Transcript: 82. Sasha the Siberian Cannibal | Russia

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In the summer of 1996, police in the Siberian city of Novokuznetsk were confronted by an increasing number of missing persons. The dismembered body parts emerged from the Aba River – body parts of various different victims: women, children, men…  


When three young girls were reported missing in September of the same year, investigators feared for the worst. Friends Olga and Nastya were both 15 and Zhenya was 13. Olga had been in hospital for a minor procedure and the other two snuck her out of her room without anyone noticing. They never returned…


Police showed their photos to shopkeepers and local residents on Pionerskya Street - the last place the girls were seen alive. One cashier remembered them and said that they bought a bottle of water. They and appeared to be happy, speaking animatedly and joking around like young girls do. She overheard them discuss going to a nightclub. An elderly woman approached them and spoke to them, then all three girls left with her.


The shop assistant was able to provide a description of the woman: she was short with dark hair; the girl estimated her to be in her sixties. She had a purse and some shopping bags. Investigators were concerned that the missing girls had been lured into the sex trade by this woman. This was a regular occurrence in the city of Novokuznetsk at the time, with girls being promised exotic vacations and lots of money. Investigators used informants working in brothels to help them, but no one knew anything about the three girls.


Police felt that if the woman was carrying bags filled with groceries, chances were good that she lived and worked locally. They dug through all employee records and managed to match a composite sketch to the photo of a woman called Lyudmila Spesivtsev. She lived in Pionersky Prospekt 53 and was not liked by her neighbours as she was anti-social and disturbed the peace with constant loud music coming from her apartment.


A local security guard was able to provide police with more information about Lyudmila. She had a grown son who was serving time in a mental institution after killing his ex-girlfriend. 

It was only after police received a phone call from a plumber, saying that he was contracted to fix the heating in building 53, but one resident refused to give him access to his apartment. The man’s name was Alexander Spesivtsev – Lyudmila’s son. 


Investigators were confused and checked in with the mental institution. They learnt that Spesivtsev was released two years before. Police rushed to the apartment and forced their way inside where the officers were met with the unmistakable smell of decay. What they found inside this apartment was a scene of torture and death – a headless and limbless torso in a bath-tub, a human rib cage on the carpet in the living room… 


Then they found a seriously injured young woman who was barely alive. It was Olga Galtseva, one of the girls who had disappeared a month before. Olga’s death bed testimony detailed the torture she and her two friends had suffered at the hands of the Novokuznetsk Monster, a man who locals called: Cannibal Sasha. And he, was nowhere to be found…


>>Intro Music


Alexander Nikolei Spesivtsev was born on the 1st of March 1970 in Novokuznetsk, Siberia. The family called Alexander by his nickname ‘Sasha’ and he had one older sibling, a sister called Nadezhda. They lived in a Soviet-era, three-room flat: apartment number 357 on the ninth floor of Pionersky Prospekt 53.


When Sasha Spesivstev was born, he was underweight and nearly perished, but survived in the end. Growing up he often suffered with health issues. He did not have many friends and as he was a timid boy he was also bullied at school.


In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Novokuznetsk was an industrial city with many social problems. Unemployed vagrants struggled to survive the unforgiving winters, while runaway children dotted the street corners begging for money. Most of these children preferred to be on the street, rather inside homes with abusive, alcoholic parents.


Sasha and Nadezhda’s father was also an abusive alcoholic who cheated on his mother with every chance he got. After 15 years of marriage, Lyudmila Yakovlena Spesivtseva finally kicked her husband out. He left and they never saw him again. Lyudmila had a good job, she worked was in charge of the maintenance team at a local government school, but she was let go after she was caught stealing plumbing supplies. 


Before long she found a job as an assistant to a blind lawyer who worked in the public prosecutor’s office. Nadezhda worked at the court too, as a legal secretary for a local judge. Mother and daughter were well regarded at work, but preferred to spend their breaks together instead of socialising with colleagues. 


