In a blood-curdling case, Russian authorities believe a cannibal couple killed and skinned alive up to 30 victims, before either eating their body parts themselves, preserving them in jars filled with saline solutions, or selling their meat to unsuspecting buyers, reports BBC News.
Dmitry Baksheev and his wife Natalia Baksheeva, who reportedly worked in a military academy in the Russian city of Krasnodar, are believed to have killed their victims in a 20-year-long reign of terror, but the manner of their killings remains shrouded in mystery, owing in part to the fact that the investigation of the case is still in its early stages.
The grotesque case would perhaps never have seen the light of day had it not been for the discovery of images in a broken cell phone by crew members of a road construction company. When a few members swiped the still functional phone, they found “photos of a man with different parts of a dismembered human body in his mouth,” according to a statement released by the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs.
They immediately rushed to the police station, and when Russian authorities raided the house of the cannibal couple, they were shocked to find pickled human remains in jars, including a hand. Investigators later revealed the photo found in the cellphone was of the 35-year-old Dmitry Baksheev, who has since been charged with one count of murder. It was reported that Baksheev then told the officers about the horrific deeds committed by Baksheeva and himself, including telling them about the 30 separate occasions over the last two decades when the couple had practiced cannibalism.
“In the place of residence of the suspects, the investigators discovered fragments of the human body in saline solution in the dormitory… Frozen meat parts of unknown origin were seized in the kitchen,” investigators said.
Authorities anticipate to charge the couple with more crimes as they continue to work on the case and recover more evidence in the coming days.
Vitaly Yakubenko, who owns a cafe close to where the Russian couple stayed, told local newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets (via News 9) that Natalia, who was older than her partner by seven years, came to him as far back as 2010 to sell “fresh” meat.
“She was very active, asked lots of questions but mainly about where we buy our meat and fish and how fresh it is. She made it clear she could supply meat.”
If the accusations against the Russian couple are proved correct, it will be one of the deadliest serial crimes ever committed in the country. Russia had only recently come to terms with the bizarrely horrific actions of another serial killer, a former police officer named Mikhail Popkov, who confessed to killing 82 people after raping all of them within a period of 20 years, earning himself the infamous moniker “werewolf.”
“In one life, I was an ordinary person. In my other life, I committed murders, which I carefully concealed from everyone, realizing this was a criminal offense,” he had told the judge during his trial earlier in March this year, according to USA Today.
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