Nikolai Dzhumagaliev

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Nikolai Dzhumagaliev
Николай Джумагалиев
Nikolai Espolovich Dzhumagaliev

(1952-11-15) November 15, 1952 (age 66)
Other namesMetal Fang, Kolya the Maneater
Conviction(s)Not guilty by reason of insanity
Criminal penaltyLife imprisonment
Victims10-50 (according to Dzhumagaliev)
Span of crimes
CountrySoviet Union
State(s)Almaty, Aktobe
Date apprehended
December 19, 1980 (first time)
1991 (second time)

Nikolai Espolovich Dzhumagaliev (Russian: Николай Есполович Джумагалиев, Kazakh: Николай Жұмағалиев, born 1952) is a Soviet serial killer, also known as Metal Fang, convicted for the killing of seven people in the Kazakh SSR (now Kazakhstan) between 1979 and 1980.

Dzhumagaliev killed and cannibalized at least nine people, targeting mainly women in the Almaty area, and is believed to have killed more until his arrest. He was declared insane and imprisoned in a mental hospital until escaping in 1989, but was recaptured two years later, and is currently serving his sentence.[1]


Nikolai Dzhumagaliev was born on 15 November, 1952, in Uzynagash, Kazakh SSR, Soviet Union, to a Kazakh father and Belarusian mother, the third of four children and only son of his family.[1][2] After completing the ninth grade of school, Dzhumagaliev entered a railway school, and following his graduation he was assigned to work in Atyrau. In 1970, at age 18 he was conscripted into the Soviet Army and served in chemical defense in Samarkand, Uzbek SSR.[2] When his service was completed Dzhumagaliev tried to learn to be a driver and enter university, but achieved neither.[1] As an alternative he travelled the Soviet Union, visiting the Ural Mountains, Siberia, Murmansk, where he frequently changed a number of professions, including a sailor, forwarder, electrician and bulldozer operator. In 1977, he returned to Uzynagash in Kazakhstan to take a job as a firefighter, contracting syphilis and trichomoniasis that same year.

First murder[edit]

Dzhumagaliev prepared his first murder very carefully, in January 1979 killed a woman travelling along a rural path outside of Uzynagash. During the investigation Dzhumagaliev described his first murder:[2]

I always loved to hunt, often went hunting, but this was my first time hunting a woman. When I went out on the Uzun-agach-Maibulak track, I saw some young peasant woman. She was alone. I felt my heart pound within me and I ran after her. Hearing my footsteps, she turned around, but I caught up with her and put my arm around her neck, dragged her to the side of the landfill. She resisted, and then I cut her throat with a knife. Then I drank her blood. At this point, from the village appeared Bus Factory. I laid down on the ground and crouched next to the murder. While I was lying in my cold hands. When the bus drove, I warmed my hands on the woman's body and stripped her naked. I cut the corpse's breast into strips, removed the ovaries, separated the pelvis and hips; I then folded these pieces into a backpack and carried them home. I melted the fat to fry with, and some parts I pickled. Once I put the parts through a meat grinder and made dumplings. I saved the meat for myself; I never served it to anyone else. Twice I grilled the heart and the kidneys. Grilled meat, too. But it was tough, and cook it for a long time had its own fat. The meat of this woman took me a month to eat. The first time I ate human flesh through power but then I got used to it.[1]

On January 25, 1979, the body of the woman was discovered. A criminal case was opened, but this did not lead to the killer's capture.

Further murders and first arrest[edit]

In 1979, Dzhumagaliev committed 5 more murders. On August 21, in a drunken stupor, he accidentally shot his fellow fireman, for which he was arrested. At the Serbsky Center, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia.[2] In less than a year, he was released and returned to Uzynagash. Upon his return, he committed three more murders.

Dzhumagaliev's ninth murder was the fatal one for him. He invited some friends and their girlfriends to his home. He killed one of them and began to dismember him in the next room, and when the guests looked into the room, they fled in horror from the house and reported it to the police. The arriving policemen caught the cannibal on his knees, smeared with blood. The police were shocked, which allowed Dzhumagaliev to escape. He fled to the mountains naked, only with a hatchet in his hands. But on the next day, on December 19, 1980, he was arrested together with his relative.

On December 3, 1981, a trial took place. Since Dzhumagaliev had already had a previous diagnosis of schizophrenia, he was again declared insane and sent for compulsory treatment to a special treatment center, where he spent 8 years.

In parallel with Dzhumagaliev's 1980 crimes, another maniac by the name of Alexander Skrynnik was operating in Chișinău. He killed women and dismembered their bodies, after which he brought the body parts to his friend. On television, the head of one of Skrynnik's victims was shown. In Chișinău, rumors spread that the man-eating maniac Dzhumagaliev had reached the Moldovan capital. But then Skrynnik was convicted of the crimes, sentenced to death and executed.


On August 29, 1989, Dzhumagaliev fled using a car, which was transporting him to an ordinary mental hospital. He wandered for a long time around the USSR, and according to some reports, he committed a series of murders in Moscow and Kazakhstan. Only two years later, he was arrested and returned to the mental hospital. He was determined as "cured" several times and released, but he was perceived very negatively in his native village, and therefore he fled.

