Alexander Nikolayevich Spesivtsev (maniac-cannibal)

The best-known maniac-burglar and maniac-cannibal of Russia.

Alexander Nikolayevich Spesivtsev was born on March 1, 1970. His father was an alcoholic, and soon Sasha remained with his elder sister Natasha and mother Lyudmila who had abandoned her husband. They lived in a three-bedroom apartment on an upper floor of a nine-floored building in the town of Novokuznetsk of the Kemerovo Region.

Since his childhood Spesivtsev has been secretive and sneaky, in every possible way he would do damage in his staircase and at school. After he had finished his 8th year at school, he started working and was his own boss – he would repair apparatus and devices and pilfer as well (his mother and sister used to be thieves, too). He would keep a diary and outpour his complexes and dissatisfaction with himself as a man on its pages. He would write naif poems about beloved nature but “He-he-he! Heil, Hitler!” in black paint on the staircase walls.

In 1988 for the first time he was put to a lunatic asylum for his mischief.

Later Spesivtsev got married to Yevgenia, a 17-year-old girl, would beat her both at home and in a hospital ward. In 1991 Zhenya (a hypocoristic of Yevgenia) died, and the maniac had already then a chance of hitting the bricks, but the lack of evidence of the wife’s murder and his psychiatric deviations saved him. The bridegroom-sadist was assigned to a special psychiatric hospital in the town of Oryol where he was until 1995.

When Spesivtsev had been released after 3 years’ confinement in the hospital, he came back to his apartment where in 1996 he started throwing bloody feasts. On false pretexts his sly mother would lure victims into the apartment (Spesivtsev’s sister sometimes helped her out) where the maniac was waiting for them with fists and a knife. He would beat up and dismember victims. Their meat used to be boiled and eaten by Spesivtsev (the fact of cannibalism hasn’t ever confirmed though) as well as by the domesticated Newfoundland dog and occasionally by a following victim. The maniac used to rape girls and women.

So, from February to September 1996 there had been not less than 4 teenagers at the age from 10 to 13 and 15 girls and women at the age from 11 to 40 killed in the Spesivtsevs’ apartment. But later field investigators found complete outfit in the apartment. It belonged to a much larger number of people. Spesivtsev boasted with the murders which were impossible to prove.

By night the maniac’s mother would take away most (but not all) of the remains in buckets and would throw them out in different places.

This is what Yuri Antonyan, a well-known professor, Doctor of Juridical Science of the All-Russian Research Institute of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, told about Spesivtsev: “To my mind, Spesivtsev’s case is unique as there was not one but three people involved in it. On the whole, it’s quite rare in criminal practice. And we’ll have to realize why his mother and to some extent his sister helped him out. She is considered to be a witness of her brother’s murders. In general, on the other grounds Spesivtsev completely fits the character of that sex offender I spoke about. He is a sex failure, marginalized, suffers sheer loneliness and dissatisfaction in regard to what he turned out to be. He feels high vulnerability, and it also refers to him in full. As his neighbors said the family in which he had grown, raised and lived had been notable for being reserved very much. What does it mean? They were socially handicapped people and couldn’t fit in with the community they had to fit in with. They didn’t blend into it either. I guess it happened for a variety of reasons. Spesivtsev felt disadvantaged, humiliated and treated unfairly although he couldn’t find a reply to the question who had deprived and hurt him. Nevertheless he was suffering all that. He committed all his crimes due to those causes. As far as I can see, he was a complete sex bankrupt, impotent; he couldn’t have normal sexual relationship with women. He failed when he had one of his first love affairs with his girlfriend Zhenya Guselnikova. Later she became his first victim. And like many other sex offenders he accused women of everything. They used to appear as powerful and implacable force and were his personal enemies.

He thought of women only in that way. Supposedly, his mother and sister were an exception from that overall number. But I paid attention to the dialog between the son and his mother showed in video recording. It is not so important what they said, rather not only that. They would let people come into their apartment and would share nothing with anybody. Although someone noticed sometime a person by chance come into their apartment and find it sparkly clean. That isolation brought all three of them enormously together. The whole world was beyond their bounds. Another important circumstance was the fact that they used to steal. It also brought them together and made them isolated. They lived in another reality, another dimension. Due to that their participation in crimes is getting more understandable. They shared mystery which banded them together. It is rather difficult to express accusations against them. And do you know, why? They won’t understand you. And they wouldn’t for sure understand me either as they speak and think in another language.