After work, they went home and spent the evening in each other’s company too. The typical Soviet-style apartment, a small space with one bedroom, a living room and a small kitchen nook. Usually the parents slept in the bedroom and the children in the living room. Because his father had left and because he was a sickly boy, Sasha shared his mother’s bed till the age of 12. Many families altered sleeping arrangements as needed, seeing as there wasn’t much space – if someone was ill, they got the better bed for the night. 


But there was something strange about the Spesivtsevs… Neighbours thought they were a rather unusual lot. They refused to take the elevator and opted to use the stairs all the way up to their 9th floor apartment. They always kept to themselves and never socialised or even greeted any of their neighbours. Times were tough in Novokuznetsk and neighbours relied on each other, but not the Spesivtsev-family, they preferred to be left alone.


Because of this self-imposed isolation, life inside the family home was a different reality to what was outside the door. Lyudmila and her children were exceptionally close and she shared everything with them – her innermost thoughts and even confessions about things she’d stolen to sell for extra cash.


Lyudmilla was also fascinated by the criminal cases she learnt about at work and often took crime scene photos home. She poured over photos of corpses and injured victims and showed it to her son. Together they studied the photos for hours on end. They compiled their favourite photos in a scrapbook of sorts. Instead of reading story books, Sasha Spesivtsev only read criminal casefiles. He would later reflect that he experienced a strange sensation when seeing photos of corpses – he felt alive somehow. He said it was similar to excitement, but different, he had difficulty describing the feeling exactly.


Sasha seemed shy, but in all actuality, he was a troublemaker who would often get up to no good. For instance, he placed firecrackers in the elevator of their apartment building, or in neighbours’ door locks. He also painted slogans in the lobby of their building, writing things like: 


“Ha Ha Ha! Heil Hitler!” 


Whenever Lyudmila was notified about his pranks, she defended him and felt that other people were unnecessarily harsh on him. He was never punished or made to suffer the consequences of his actions – his mother always had his back. 


Sasha hated other kids and his mother fuelled the fires, often expressing her dislike of strong and healthy children – why was her Sasha made to suffer and they got to live happy and normal lives? She felt that she was dealt a bad hand in life and it angered her that people looked down on her and her children.


In 1988 Sasha was 18 years old. Over the years, he had become rather preoccupied with murder. Dinner conversation mostly centred around circumstances and methods of various brutal killings. His curiosity about the criminal casefiles his mother brought home, reached fever pitch. 


For most of his life, Sasha’s mother was a shameless thief who spent her time obsessing over brutal crime scene photos, so needless to say: boundaries of morality were blurred in the Spesivtsev household. Because of this internal conflict – always wondering what was right and wrong, what was evil and what was good – he suffered a series of nervous breakdowns. Doctors insisted that he had to be admitted to Novokuznetsk’s Hospital Number 12 for psychiatric observation. 


After his release he went back home and his mother was concerned about her physically and mentally fragile son. It did not seem like he had a bright future ahead of him and she realized he would probably be in her care for a long time. He was independent enough to live by himself, but she was not optimistic that he would ever get a job. By the time Sasha turned 21, his mother and sister had moved to an apartment closer to their place of work. Lyudmila visited her son often and brought him food and money and made sure that he didn’t need anything.


Sasha went for daily walks with his dog. One day, he met a 17-year-old girl called Evgeny Guslnikova. At first, he tried to impress her and his attempt at courtship was rather romantic. The couple went for long walks together. He gave her flowers and recited poetry to her. Hoping that their relationship would lead to marriage, Alexander’s mother and sister did not visit as often as before, so he had the flat to himself and Evgeny spent most of her time there with him. But after dating for a short while, Sasha Spesivtsev’s true colors shone through. A minor verbal argument turned into a full-blown physical assault. Evgeny came from an abusive home and was not going to tolerate aggressive behaviour. She broke off the relationship immediately. 


