On Sept 11, 2017, road workers in the northwestern town of the Krasnodar region in Russia find a lost cellphone on the road. Curious, as to owns it, they swipe through the photo gallery. The contents of the photos were so shocking that nobody felt like eating lunch that day and the cellphone was immediately handed over to the police.
Young Natalia had been raised by her grandmother and decided to become a nurse. She was married with a son by the age of 23. Soon, after the child’s birth, her new husband had died.
Natalia used drugs and alcohol to cope with her grief. This caused her to eventually, check herself into a mental hospital as she thought she was manic. The doctor soon released her saying there was no mental illness to treat.
Natalia’s heavy drinking caused her to lose her job as a nurse. She spent her days in the local tavern where she met Dimitri Baksheeva. They lived together for five years before becoming husband and wife.
Natalia’s son had been living with the couple. He left once they became married stating that her drinking was an embarrassing problem.
At this time, Natalia was 43, eight years older than Dimitri. She was the boss of their relationship and was prone to episodes of jealously. Her controlling nature did not seem to bother Dimitri. He, in fact, was very submissive and would do whatever Natalia told him to keep her happy.
Born in 1982, Dimitri Baksheev had been adopted from an orphanage at three-years-old. His adoptive mother had died from cancer when he was just 15. Her husband had then decided he didn’t want him and threw him on the street with nothing but a loaf of bread. The adoptive father made it clear he was no longer wanted.
Desperate and homeless, Dimitri robbed a store and stole a car in an attempt to survive. He was immediately caught and jailed as a teenager. He never had one visitor during his incarceration including his adopted father.
Released from jail, Dimitri became a construction worker allowing him to pay for his own roof. He was noted to have an extremely odd life. There was no girlfriend in the picture and although he rarely drank he preferred the company of alcoholics. This was how he met Natalia.
The phone with the strange pictures was now in the hands of the police. They were speechless as they swiped through hundreds of selfies taken by a man posing with various parts of a human body in his mouth.
Through data on the phone, the police were quickly and easily able to trace the owner. Not quite knowing what to expect, they entered the home of Dimitri Baksheev.
The Baksheev’s home was no contender for Good Housekeeping The officers entered a foul-smelling pigsty that looked like it was straight from an episode of Hoarders.
They separated the couple. Natalia was the first to be questioned about the photos found on her husband’s phone. She denied knowing anything about them. Her reaction was not typical of a wife who should have been horrified to learn her husband had taken selfies with a dismembered corpse.
After her act of mild confusion and head shaking at the craziness of it all, she changed her story. Now she claimed that they were walking home one day and just happened to came across a random dead body. They thought it would be innocent fun to take some pictures with it.
The police continued their grizzly search where they came across ten or so cellphones in the kitchen junk drawer. These at first displayed smiling images of people who appeared to be good friends with the Baksheevs. The cheery tone abruptly switched when a photo dated from 1999 popped up.
The picture was of a male decapitated head garnished with oranges waiting on the dinner table. Olives had decoratively been inserted into the eye sockets and a lemon squashed on his nose.
The authorities then moved on to investigate a wig that lay in front of the microwave. Taking a closer look, they found it was actually hair taken from a woman’s head whom they had scalped!
The hair was long and pretty and it seemed that after witnessing more photos the couple had a fetish for “wigs” of such type placed next to the decapitated head.
A Girls Gotta Eat!
Dimitri finally confessed and to more than the police had even asked. This was not his first rodeo. For the last 18 years, he claimed to have killed and eaten 30 people. The police were by now convinced and extremely overwhelmed.
The refrigerator contained mason jars of pickled remains and a hand soaking in saline solution. Moreover, there were 19 slices of skin, seven packets of human body parts and a random chicken breast without a plate. It was getting difficult to distinguish between what was who.
The police frustrated ended up unplugging the refrigerator and told the Baksheevs they were just going to take the whole thing down to the station.
Other odd finds included a detailed recipe book for cooking people handwritten by Natalia and a video tutorial giving lessons to cannibals on how to properly dismember their victims. It seemed the couple figured they had found a lucrative and original niche for YouTube.
CANNIBAL DATING APP
The Baksheevas had been using online dating apps over the years to attract their victims. On their last date, they had met with a woman who worked as a waitress. She and Dimitri seemed to be getting along just a little bit too well and Natalia didn’t like it one bit. She became furious and stormed off in a rage.
Dimitri had followed Natalia who demanded that he kill this waitress. Without hesitation, he had obeyed his wife, whipping out a knife he kept in his coat pocket and stabbing the woman to death on the spot.
Additionally, evidence found suggested that after giving sedatives to their victims they skinned them alive prior to dismembering the body parts and eating them
Natalia was sentenced to ten years on a penal colony followed by a mandatory 1.2 years in jail. Russian Penal colonies are famous for their brutal conditions and would be unlikely make special accommodations for her menu.
Dimitri received a sentence of 12 years for his part in the crime. The police had just started to make a dent in matching some of the body parts with missing people in the area.
Many members of the Russian public believed the Basksheevs to be part of an age old cannibalistic society that were unlucky enough to be caught. If that was the case it certainly wouldn’t have been wise to tell on the others. Certainly food for thought …