A CANNIBAL OAP dubbed the ‘granny ripper’ who ‘gave sweets made of human flesh to kids’ went on a terrifying murder spree that would see three killed.
Sofia Zhukova was accused of murdering her seven-year-old neighbour, a 54-year-old janitor and her 83-year-old pal, in a series of brutal murders that spanned a decade and a half.
The 81-year-old was accused of cannibalism when cops discovered human organs inside her fridge whilst neighbours said she’d handed out sweets made of human flesh to local children.
But she would come to be known as the ‘Granny Ripper’ – a killer OAP who gave the appearance of a meek old lady.
She was arrested in February 2019 and initially denied being involved in the horrific murders before later changing her plea.
After a shocking confession, the granny gave a chilling reenactment in court showing how she axed and dismembered one of her victims.
But the pensioner who died after catching Covid in prison in 2021 would never stand trial for her shocking crimes.
Sofia was born in 1939 in Zvyagino, Russia, to poor parents and was unable to read or write, eventually finding work as a labourer.
She later married and settled in the village of Berezovka where she gave birth to two sons.
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Those closest to her claimed that the gran change drastically after the death of her husband – some suggesting it could be the catalyst for her evil acts.
She would clash with neighbours and was described as “aggressive” despite using a walking stick and appearing frail.
In 2005 the severed head of seven-year-old Anastasia Alexeenko was discovered and the gran became a suspect when the schoolgirl mysteriously vanished after dialling her intercom.
Anastasia had reportedly annoyed Zhukova after making loud noise nearby and had cheekily thrown ice cream at the pensioner when she complained.
The OAP is thought to have held the girl hostage for three weeks and even made an anonymous call to her mother from the meat factory where she worked to tell her that her daughter was alive.
It wasn’t until 14 years later the truth would come to light when Anastasia’s DNA was found in Zhukova’s bathroom when her home was raided.
The 81-year-old was also charged with murdering and dismembering a 52-year-old male janitor and her 77-year-old friend.
She claimed the janitor had visited with a friend for tea but revealed that she had brutally murdered him when he tried to rape her.
The internal organs of Vasily Shlyakhtich, a Ukrainian immigrant and a tenant in her home were found in her fridge in 2019.
When asked about the murder, she calmly said: “I killed the janitor, but he raped me. What do you think I should have done? I chopped him up with an axe.’
His severed arm was found in a rubbish skip while the rest of his remains were discovered in plastic bags at a nearby dump in the city of Khabarovsk.
She told cops: “He and his friend raped me and (later) I chopped him with an axe.
“He came to me with his friend to drink tea…
“He lied to me, instead of tea they raped me.”
I killed the janitor, but he raped me. What do you think I should have done?
Law enforcement said: “The bowels and other inner organs of the man were found in her fridge – and she threw away the bones.
“But dogs smelt the blood and carried the body parts away all around the area.”
Neighbours say they became suspicious of the unfriendly OAP when she began handing out sweet treats and meats to children.
A local 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.
She added: “I remember it well because my husband said let’s not eat it, you never know what it was made from, and now it looks like was right.”
Tatyana said police told her the serial killer used the flesh of her victims to make the treats, but cops never confirmed this.
After being interrogated by cops, Zhukova confessed only to killing her lodger before later admitting she’d killed the schoolgirl in December 2005.
Even with the self-confessed killer on trial, Anastasia’s heartbroken mother refused to believe her daughter was dead.
Police also believed the killer gran also murdered Nina Babenko, 83, after she moved in as a tenant in April 2013.
The victim had recently sold her apartment and took the money with her when she went to live with the killer.
Nina’s passport was discovered in Zhukova’s flat, but she was never seen again and her body was never found.
The OAP was also linked to four unsolved murders but was never charged.
The ‘Ripper’ shocked the courtroom when she went on trial last year when she laughed as charges against her were read out.
But the pensioner died after contracting Covid five-month before she was due to face a retrial in June 2021.
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