This infuriated the socially awkward Spesivtsev. He did not want to lose Evgeny, so he confined her before she could leave. He kept her hostage in the apartment at 53 Pionersky Prospekt. Evgeny’s parents did not realise she was in trouble, as she had pretty much been living with Alexander for a while. They were also both alcoholics and were not functioning that well at the time. Eventually, her mother became concerned and went to police. She did not know where Sasha Spesivtsev lived, but knew for a fact that her daughter was with him. Evgeny usually checked in with them from time to time, but she had not been in touch for a while.


When police, accompanied by Evgeny’s mother, located her at Spesivtsev’s apartment, he refused to open the door. Police forced their way inside and found a bruised and battered Evgeny on the sofa, barely alive. It was obvious that she had been tortured for weeks. Her whole body was covered with abscesses and after they saved her, she succumbed to her injuries in hospital. The official cause of death was Sepsis.


Spesivtsev was arrested and as police walked him out of the apartment building he shouted at his neighbours, blaming them for not calling the police sooner. He was charged with Evgeny’s murder and sentenced to serve time at Oryol Psychiatric Clinic where he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. He was tested and found to have a high IQ and medical staff encouraged him to explore his passion for writing poetry and philosophical works.


During his time at the clinic, he convinced another inmate to sew a metal ball into his urethra, hoping it would make him more of a virile man. But instead of increasing his sexual prowess, it gave him erectile dysfunction and caused severe inflammation in his genitals.


Alexander Spesivtsev became angrier and angrier and hated all people – everyone except his mother and his sister. His imagination plotted his revenge and he promised himself that he would one day make things right by punishing others.


At Oryol, he was treated for his schizophrenia and after three years, doctors were pleased enough with his progress to have him released. Yet, somehow, staff at the clinic did not do the required paperwork needed for his release and law enforcement was not notified that he was no longer under observation. According to official databases he was still receiving treatment and there was no reason to be concerned about his whereabouts. This clerical error would eventuate in the deaths of at least 19 people.


Sasha still burnt a torch for Evgeny and had the letter E tattoo’d on his ring finger – if anyone asked about the ink, he told them that it was ‘in memory of his wife’. 


After his release in 1991, Sasha moved into the apartment at Pionersky Prospekt again. He spent his time hanging out with homeless people and beggars, sharing a drink and expressing his thoughts about democracy and world affairs in general. Unable to find regular employment, he stole and repaired disused stereo systems. As a sideline he also sold black market cigarettes on the street, always taking his Doberman with him. 


During this time he saw how many children grew up on the streets. He also realized that even kids who had homes roamed the streets unsupervised as their parents had to work. This fostered a deep-seeded hatred in Sasha towards capitalism – a hatred that became misplaced by loathing the children he met on the streets. He also observed them playing and laughing and remembered his own miserable childhood. 


On an icy February day in 1996, he met 20-year-old Elena Trunova at a train station. Spesivtsev convinced her to go home with him. He promised her a warm meal and some comfort. But once she was inside, she was completely at his mercy. They had sex and his penis injury came back to haunt him. She laughed and asked if he was impotent – this would end up costing her her life. Spesivtsev followed her to the bathroom where he proceeded to torture and eventually kill her.


It wasn’t long before he met his next victim – another girl called Elena. Neighbours heard screams coming from the apartment, but knowing that Alexander was suffering from mental illness, they assumed it was HIM who was screaming during one of his episodes. Besides, the music was playing so loudly, it was not possible to know exactly what was happening inside of apartment number 357.


One neighbour, a retiree called Lydia Vedenina said that, in the early months of summer, she noticed something wasn’t right. There was a putrid smell emanating from Spesivtsev’s apartment and music was blaring loudly all the time. Sasha had even placed speakers on his balcony and turned the volume up. Despite her report, police neglected to follow up. It was not surprising to her as the police force was in a state of disarray, transitioning between Soviet rule and the new Russia. Of course, there were some dedicated cops, but others preferred to kick up their feet and were reluctant to follow up on calls like simple noise complaints. 


