From Nursery School Teacher and Dentist to Murderers
We’ve certainly talked about murderous families on Scared Yet before. It’d be tough to beat the Bloody Benders when it came to sheer mayhem, but a far more recent clan in Russia gives them a run for their money. If you ever wondered what the Benders might be life if they had lived in our modern era, look no further than this story!
The family was composed of a woman named Inessa Tarverdiyeva, her husband, Roman Podkopaev, and Tarverdiyeva’s two daughters, Viktoria, age 25 and Anastasiya, age 15. This family startled the world by how relentlessly normal they had always seemed. Podkopaev was a dentist, and the family lived a normal middle class life in the Stavropol region in Russia. They were well-known to the community, considered quiet, but not unusual in anyway. Their neighbors had no idea that the this family would regularly go on trips where they would commit murder and robbery in the nearby Rostov region.
Their spree of terror began six years ago, though both adults have been tentatively connected to crimes that go all the way back to 1998. As far any of their friends or neighbors could tell, they would leave for family camping trips, heading off with packed bags to enjoy some of Russia’s natural beauty.
Instead, they would make their way across the regional borders, and over the course of six years, they would kill somewhere around 30 victims.
In 2009, the family killed a paratrooper named Dmitry Chudakov. The presence of Chudakov’s family, his wife Irina, his daughter and his son, Sasha, were no deterrent. Chudakov, his wife and his son were murdered with a semi-automatic gun. Veronika, who was only 11, was stabbed around 37 times.
The family was ambushed at rest stop, and after they were killed, they were robbed. Tarverdiyeva and Podkopaev made off with around a thousand dollars worth of goods.
The question of who killed who, and what happened is a confused one. In a famous interview where she demonstrated how she had shot the family, Tarverdiyeva herself admitted to killing the adults while insisting that it was her husband, not her, who killed the children.
In that same interview, Tarverdiyeva stated that she had the heart of a bandit, and that killing people meant nothing to her. The only time that she showed emotion was when she asked why she had started doing all of this. She claimed that Podkopaev had killed her former husband, and that a life of crime after that seemed natural.
Tarverdiyeva was a nursery school teacher before she turned to her life of crime. After she realized that her job was getting in the way of the money she made by robbing others, she quit.
Some of the family’s exploits are cruel, giving the lie to the fact that they only committed their crimes for practical reasons. A few years before their capture, the family was complicit in the deaths of two teenage girls. The family lay in wait for the girls’ family, knowing that they had guns and money. When only the girls showed up, Podkopaev and Tarverdiyeva gouged their eyes out before killing them. One of the girls was supposedly Tarverdiyeva’s goddaughter.
The murderous crime family was finally captured in early 2015. Afte robbing the home of a former militeray officer in Rostov, police arrived on the scene to catch them. When the police asked for identification, Podkopaev immediately pulled a weapon on the police. He was killed in the ensuing shootout, and Viktoria was gravely wounded. When Tarverdiyeva and her other daughter were found, they surrendered without a problem.
At the moment, the fates of Tarverdiyeva and her daughter remain uncertain. Guns and money stockpiled at their middle class home hint towards connections to organized crime, but it is hard to imagine a criminal organization more ruthless than this family itself.