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Saint Petersburg, Russia

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Who is Tamara Samsonova?

Tamara Mitrofanovna Samsonova, also known as “The Granny Ripper” and “Baba Yaga” is a Russian serial killer. In Slavic Folklore, the “Baba Yaga” is a creature that takes the form of an old woman. Tamara was born on February 5, 1947, in the Russian city of Uzhur. After graduating high school, she attended Moscow State Linguistic University, and after graduating, she moved to St. Petersburg where she met and married her husband, Alexei Samsonova. She worked at a tourist travel agency named Grand Hotel Europe and worked for 16 years before retiring.

She and her husband moved into her home on Dimitrova Street, which is where the series of murders took place. It is said that she suffers from schizophrenia and has been to psychiatric hospitals in the past for mental illness.

When neighbors found out about what happened and what she had been doing this whole time, they were shocked but not wholly surprised.

“That Tamara Samsonova is a very strange woman, tricky and suspicious,” said Natalia Fedatovskaya, an old friend of one of the victims.

Another of Samsonova’s neighbors, Marina Krivenko, who has known Samsonova for 15 years, said that the woman was ‘very interested in maniac Chikatilo, She gathered information about him and how he committed his murders.’ Andrei Chikatilo, Samsonova’s fascination, is one of the most infamous serial killers in Russian history and is said to be responsible for the sexual assault, murder, and mutilation of at least 52 women and children between the years of 1978 and 1990.


Little is known to the public about her murders and victims, with the many being unsolved murders in her area that fit her MO. Some of what we know has come from the 68-year-old Tamara Samsonova herself in the form of diary entries. She kept a detailed diary and between mundane facts and reminders, she wrote the details of murder.

Sometime after her husband’s disappearance, Samsonova began renting out a room in her apartment. According to investigators, on September 6, 2003, three years after her husband’s disappearance, Samasova killed her tenant after a fight with him. She claims to have dismembered his body and disposed of it on St. Desyhis Way.

Valentina Nikolaevna Ulanova was a 79-year-old woman who lived on the same street as Tamara Samsonova. Because Tamara’s house needed renovations, Ulanova allowed her to stay in her apartment. Over time, however, the woman’s relationship deteriorated and Ulanova asked Samsonova to leave. Samsonova decided to poison her.

Senior Investigator Mikhail Timoshatov confirmed the story. Tamara Samsonova got a prescription for the drug phenazepam, and hid the medication in one of Ulanova’s favorite dishes. The unsuspecting older woman ate the food. Later, when Samsonova found her passed out on the kitchen floor, she took a saw and decapitated Ulanova. Samsonova then dismembered the body and placed the pieces in black plastic bags.

Several days later, the headless body was found wrapped in a plastic shower curtain near a pond by interested locals, which was when the police first became involved with Samsonova. When they knocked on Valentina Ulanova’s door, Samsonova answered and let them in. They found blood everywhere and body parts of the elderly woman still laying around the house. On that day, July 27, 2015, Samsonova was finally arrested.

Caught in The Act of Dumping Body Parts

Later, security video footage would be revealed of Samsonova carrying several large plastic bags out of the apartment in the middle of the night. These bags were later confirmed to be the same that parts of Ullanova were found it. Images from the clips were later released, and it’s believed that in some of them, you can see the serial killer granny carrying the severed head of one of her victims in a stainless steel cooking pot. What she did with this pot, or whether or not it actually contained a severed head, is unknown.

Samsonova would later say that she had been waiting for the police to get there for ten years and that she intended to be caught.


She was eventually given a battery of psychological tests when it was determined that she was a danger to others and herself. Samsonova was remanded to a state-run mental health facility where she still resides to this day.

The strange woman and self-confessed killer detailed many more horrific crimes in her diary, but much of it has not been made public. She has hinted at least 10 more potential victims. It’s been suggested that her diaries indicate that she used specific murders for dark magic rituals, which she believed to be real.

It was also discovered that many paged of her diary were missing. Some of them were discovered with the body parts of one of her earliest victims, Volodya, her tenant.

“I’m haunted by a maniac upstairs who forced me to kill,” and that, “I have thought 77 times about it and decided that I must be in prison. I will die there and the state will probably bury me.”

At the preliminary trial, Tamara acted very strangely. She was often observed blowing kisses at the judge and to the reporters, and often giggled. When the Judge asked whether she should be arrested, Tamara Samsonova said that she should because she did bad things and should be punished. When the judge determined that she should be arrested and remain in custody, Samsonova clapped.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What happened to Tamara Samsonova?

A: She remains in a state-run mental health facility awaiting trial.

Q: Is Tamara Samsonova a cannibal?

A: Though not confirmed to be true, Russian police in the city of St. Petersburg say they are investigating the possibility of cannibalism and occult sacrifice as motives.