In a city where poverty was rife, no one really took too much notice of a slight, ordinary man like Sasha Spesivtsev. Everyone on the streets knew who he was, because he was usually with his dog, but no one would never have expected him to be a killer. They did not realise that he was on the prowl, looking for his next victim. 


Spesivtsev later admitted that it became boring to kill only women, so he upped the ante and took children to his apartment too. His issues toward the children stemmed from being bullied when he was growing up. As a grown man, took out all his rage on innocent children, making them pay for the brutes who belittled him at school. This time, he was in charge. In killing them, he liberated himself, transformed himself to be a fearsome adult.


In the spring of 1996, Spesivtsev found six 12-year-old boys playing at a construction site of a department store, opposite the Novokuznetskaya Hotel. He offered them cigarettes and said that he would give them money if they burglarized an apartment. What he did not tell them, was that the apartment was his own home. He pretended to help them gain access to the building and let them in to the flat. This is Spesivtsev’s own recount of what followed:


“We went all the way into the apartment, and the last kid closed the door behind him. I suggested they go into my bedroom. They became agitated, suspected something was wrong… One of them screamed. I took a knife that was lying on the table in the bedroom and hit him in the chest, the others began to scream too. Then I stabbed them, once in the chest – each of them. I realized that they all died immediately. Then I moved them all to one side in my bedroom – I used a rag I found near the wardrobe to cover them. They lay like this for four days. Then I carried them into the hallway. About a week later my mother Lyudmila Yakolevna dropped by. I made her carry the bodies and I went to sleep in the bedroom. In the morning when I woke up, there was nothing in the corridor. What Mother did to them, I don’t know, I didn’t touch on the subject.”


After his frenzied attack, killing all the boys, he slept in his bedroom as their bodies decomposed in the corner. When Lyudmila arrived, she did not ask Sasha for an explanation, she simply jumped into action and helped her son to dismember the little corpses. She loaded the body parts into buckets, climbed the nine flights of stairs and walked to the banks of the Aba River in the cover of the dark Siberian night. She found a spot near the school where she used to work and tipped the buckets into the water, disposing of its grisly contents.


When all the bodies were removed from the apartment, Spesivtsev was ready to strike again. He met two girls, aged 12 and 14 on the streets and told them about an opportunity to make some money. He said that he had wholesale soap bars that they could sell and then keep some of the profit. They agreed and followed him to number 53 Pionersky Prospekt  to collect the soap. They never left the building alive again.


In June 1996, he claimed four more victims. 13-year-old Elena Sachkova and 15-year-old Nikolaeva Gennadievna. He also killed two adults, a 40-year-old woman and a 35-year-old man. Nothing is known about the adult victims, as there remains could never be identified. On file they are ironically referred to as ‘Hope’ and ‘Valentine’.


July, 19-year-old Natalya Voinova entered the home of death and her remains ended up in the Aba. A month later, Spesivstev killed a further two girls, Olga Tsvetaeva and Shatalina Galina Anatolyevna, both only 12. 


As time went on, Lyudmila became entrenched in her son’s sinister hobby. In fact, Spesivtsev’s last three victims were lured to the apartment by his mother. Nadezhda Spesivtsev visited the apartment in this time, but she chose to turn a blind-eye. She did not want to get involved, but also, she did absolutely nothing to help the victims.


Mother and son were struggling to keep up with the tiresome task of dismembering the bodies and getting rid of the evidence. Remember, they were known to take the stairs, not the elevator. That is a hefty nine-story climb with bucketsful of body parts. In an attempt to discard evidence in another way, Alexander began cooking and eating some of the limbs. He made soups and stews and made sure his dog always had a bone to chew on.


