Tamara Samsonova

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Tamara Mitrafanovna Samsonova
Tamara Samsonova (July 29, 2015) in the Frunze District Court of St. Petersburg.
Tamara Mitrafanovna Samsonova

(1947-04-25) April 25, 1947 (age 71)
Other names"The Granny Ripper", "Baba Yaga"
Span of crimes
State(s)St. Petersburg
Date apprehended
July 29, 2015

Tamara Mitrafanovna Samsonova (Russian: Тама́ра Митрофа́новна Самсо́нова; born February 5, 1947 in Uzhur, Krasnoyarsk Krai), known as the "Granny Ripper" and "Baba Yaga",[1][2][3][4] is a Russian serial killer who was arrested in July 2015 on suspicion of committing 2 murders with extreme cruelty.[5][6] She supposedly suffers from schizophrenia and was previously hospitalized three times in psychiatric hospitals.[7][3]


Samsonova was born on April 25, 1947, in the city of Uzhur, now part of the Krasnoyarsk Krai.[2]

After graduating from high school, she arrived in Moscow and entered the Moscow State Linguistic University. After graduating, she moved to St. Petersburg, where she married to Alexei Samsonov. In 1971, she and her husband settled in the newly build panel house number 4 on Dimitrov Street.[2][8]

For some time she worked for Intourist travel agency, in particular, in the Grand Hotel Europe. Unlike many of her fellow employees, who retired after two or three years, the amount of work experience Samsonova gathered at the time of her retirement was 16 years.[9]

In 2000, Samsonova's husband disappeared (she supposedly killed him and got rid of the body). She appealed to the police, but subsequent searches yielded nothing. Fifteen years later, in April 2015, she turned towards the authorities again, this time to the investigative unit of the Fruzensky District in St. Petersburg, giving a statement about her spouse's disappearance.[10][4]


After her husband's disappearance, Samsonova began renting a room in her apartment to visitors. According to investigators, on September 6, 2003, during a sudden quarrel, she killed her tenant, a 44-year-old resident from Norilsk, then dismembered his corpse and disposed of it on the street.[1][4][11]

In March 2015, Samsonova met 79-year-old Valentina Nikolaevna Ulanova, who also lived on Dimitrov Street. A friend of Tamara asked Ulanova to shelter the pensioner for the time being, due to the fact that Samsonova's apartment was being renovated, to which she agreed. She lived in Ulanova's apartment for several months, helping with the housework. She began to like living in the apartment, wanting to stay there for longer and refusing to move out. Over time, the relationship between the two deteriorated, and Valentina eventually asked Samsonova to leave.[12]

After another conflict, she decided to poison Ulanova. Samsonova travelled to Pushkin, where she managed to persuade a pharmacist to sell her a prescription drug, phenazepam. Upon returning to the city, she bought an Olivier salad, one of Ulanova's favorite dishes, then put the pills in the salad and gave it to the unsuspecting woman.[12]

Tamara later found Ulanova's body lying on the kitchen floor on the night of July 23, proceeding to dismember it with the help of two knives and a saw. First, she sawed off the victim's head, then sawed the body in half and using the knives, sheared it into pieces.[11] To take out all the bags outside of the apartment, she had to go outside and return several times. Other parts of the body Samsonova left scattered around the house.[4][12]

On the evening of July 26, Ulanova's decapitated body with severed limbs, wrapped in a bathroom curtain,[3] was found near a pond located house number 10 on Dimitrov Street. The package initially didn't attract any attention for several days, until a local resident took an interest in its contents.[13]

The identity of the deceased was established on July 27, after a survey of apartment residents. When they knocked on Ulanova's apartment, Samsonova opened the door to the authorities. Having entered inside, police officers found traces of blood in the bathroom, and also fastening from the torn off curtain. After this, the pensioner was immediately arrested.[14][3][15]

Investigation and compulsory treatment[edit]

On July 29, 2015, Samsonova was brought to the Frunze District Court of St. Petersburg, with the court issuing an order to detain her.[15]

She was forced to take a forensic psychiatric exam, and on November 26, 2015, the results determined that she was a danger to society and herself, and therefore she was placed in a specialized institution until the end of the investigation.[16]

In December 2015, Samsonova was sent for compulsory psychiatric treatment in a specialized hospital in Kazan.[17]

She is being investigated in connection to a total of 14 murders.[14]

According to media reports, police found a diary which contained details of some of the murders. One entry, translated from Russian to English, read: “I killed my tenant Volodya, cut him to pieces in the bathroom with a knife and put the pieces of his body in plastic bags and threw them away in the different parts of Frunzensky District.”[5]


  1. ^ a b Sergey Lyutykh (8 August 2015). "Baba Yaga from Dimitrov Street: about a retired Petersburg woman who turned into a popular monster" (in Russian). Lenta.ru.
  2. ^ a b c Alexander Kalinin (29 July 2015). ""Diary of Death" Kupchinskaya grandmother" (in Russian). Rosbalt.
  3. ^ a b c d Sophia Savina (29 July 2015). "Tamara the Ripper" (in Russian). Gazeta.ru.
  4. ^ a b c d Alexey Kobylkin (28 August 2015). "She did not described the murders: the diary of the St. Petersburg dismemberment was at the disposal of NTV" (in Russian). NTV.
  5. ^ a b Siobhan Fenton (2015-08-06). "Russian pensioner Tamara Samsonova may have eaten victims - Europe - World". The Independent. Retrieved 2015-08-12.
  6. ^ "YouTube - Tamara Samsonova, la «abuela destripadora» que mata, descuartiza y se come a sus víctimas". ABC.es. 2015-08-06. Retrieved 2015-08-12.
  7. ^ "Тамара-потрошительница". Gazeta.ru. 29 July 2015. Retrieved August 7, 2015.
  8. ^ Svetlana Samodelova (31 July 2015). "Aunt Toma's hut" (in Russian). Moskovskij Komsomolets.
  9. ^ Alexey Kobylkin (28 August 2015). "The Granny Ripper was educated at an elite university in Moscow" (in Russian). Life.
  10. ^ "Suspected serial killing granny may have eaten parts of her victims | World | Ne". Torontosun.com. 2015-08-05. Retrieved 2015-08-12.
  11. ^ a b "Investigators in St. Petersburg asked not to rush to assign a series of murders to the pensioner" (in Russian). Interfax. 29 July 2015.
  12. ^ a b c Supposedly she had eaten body parts of her victims but if hasn't been proven yet. "The Granny Ripper showed how she dismembered her friend" (in Russian). Life. 7 September 2015.
  13. ^ "A decapitated body with severed limbs was found on Dimitrov Street" (in Russian). Fontanka.ru. 26 July 2015.
  14. ^ a b "Elderly Russian Woman Suspected of Multiple Macabre Murders, Dismemberments | News". The Moscow Times. 2015-07-29. Retrieved 2015-08-12.
  15. ^ a b "A St. Petersburg court arrested a pensioner suspected of cruel murder" (in Russian). RIA Novosti. 29 July 2015.
  16. ^ "A retired woman, to whom the media has attributed more than 10 murders, was placed in a psychiatric hospital" (in Russian). TASS. 26 November 2015.
  17. ^ "Grandmother-warder from St. Petersburg is transferred to Kazan" (in Russian). Rosbalt. 9 December 2015.