Dzhumagaliev was declared a fugitive. For several years he was caught around Moscow, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. He hid in the mountains for two years, mainly in Kyrgyzstan, where he collected medical plants for food, exchanging them for food with the local population. With the passing of each day, it was getting harder for him to hide, as hang-gliders pestered him constantly and motorcrafts were also engaged in the search. Dzhumagaliev decided to switch attention and put operatives on the wrong track, so they thought that he was in the capital. The maniac asked a familiar person to send his letter from Moscow to a friend in Bishkek. The letter ended in terrible words: " I will return soon. There are a lot of beautiful women here. No one will notice their loss." His calculation was justified, as the message without a stamp did its job, as the press and various publications spread the rumors that Dzhumagaliev was in the capital. Moscow was alarmed by a tiny remark in the Kuranty newspaper, where it said that Dzhumagaliev was seen in the city and surrounding region. Later, in order to eliminate panic, a refutation was given by the authorities.

Capture and fate[edit]

Dzhumagaliev decided to end his adventures by staging a theft, intending to return to Tashkent and go to prison for a minor crime. His plan was successful, and in April 1991, for the theft of sheep, Dzhumagaliev was seized in Fergana. He pretended to be Chinese and, accordingly, was placed in the general cell of the SIZO. During interrogations, he willigly confessed to the theft, but he could not explain how he had made his way to the Soviet Union. In connection with these circumstances, a request was sent to Moscow. Colonel Yury Dubyagin, who was previously engaged in capturing Dzhumagaliev, arrived in Fergana from the capital. The cannibal was exposed and returned to a psychiatric hospital in Kazakhstan, where he remains to this day, but the murderer says that he dreams that court will accept the evidence of his recovery and release him. In the future, the actions of Dzhumagaliev had their development. To some extent, he was recognized as cured and released, and immediately dismembered bodies were found in the vicinity. Currently, Nikolai Dzhumagaliev is isolated from society and is located in a specialized psychiatric clinic, fenced with barbed wire, in the village of Aktas in the Almaty region. There he is engaged in the repair of small equipment. He once filed for the death penalty, but it was regarded by experts only as a deterioration of his condition.[2] Doctors say about him: "The behavior is orderly, the patient is calm. He willingly works in the department, helping the staff. We have no grounds for his danger to others. He can quietly be in society and be observed in a regular hospital." The question of his discharge is still open. Specialists studying serial killers strongly disagree with the conclusions from the clinic's doctors.

In September 2014, Dzhumagaliev was charged and convicted of his tenth murder, which was committed in 1990 in Aktobe.[3]

In January 2016, there were rumors in WhatsApp and Facebook about his possible escape.[4][5] However, this was never confirmed. The police tracked down the author of the false report, who turned out to be a 21-year-old female resident from Dzhumagaliev's native village. She was subsequently arrested and confessed.[6]

Identity of the offender[edit]

Russian lawyer Yuri Antonyan notes:[7]

Sexual "serial" murders have common characteristics that are always associated with the intimate life of the perpetrator, his psycho-traumatic sexual experiences, his feelings of sexual inadequacy and inferiority, which allows one to call such murders sexual. In the life of each such killer had serious failures in sexuality, and the overwhelming majority did not feel like men. So, Chikatilo was impotent, Golovkin (who killed 12 boys and teenagers) and Ershov (who killed 4 women with an axe) - virgins, and cannibal killer Dzhumagaliev was disgusted by sexual intercourse, etc. In a word, almost all serial sex killers were sex losers of felt they were.

In popular culture[edit]

  • Hungarian poet and philosopher Cs. István Bartos wrote a short story about Dzhumagaliev titled True Story of the Kazakhstani Cannibal (Igaz történet a kazahsztáni kannibálról).[8]
  • "Frank Confessions" - Cannibals
  • "The investigation was conducted...with Leonid Kanevsky" - "Satan"
  • "The investigation was conducted...with Leonid Kanevsky" - "Head in a briefcase" (about Alexander Skrynnik, but Dzhumagaliev is also mentioned)
  • "Legends of Soviet investigations" - Episode 6, "Cannibal"


  • Yuri Antonyan, Vereshchagin V. A., Potapov S. A., Shostakovich B. V.: Serial sexual murder. Tutorial / ed. Yu. M. Antonyan. - M .: MUI Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, Publishing House "Shield-M", 1997. - 202 p. Archived on February 13, 2017.
  • Yuri Antonyan, Violent crime in Russia / Ed. Ed .: L. L. Ananian ; Ch. Ed .: N. N. Kondrashkov . - M .: INION RAS, 2001. - 104 p. - (Actual issues of the fight against crime in Russia and abroad).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Modern cannibalism: Six killers with a taste for human flesh". 2012-05-17. Retrieved 2014-01-18.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Nikolai Espolovich Dzhumagaliev" (in Russian). Retrieved 29 March 2010.
  3. ^ Aktobe News - The ogre Dzhumagaliev was found guilty of another murder
  4. ^ Information about the escape of a cannibal from a mental hospital in the Almaty region turned out to be false
  5. ^ If the cannibal Dzhumagaliev had run away, we would not have stood there like this - doctors of a mental hospital in Almaty region
  6. ^ "A rumor about the escape of the cannibal Dzhumagaliev was spread by a 21-year-old resident of Almaty region" (in Russian). Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  7. ^ Antonyan, 2001, p. 25-26
  8. ^ "Igaz történet a kazahsztáni kannibálról". YouTube. 2011-01-23. Retrieved 2014-01-18.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]