In the summer of 1996, women washing their carpets in the Aba River discovered a severed head in the water. One of them ran to a bridge nearby to tell a patrol officer, who went to the site and fished it out. It was only the tip of the iceberg… 


In the weeks that followed, gangrene-riddled body parts washed up on the banks of the Aba every other day. Some fragments were found in an open lot in between to a school and a nightclub. It took a while before specific parts could be linked with missing person’s reports, mainly children who were playing on the streets unsupervised. Many people felt that if the victims came from families with better social standing, more would have been done to catch the killer.


But investigators had their theories. One train of thought was that the body parts came from people who fell victim to organ trafficking. But the trail quickly ran cold.  


Another hypothesis was that it was the work of an unemployed man called Oleg Rylkov, better known as “The Tolyatti Ripper”. He raped between 37 to 39 girls in the 1990s and killed four of them. He was arrested in 1996 and denied any involvement in the Novokuznetsk case.


Investigators knew that they were dealing with a deranged killer and sourced records from psychiatric institutions in the area, to see who had been released that could fit the profile. But because the proper procedure regarding Spesivtsev’s release was NOT followed, he was never a suspect – as they thought he still resided at the Oryol Psychiatric Clinic. They could not have been more wrong.


The killer was dubbed the Novokuznetsk Monster and no one had any clue as to who he – or even she – was. It was only because of pure chance, luck perhaps, that Spesivtsev’s killing spree came to an end.


On the 26th of October 1996, Sasha Spesivtsev received a knock at the door. This was rather unusual, as he never received any unannounced visitors. It was a plumber who needed access to the apartment in order to unblock a drain pipe. Spesivtsev refused to open the door, blaming his mental illness. He shouted:


“I am mentally unwell! Mother locked me in!”


The plumber notified police, as sabotaging his work was an offence – and when police officers arrived, they kicked down the door of apartment 357. Hearing the commotion at the door, Sasha Spesivtsev exited to the balcony and used the fire escape to gain access to the the roof of the building. He managed to escape before police could catch up with him. 


Because Lyudmila was the last person to be seen with his last three victims, police arrested her on the same day. Accounts as to Sasha Spesivtsev’s eventual arrest vary… The more sensationalised version claimed that he was apprehended while attempting to rape a woman in her apartment. The more probable account was that he was caught three days later near the entry to his home on Pionersky Prospekt. He was cold, hungry and agitated.


While he was on the run, police searched his apartment. What they found was an unimaginable scene of violent torture and death. There was blood splatter on the walls and human flesh in cereal bowls in the kitchen. In the bath-tub was the torso of a young girl. Her severed head was found inside the water tank of the apartment. On the living room floor was a discarded human rib cage. The dog was lying in a corner, chewing on a piece of human bone.


It soon became evident that Spesivtsev was the reason behind all the dismembered parts found in the Aba River. In his apartment were 82 sets of blood stained clothes, as well as 40 pieces of jewellery – belonging to females and children. They also discovered polaroid pictures of naked victims, taken inside the apartment, while they were handcuffed to the radiator. Some of the most unsettling items found, were two pairs of very small boy’s boots – a ghostly indication of two young little lives that walked into the apartment and probably never left alive.


There was so much evidence, however, none of these items could be definitively linked to any of Spesivtsev’s known victims. Which meant there were many, many more…


When police first arrived at the apartment, one of Spesivtev’s victims, 15-year-old Olga Galtseva was lying on the sofa – barely clinging on to life. She had a broken arm and had been stabbed several times in the chest. Police were able to save her and she managed to give a detailed testimony of what she had suffered at the hands of her captor. Officers videotaped her hospital bed statement. She spoke softly and bravely, outlining the most horrific facts. The prosecutor can be heard asking questions. He is forceful and abrupt, but despite this, Olga was graceful and determined to get the information out. The biggest revelation came when the prosecutor asked how it happened that she found herself inside apartment number 357. She whispered: “Babuska” – Russian for elderly woman. The prosecutor gasped: “Babuska…” and Olga’s bright eyes looked intently at him as she nodded.


Olga Glatseva’s evidence implicated Lyudmila without the shadow of a doubt. But more than that, she gave police a very dark and disturbing account of her last weeks alive. 


