Shatunovskaya became a Communist party member when she was 16. She worked at the party's Baku organization since 1919. During the 1930-1950s she was a prisoner of Stalinist regime, then she became a member of the Soviet Commission of Party Control, and head of a special commission on rehabilitation . She was the chief-investigator of the Kirov murder.
Shatunovskaya was honored with the highest Soviet medals.
Her memoirs, recorded by her children and grandchildren, were turned into a book by philosopher and essayist Grigory Pomerants under the title Sledstvie vedet katorzhanka [Investigation led by convict], published in 2004.
- Stalin ordered the murder of Kirov, testifies Olga Shatunovskaya (Russian), by Grigory Pomerants, Novaya gazeta