During the interrogation Spesivtsev’s mother behaved very aggressively, she replied vexedly to the questions put to her and often said something different from what she had been asked. So, she didn’t understand the language in which they were speaking to her. Was Spesivtsev sick indeed? Obviously, he had some deviations exactly because of them he was sent to a psychiatric hospital. But I don’t think that illness, psychiatric or any other disorder caused committing such monstrous deeds. Those disorders allegedly just encouraged him to commit crimes. There is an imperious necessity for his mother and sister to be put into a psychiatric examination and even into an expert examination. I’m not leaving out that specialists could find their disorders. Why did Spesivtsev kill boys although there were much less of them than girls? As far as I can judge by the other cases, in the person of those boys he sort of committed symbolic suicides. He would kill himself. It was a suicide at a psychological level. Undoubtedly, he had an unfortunate childhood. So, when he killed those lads, every time he kind of murdered himself. He was killed and by that got rid of all his psycho-traumatic experiences. And the last moment – his cannibalism. Although it is not absolutely evident. Nevertheless his mother used to boil human flesh. They would make their victims eat it. They also used to feed their dog with human flesh. There are some elements of cannibalism here. I guess everything is explained by the fact that those people were kind of from another world, they lived in another dimension. Our conventional moral standards aren’t fitted well for them.”

In June the investigators had already started working with the first discovered remains. There were different stories (one of them – about stealing organs for transplantation – brought to the detention of a suspected person from the town of Tolyatti). The people registered in psychiatric institutions were also being checked. But Spesivtsev’s documents were delayed in Oryol hospital. After he had come back from it, he wasn’t officially registered in Novokuznetsk, and it saved him from checking.

As it often happens, he was given away by an accident. Because of poor heating the daughter of the Spesivtsevs’ neighbor was taken ill, and on October 24, the neighbor called plumbers who were checking the radiators in the whole staircase and reached the maniac’s apartment. When they knocked on the door, he didn’t answer it and shouted: “my mom has locked me out! I’m mentally sick!” Then he got out of a window onto the roof and fled. Meanwhile the plumbers called the police, they broke down the door and found a human torso in the bathtub in the apartment. There also was a female head with the face screwed up with horror in a clothes boiler, parts of child’s body in a bucket and a blackened child’s little head on the floor there…

There were the last Spesivtsev’s victims in the room: a half-dead 15-year-old girl and one of the 3 friends who had disappeared a month earlier. The girl had been injured with a knife – the maniac hadn’t managed to kill her in time, but she died 3 days later. In the meantime Spesivtsev was detained near his house.

He was officially charged with 5 murders although the remains of 9 victims had been found (many of them were beyond his apartment), the remains of 10 more victims had not been found. He was ruled sane in regard to one of the murders and he faced an execution, but psychiatrists from the Serbsky Scientific Center of Moscow delayed the case, and all at once the moratorium on capital punishment happened to appear in time so Spesivtsev was again turned out to be in a psychiatric hospital “until aggression relieving”.

It is 10 years has gone since that time. There was a documentary shot about Spesivtsev in the series “The Criminal Russia.” It was valued for the shots of the interrogations of the maniac, his mother and the last victim. At present the “apartment of death” has been sealed off, the murderer’s sister is renting an apartment in Novokuznetsk, and his mother is serving the sentence to 15 years’ imprisonment in the Mariinsky female penal colony. Spesivtsev is in a special hospital in the town of Kamyshin of the Volgograd Region. There are rumors that he can be released in the near future (his sister and mother are unspeakably glad at it in their letters!).

While in the lunatic asylum, Spesivtsev is drawing a pension which he’s spending on Snickers and saving up for a stereo system (at home he was fond of listening to loud music by night). He is again writing poems and has even had a dig at a novel. And once he shouted to the chief physician who had refused to release him: “Like the entire Russia, you’ll remember me for the whole life!”