The Cannibal of Siberia
At what point does an anger at the ills of democracy turn into a war against the poorest and most vulnerable members of society? The leap between the two might seem vast, but to Alexander Nikolayevich Spesivtsev, known as the Cannibal of Siberia, it was as simple as taking a few steps. Spesivtsev earned his title when police came to his home and found a stabbed teenage girl on the couch and body parts all over the apartment.
From there, Spesivtsev’s past has revealed a murderous path that began sometime in 1991 and did not end until his capture in 1996.
Born on March 1, 1970, Spesivtsev showed signs of violence throughout his life. When he was in his twenties, he was convicted of murdering his girlfriend and institutionalized. He was in and out of mental asylums, and during the time he was committed, he wrote a few books that were considered at least academically interesting on the topic of democracy. Spesivtsev’s views on democracy were well known. He thought that that it was a flawed system that ground down the rights of most people.
Over time, his rage grew and grew, and then he started seeing victims all around him. The victims that most interested him were the street children of his home town in Novokuznetsk. The area was full of hungry children who had no homes and no one to notice if they went missing. They turned out to be the perfect victims for Spesivtsev, who started his dark work in 1991.
Spesivtsev’s pattern was simple. Either he or his mother would find solitary children on the streets or at the train stations. These children would often be hungry and desperate to survive the cold Siberian nights. They would lure the children back to their apartment, sometimes with the promise of food or work. Then those children would never be seen again.
Spesivtsev frequently dismembered the bodies and throw the parts into the nearby river. It wasn’t until 1996, when those parts started coming to the surface, that the police of the city realized that there was a serial killer operating in the area.
Spesivtsev’s neighbors knew that something was wrong for quite some time. Records show that there were many reports of putrid decaying odors and deafening rock music playing at all hours of the day. A beleaguered police force couldn’t investigate the complaints for quite some time.
Finally, the neighbors’ complaints grew numerous enough that policemen entered the apartment, and what they found horrified them. On the couch was a 15 year old girl named Olga. She had been stabbed multiple times through the belly. The wounds would unfortunately prove to be fatal, but before she died, she told the police what had happened.
Lydmilla, Spesivtsev’s mother, had hired her and two 13 year old girls to come back to the apartment to move some heavy items. When the door closed behind them, however, Spesivtsev and a fierce dog cornered them, trapping them completely.
Even a cursory look throughout the apartment revealed the depravity of the man who lived there. There was a headless body in the bathroom. In the middle of the living room, uncovered and obvious, was a human ribcage.
Spesivtsev was taken to jail, as was his mother, and the investigation continued. It is thought that the two 13 year old girls with Sasha had been killed and disposed of, but because of the lack of funds for testing, their remains were never discovered.
The prosecutor managed to come up with a total of 19 people that Spesivtsev murdered, but the actual count is likely much higher. The apartment was full of bloody clothing, and it is possible the number of victims could be as high as eighty.
Lydmilla Spesivtsev was sentenced to 13 years of prison for acting as an accomplice. During her incarceration, she never spoke a word.
Spesivtsev himself, on the other hand, who is often called Sasha the Cannibal, was committed for mental illness. In his confinement, he remains rational, and still attempts to justify his crimes. One of his wishes is for his brain to be sold to science in exchange for cigarettes, which of course, would be paid in advance.