Home ┬╗ Serial Killer ┬╗ Tamara Samsonova, the Russian grandma who boiled heads

Tamara Samsonova, the Russian grandma who boiled heads

Tamara Samsonova was an elderly woman who would kill her victims, cook their body parts, and even document everything in a diary.

Tamara Mitrofanovna Samsonova was born on February 25, 1947, in Uzhur, now part of Krasnoyarsk Krai in Russia. She studied English and German at the University of Moscow.

People who knew Tamara at the time reported that she already suffered from mental disorders. It is speculated that she had at least three psychiatric hospitalizations during her life.

After graduating, she moved to St. Petersburg, where she married Alexei Samsonova. In 2000, Tamara’s husband mysteriously disappeared, and it is believed that she killed him and disposed of the body.

Strange behaviors

After her husband’s disappearance, Tamara claimed that she could no longer work and needed another source of income. She began renting out a room within her apartment to tenants.

Tamara Samsonova years before the discovery of her crimes. / Photo: Reproduction.

One of her neighbors mentioned that it was common to see Tamara walking the streets of the city in pajamas at night. She would often go to the market and return during the early hours of the morning, and when asked, she claimed to enjoy eating during the night.

Tamara had confusing conversations with her neighbors; she could swear that every time she left home, someone would sneak in, mess up her things, and cut her clothes. When the neighbor suggested she should call the police, Tamara said that the police wouldn’t be able to solve her problems.

In March 2015, then 68-year-old Tamara met Valentina Nikolaevna Ulanova, aged 79. The two lived on the same street and initially exchanged visits.

Valentina was nearing 80 and required some assistance with food and hygiene. Tamara offered to help her while there was renovation work in her building. She lived in Valentina’s apartment for several months, contributing to household tasks.

Natalia, a mutual friend of the elderly women, noticed that it had been a while since Valentina had been heard from and called her apartment. All calls went unanswered, and neither of the two ladies responded at the door. The police were called.

“Granny Ripper”

As soon as the police managed to enter the apartment, Tamara provided incoherent and surreal accounts. When questioned about Valentina’s whereabouts, she recounted that one night she found her friend lying on the floor, and shortly after, she went to make tea. When she returned, Valentina had disappeared.

Security camera footage from the building captured Tamara going downstairs while carrying heavy bags. In July 2015, Tamara was arrested after the police found Valentina’s head inside a pot.

Tamara Samsonova carrying a pot with Valentina Ulanova’s head. / Photo: Reproduction.

Tamara did not resist arrest and even confessed to other crimes. She said that the two argued because of unwashed glasses, and as she enjoyed living there, the only way was to kill Valentina.

The murderer traveled to Pushkin, where she managed to persuade a pharmacist to sell her a prescribed medication, Fenazepam. Upon returning to the city, she bought an Olivier salad, one of Valentina Ulanova’s favorite dishes, and then put 50 pills in the salad and gave it to her friend.

Fenazepam is used in the treatment of various mental disorders such as psychiatric schizophrenia and anxiety. It can be used as a pre-medication before surgery as it enhances the effects of anesthetics.

After dismembering the body into small pieces, Tamara boiled Valentina’s head in a soup pot. Some people speculate that she actually consumed parts of the victims’ bodies, while others say that the boiling was done to disfigure the face and prevent identification.

The decapitated body of Valentina Ulanova, with severed limbs and wrapped in a shower curtain, was found near a lake on Dimitrov Street. The package didn’t attract attention for several days until a local resident decided to check what was inside the bag.

Murder Diary

The police searched Valentina’s house and found a series of diaries that described over ten murders. She provided details of the deaths, including names, how she had killed them, and what she had done with the bodies.

ÔÇťI killed my tenant Volodya, I cut him into pieces in the bathroom with a knife and put the pieces of his body in plastic bags and threw them away in different parts of the Frunzensky district.ÔÇŁ

Excerpt from Tamara Samsonova’s diary.
Page from Tamara Samsonova’s diary. / Photo: Reproduction.

On July 29, 2015, Tamara Samsonova was taken to court. She underwent a forensic psychiatric examination. On November 26, 2015, the results determined that she posed a danger to society and to herself. Tamara remains in a specialized institution until the end of the investigation.

The police continue to investigate Tamara’s involvement in 14 murders that occurred over a span of 20 years.

The torso of a man was also found in the elderly woman’s house. Neighbors’ accounts state that Tamara had occasionally mentioned having to kill her mother-in-law.

Tamara Samsonova after psychiatric hospitalization. / Photo: Reproduction.

During questioning by the police, the elderly woman fluctuated between reality and insanity. At times, she claimed to be a famous dancer and then changed her statement, saying she was a great hotel manager.

She even mentioned that she fed on her victims and that her favorite part was the lungs. When asked about the motivation for killing Valentina, she stated that it would give her about five more months of peace before someone from the family wanted to reclaim the apartment.

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