A grandma who allegedly handed out jellied snacks made from the meat of people she allegedly murdered has died of coronavirus.
Sofya Zhukova, 81, died in prison in Russia while awaiting prosecution for at least three murders. The police suspected there could be four more victims.
Police claim their victims include an eight-year-old girl who was allegedly killed after cheekily tossing ice on the OAP after being told to keep quiet.
When police arrested the gray-haired pensioner, they found human intestines in her refrigerator and she was referred to as “Russian Sweeney Todd”.
Sweeney Todd is a British Victorian story about a barber shop selling human cakes made from human flesh.
By the time they identified themselves as belonging to the child, some fragments of human remains were found, which shocked the girl’s mother, Natalya Alekseenko.
Even when the woman was tried, she refused to accept that her daughter might be dead somewhere.
Police claim they started carrying out the murders after her husband died in 2005.
She was detained by police after the 52-year-old caretaker Vasily Shlyakhtich, who agreed to rent a room in her apartment in the village of Berezovka, Khabarovsk District, Khabarovsk Oblast, disappeared in January 2019.
Locals said the woman had worked as a worker for years and was strong for her age and often took an ax with her.
They had often complained that she killed local cats but never suspected that she killed humans too.
A local resident identified only by her first name, Tatyana, said at the time: “We always found it strange that although she was grumpy and unfriendly, she often found the time to cook things for the local children.
“They were always meat dishes. Sometimes she gave them to adults, bought me and my husband plates of jellied meat.”
She added, “I remember it well because my husband said we shouldn’t eat it, you never know what it was made of and now it looks like he’s right.”
Tatyana said police claimed she used meat from the people she killed for the dishes.
The three murders she has been tried for include eight-year-old Shlyakhtich and a 77-year-old woman.
During interrogation, she reportedly admitted killing her lodger, and when police investigated deeper, they were shocked when she allegedly also admitted killing an eight-year-old girl who disappeared in December 2005.
She was tried in October for the other murders in which she shocked the court by laughing as the charges were read out, and the hearing continued last year when the court ordered a retrial in June.
The case, which was heard in the Khabarovsk district court, was then postponed due to coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
In addition to the three people accused of murder, police also believe she was responsible for the murder of a friend, Nina Babenko, aged 83, after she moved in as a lodger in April 2013.
She was never seen again.
Local media said Mikhailovna worked in a slaughterhouse before becoming a security officer at “Teplichnik” – a local company.
She was married to a man named Ivan who worked as a plumber for a local heating company. He died in the summer of 2005, six months before the girl disappeared.
The couple had three sons, although one died and the other two survivors still live in the Khabarovsk region.
They reportedly have families of their own there but never visited their mother or took their grandchildren to visit them.
A spokesman for the Russian Investigation Department in the Khabarovsk region said: “Criminologists found knives and saws on which they found traces of the victim’s blood. She was arrested for murder and taken into custody prior to the investigation. “