She explained that on the 24th of September, Lyudmila asked her and two of her friends to help her carry shopping bags to the apartment, to which they kindly agreed. As soon as they entered, Sasha attacked them with a knife. One of the girls, 15-year-old Nastya retaliated and hit him pretty hard. He was so angry he killed her immediately, in front of all of them. It was a traumatic thing to witness, but the worst was yet to come…


Spesivtsev kept Olga and the other girl, 13-year-old Zhenya, chained up to the radiator for about a month. He taunted them, teased them, burn them with cigarette butts. And then… He raped them. They were forced to beg God for mercy before he raped them, a ritual that made him reel in the feeling of omnipotence.


All the while, Nastya’s body was decomposing next to them. Spesivtsev gave them a hacksaw and ordered them to slice pieces of flesh off their friend’s body and eat it. He disembowelled her in front of them and flushed her intestines down the toilet. Then he decided it was time for Zhenya to die. He set his Doberman on her, who bit her in the neck, severing her trachea (that’s her windpipe). Olga was the only survivor and he forced her to dismember Zhenya’s body. Spesivtsev used her flesh and bones to make soup that he shared with Olga, who was in bad shape physically and mentally. According to Olga, Spesivtsev’s mother and sister watched everything and never once tried to intervene or help the victims.


Based on Olga’s confession, police had enough evidence to arrest Sasha Spesivtsev and his mother Lyudmila. Sadly, Olga passed away less than 24 hours after she was rescued. Her testimony helped investigators understand the gravity of the situation. They had stumbled upon a monster’s lair. If it wasn’t for her detailed statement, we may never have known exactly what went on inside Spesivtsev’s home.


Both mother and son confessed during their very first interrogation. Lyudmila was taken to various locations near their home and pointed out where she disposed of the dismembered bodies. Sasha could not hide his sardonic smile when he told his interrogators that his freezer was so full of frozen body parts, he struggled to close the door.


The initial joint interview was videotaped and one can see mother and son arguing about her level of involvement. She claimed that she wasn’t guilty of anything else but cleaning up after her son, she did it all for him. He disagreed, shaking his head, reminding her that she was the one who lured victims into their home, knowing exactly what would happen once the door shut behind them. She claimed she did that, because she feared for her own life. She knew Sasha had the urge to kill and if she did not supply him with victims, he could very easily have turned on her.


The domestic squabble between mother and son is quite unsettling to watch. You don’t have to understand Russian to grasp the tone of their fight. It’s like she’s complaining about him NOT cleaning up his room or breaking a curfew. He talks back like a rebellious teen, challenging every statement she makes. She victimises herself, elevating her pitch as the argument reaches a climax, ending it in a wail of frustration, while her cross-armed son shakes his head.


In his solo interrogation with the prosecutor, Spesivtsev gave his version of events, pertaining to his last three murders. His eyes lit up as he spoke and he seemed to enjoy his recollection of it all. Here is an excerpt of his confession:


“It’s fun to have three girls at once. I often ran out of ideas, not knowing what I’d like. Then, the angrier I got, the nicer the girls were to me. The girl with the broken leg turned on me a bit, she cried and did not want to participate in our games anymore. She said ‘please wait until my leg is healed, then I will gladly do it again’. Then I got angry. What do you do with such a girl? From the cupboard I took a big piece of paper and wrote: TODAY – SLAUGHERFEST. At first, the girls didn’t understand, but believe me, I explained it to them… Those who don’t love me anymore and won’t do as I say – has to die. They were a little shocked, why I do not know, because I told them Nastya will live on in us, then it’s not so bad. Then I rested on my bed until my mother came in. She peeled the meat off and made something to eat, soup I think it was. When it was done I brought the dog, and I sat down with Olga at the table. Mother brought the food, and the kid did not seem to notice what Mother was serving. So I told her, and she spat it out, all over the place.”


