if the construction worker hadn’t found it and gone through the photos, this couple may well have continued to kill, and possible to eat, more and more victims. It seems like this time our human obsession with snooping in other people’s private stuff has really paid off.