The Granny Ripper – Tamara Samsonova

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13th June 2021  •  4 min read

When we think of the appearance of a serial killer, very few of us would envision an elderly lady. In 2015, however, the world would recoil in horror when an elderly woman in Russia was arrested for a string of extremely grisly murders.


The Granny Ripper - Tamara Samsonova

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When we think of the appearance of a serial killer, very few of us would envision an elderly lady. In 2015, however, the world would recoil in horror when an elderly woman in Russia was arrested for a string of extremely grisly murders.

In late July of 2015, it was announced that 68-year-old Tamara Samsonova, a former hotel worker, had been arrested for the murder of 79-year-old Valentina Nikolaevna Ulanova, for whom she acted as a carer for. After the murder, Samsonova had dismembered the body with a hacksaw and then dumped it beside a pond behind her apartment. Security footage had captured Samsonova disposing of Ulanova’s body. She could be seen dragging a large black garbage bag out of her apartment which contained the body of Ulanova.1

Following Samsonova’s arrest, it was announced that she was also suspecting of murdering a 44-year-old male lodger in her apartment back in 2003 and dismembering his body. When searching her apartment, police would find the business card for the 44-year-old victim. His identity has never been released but Samsonova admitted to killing him during a quarrel; his body had been found 12 years prior in almost the exact location as Ulanova. In her diary, Samsonova had written: “I killed my tenant Volodya, cut him into pieces in the bathroom with a knife, put the pieces of his body in plastic bags and then threw them away.”

When police had searched her apartment, they had also come across a journal which detailed at least ten murders over the course of twenty years. These diary entries were written in Russian, English and German and contain mundane details such as “slept badly” or “drank coffee” among the grisly details of murder. In addition to the journals, investigators found blood spatter within the home as well as a knife which had traces of blood on the blade.2

According to some of Samsonova’s neighbours, she had spent several months in a psychiatric hospital. When brought in for questioning, she claimed that she was an actress and a graduate of the prestigious Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet. However, she then changed her story and claimed she had worked as an attendant at a lavish Russian hotel.3

Samsonova would admit to at least 13 murderes and investigators would announce that they were attempting to link the journal entries with cold cases. She would provide more information about the murder of Ulanova; she claimed that she had given her an overdose of sleeping pills before dismembering her body with a hacksaw while she was still alive. She said that she was motivated to kill Ulanova after a disagreement over unwashed cups. Senior investigator Mikhail Timoshatov stated: “Tamara Samsonova says that at first, she made her friend sleep and then cut her into pieces…”

 An investigation into her background revealed that back in 2005, Samsonova had reported her husband as missing and his body was never found. Police working on the case would announce that they now suspected that Samsonova had killed him.

During her first court appearance, she made erratic statements. She first of all confessed to the murders before stating that it was actually her neighbours who had committed the murders. She also blew kisses to the television reporters and stated to the judge: “I have been preparing for this trial for 10 years. It’s all deliberate.”4 At several points, she appeared to be confused and disorientated and it was stated that she had a history of mental illness.5

The Granny Ripper - Tamara Samsonova
Samsonova disposing of Ulanova’s dismembered body.

Early the following month, investigators in Russia would state that they believed that in attention to murdering and dismembering her victims, Samsonova also partook in cannibalism. She allegedly had a penchant for removing the lungs or her victims and then eating them. Just a couple of days later, they would further reveal that they now believed that Samsonova could have killed up to 21 people.

It would be leaked in the Russian media that Samsonova had provided grim details of the murder of Ulanova. She had written: “I came home and put the whole pack of Phenazepam – 50 pills – into her Olivier salad. I woke up at 2AM and she was lying on the floor. So I started cutting her into pieces.” She said that she had dismembered her on the kitchen floor and then used a hacksaw to remove her head and hands and then boiled them on the stove.6

Samsonova would be determined to be mentally incompetent to stand trial and would be sent to a psychiatric hospital for an indefinite amount of time.

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Footnotes:

  1. Agence France-Presse, 29 July, 2015 – “Elderly Russian Woman Suspected of Murdering, Dismembering Duo”
  2. Austin Examiner, 30 July, 2015 – “68 Year Old Woman Revealed as Prolific Serial Killer”
  3. Moscow Times, 29 July, 2015 – “Elderly Russian Woman Suspected of Multiple Macabre Murders”
  4. International Business Times, 31 July, 2015 – “Granny Arrested for Killing”
  5. International Business Times, 9 August, 2015 – “Tamara Samsonova to Feature un Horrors of St Petersburg Museum”
  6. The Calgary Sun, 5 September, 2015 – “Cannibal Granny Shares Recipes”

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Dee
Dee
2 years ago

She truly was a wicked woman!

trackback

[…] She would later say of Ulanova’s murder: […]

Ren
Ren
2 years ago

Bruh-.. I almost pucked not even lying. This is just sick. they should have sentenced her to death.

Kathinka
Kathinka
2 years ago
Reply to  Ren

No bcs the victims wouldn’t get any justice at all, so it’s good that they locked her up

Tybee
Tybee
9 months ago
Reply to  Kathinka

Well If they lock her up they’re providing her with housing and other resources all the while using up prescious tax dollars on a random old lady who dismembered a couple bodies here and there who is thrown in a cell to rot. I think it’d be easier on everybody to have just sentenced her to death.

I do wanna say
I do wanna say
2 years ago
Reply to  Ren

She should be toured and locked up

Joel
Joel
2 years ago

She is a person without a soul

Mal
Mal
2 years ago

This is so fucked up

Just David Checkin' in
Just David Checkin' in
2 years ago

*sucks on a spoonful of head and hands* ĢØÖĐ ŞŐŲP

lex
lex
11 months ago

i should not be laughing this hard over sumn so morbid 😀 XD

alan
alan
1 year ago

shes fit

potitot
potitot
1 year ago

potot

Srsly!?
Srsly!?
1 year ago

Holy carp that is freakin nuts. She should just have been killed on the spot

I swear im no psychopath or am i...
I swear im no psychopath or am i...
1 year ago

This is cold.
But or some reason, i am into this story its good.
Im also into Hitler….hm..

I rather not say
I rather not say
1 year ago

She was the inspiration for the mobile horror game Granny.

abby
abby
1 year ago

how was she able to do that and not feel any remorse in the photos?? i mean, after all of that.. she still looks like a basic old lady

Nancy
Nancy
11 months ago

Makes me wonder where any police and inspectors have been all these years. This lady looks like she’s been off her rocker since the day she was born. How was she getting away with all that for all those years? Makes you feel like lotta incompetence going around there. Just saying…

Ana
Ana
11 months ago

There’s no way after all those killings she still got sent to a “ hospital “ that’s why she was still doing it because she knew there would be no discipline.

camila.rose
camila.rose
6 months ago

this is very interesting to read and i hope ill be able to find more stuff like this to read. also for those who did not know granny the game is based off of granny ripper and how when she was younger kids did not want to play with her so granny had to play baseball by herself so when granny got older she became aggresive over guests including her own grandson. granny had captured her grandson and put mutiable locks on her door to keep her grandson in her house, but every time her grandson would try to ecape… Read more »

Nelson Rodriguez
Nelson Rodriguez
5 months ago

this reminds me of Jeffrey Dahmer…….

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