Sadly, many of the body parts that washed up on the banks of the Aba River during the summer of 1996 remained unidentified. The forensic unit in Novokuznetsk did not receive much government funding, in fact the laboratory was located in a carriage of a disused train. Because genetic testing on the unidentified corpses would have been a pricey exercise, no tests were done. Families or friends identified a missing person by the clothing on the body parts. The limbs that could not be identified, remained evidence of unsolved murder cases.


60-year-old Lyudmila Yakovlevna Spesivtseva was found guilty of being her son’s accomplice and was sentenced to 15 years in prison – she was released in 2008 after serving only 13 years. After Lyudmila’s release she wanted to return to the apartment in Pionersky Prospekt with her daughter, Nadezhda but they were not allowed and had to find alternative accommodation. Neighbours were appalled that there was a torture chamber in their building. The units are small and many people lived only yards away from where the most horrific crimes were committed. The aroma of home cooked meals were in fact the smell of human flesh being made into soups and stews. 


Lyudmila and her daughter now live in a rural village near the city of Osinniki. This is about a 40 minute drive south of their hometown of Novokuznetsk. Nadezhda Spesivtsev was taken in for questioning and ordered to be evaluated by a psychiatrist. She was found to be completely sane and seeing as though there was no evidence linking her to any of the murders, she was never charged with anything.


In 2016, a concerned citizen’s group was started up, to keep an eye on Lyudmila. They felt that she came off too lightly and there is a serious concern that she may hurt others again. The group reports all her movements on social media. The biggest fear is that her son will be released into her care and that the murderous duo will continue practicing their sordid hobby.


Sasha Spesivtsev was 26 when he was charged with 19 murders. At first he confessed to the murders, facts that were corroborated by a diary found in his apartment. But in court, he recanted his confession. After that, from a forensic point of view, he could only be definitively linked to four murders. The Kemerovo regional court in western Siberia considered his psychological evaluation and ruled that he was insane. He was sent to a high-security psychiatric facility in the Kamyshin district of Volgograd. 


In 2013, rumours about Spesivtsev’s release were doing the rounds in Novokuznetsk, which led to locals to speak out about him for the first time. For the most part, residents were appalled by his crimes, but most of them had bigger concerns, like where their next meal would come from. But when they heard that he could come back, they made it clear that they would protest and do whatever it takes to remove him from their city.


So many questions still remain… The exact number of Spesivtsev’s victims is unclear, but the bloodstained clothes found in the apartment indicated that more than 80 people lost their lives after entering the apartment 357 on the 9th floor of number 53 Pionersky Prospekt. The victims ranged in ages from as young as three years-old to the unidentified victim, named ‘Hope’ who was about 40. 


During his incarceration, Spesivtsev has become somewhat of a poet and a philosopher. He is outspoken against democracy and feels his murderous acts were an effort to cleanse Russia from the evils of democracy. In the diary found in his apartment, he noted how he wanted to clean the streets from ‘debris’. He saw himself as a ‘crusader against capitalism’. He said: 


“How many people have our democracy destroyed? If people thought about that, there wouldn’t be any of this filth. But what can you do?” 


Surely torturing, killing and canabalising innocent people is not the answer either. Nothing he can write or say can ever justify his monstrous acts.


In his hometown he became somewhat of an urban legend, the Boogey Man of Novokuznetsk known as ‘Cannibal Sasha’. International media sources call him ‘The Siberian Ripper’. But he does not deserve infamy. 


After police processed the crime scene, Apartment 357 was locked and no one ever lived there again. It is believed to be haunted and anyone who has ever managed to get inside would attest to the dark energy of the place. Maintenance men who had to fix a broken window in the apartment all washed themselves and went straight to church after entering Spesivtsev’s 9th floor dungeon. One witness, a neighbour, needed psychiatric help after she was asked to walk through the flat. She never recovered. 


Today the apartment is inhabited by hordes of pigeons. Whispers in the hallway of 53 Pionersky Prospekt say that these are the tormented souls of the victims who have not yet found peace…


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