Russian killer 'Granny Ripper', 81, dies of Covid while on trial

‘Granny Ripper’, 81, who gave children sweets made from the flesh of her victims died of Covid before the end of her trial in Russia

  • Sofia Zhukova has been charged with murdering three people and was on trial
  • The pig butcherer has been linked to many more unsolved murders in Russia
  • Neighbours claimed she made sweets from the flesh of her victims
  • She caught Covid in a detention jail before her serial killer trial ended

A Russian ‘cannibal’ pensioner known as Granny Ripper, who gave children sweets made from the flesh of her victims, has died of Covid-19 before the end of her serial killer trial.

Sofia Zhukova, 81, a retired pig slaughterer, was accused of butchering schoolgirl Anastasia Alexeenko, seven, whose severed head was found in 2005 with a severely battered face.

She was also charged with murdering and dismembering a 52-year-old male street cleaner and janitor in Russian city Khabarovsk, and killing a woman friend, aged 77.

A Russian ‘cannibal’ pensioner known as Granny Ripper has died of Covid-19 before the end of her serial killer trial

Sofia Zhukova, 81, a retired pig slaughterer, was accused of butchering schoolgirl Anastasia Alexeenko, seven

Separately, police were investigating at least four more unsolved suspected murders linked to the killer. 

Zhukova became infected with Covid-19 in a detention jail, and died on December 29 after being moved to hospital, it was disclosed today.

In one hearing, the court was told that she kidnapped a young schoolgirl and held her for three weeks.

The child was murdered the day before her severed head was found near Zhukova’s flat, it was alleged.

The pig slaughterer, pictured showing a courtroom how she used an axe to kill a janitor, has been linked to a number of unsolved murders

Zhukova became infected with Covid-19 in a detention jail, and died on December 29 after being moved to hospital

‘Human meat’ was scattered nearby and eaten by stray dogs.

A phone call assuring Anastasia’s mother, Natalya, that the girl was still alive had been made from the sausage factory where the pensioner worked as a pig slaughterer, the court was told.

The girl’s DNA was found in Zhukova’s bathroom 14 years after the alleged killing, forensic experts found.

Local children found his severed arm in a rubbish skip while other remains were stashed in plastic bags at a skip (pictured)

Neighbours said she even turned her victims into food and offered them around to children.

One named as Tatyana said: ‘We always found it strange that despite being surly and unfriendly, she would often find the time to cook things for the local children.

‘They were always meat dishes. Sometimes she gave them to the adults, she bought me and my husband plates with jellied meat.’

Internal organs of the janitor, Vasily Shlyakhtich, a Ukrainian immigrant who was her tenant, were allegedly discovered in the granny’s fridge in 2019, but she denied being a cannibal.

One girl’s DNA was found in Zhukova’s home (pictured) 14 years after the alleged killing, forensic experts found

She said in evidence: ‘I killed the janitor, but he raped me. What do you think I should have done?

‘I chopped him up with an axe.’

Local children found his severed arm in a rubbish skip while other remains were stashed in plastic bags at a skip.

A law enforcement source said: ‘The bowels and other inner organs of the man were found in her fridge – and she threw away the bones.

Children playing near the apartment block found a man’s severed arm and police soon discovered more dismembered remains in a number of plastic bags

‘But dogs smelled the blood and carried the body parts all around the area.’

Her trial had been delayed last year after she retracted detailed confessions about killing the girl and elderly woman, whose body was never found.

The judge ordered technical changes in the indictments but she remained accused of the three murders when she died.

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