One of the scariest books that I ever read was a children’s book named “Bony-Legs” by Joanna Cole.  I remember that I couldn’t sleep for a couple of days because I was afraid that the witch Baba Yaga would come after me.  It scared me because she would eat children and then use their bones to make the fence surrounding her home that stands on chicken legs. Even now, I shudder thinking about Baba Yaga.  It was fitting that was the name given to the best assassin in movies.  “John Wick.” What’s even scarier than John Wick or the witch in Bony-Legs is knowing that “Baba Yaga” is the name given to a real person. Meet Tamara Samsonova, the Real-Life Baby Yaga.

Early Life

Tamara Samsonova was born on April 25, 1947, in the city of Uzhur, in Russia.  She went to college in Moscow, and that is the first time she lived in the city.  Tamara then moved to St. Petersburg and married a Alexei Samsonov in 1971  Alexei would disappear in the year 2000.  Samsonova would go to the police looking for her husband. After it was found out that she was a serial killer, Tamara is now suspected of murdering her husband.


Tamara started renting out a room in her apartment after her husband disappeared. She rented it out a 44-year old man.  The police say that the tenant and Samsonova got into an argument.  This prompted her to kill him, dismember his body, and leave it on the street.

She told investigators:

“I killed a lodger named Volodya, cut him into pieces in the bathroom with a knife, and laid his body in wrapping and scattered him in the Frunze district.” 

12 years later, Samsonova started caring for 78-year old Valentina Ulanova.  She would eventually kill the woman.  Just as the 44-year old tenant, Tamara would chop off the body and take them to a nearby pond.  However, she drugged Valentina and started dismembering her while the woman was still alive.  She put Valentina’s head in a kitchen pot.  There is CCTV showing her carrying the pot downstairs, as well as the numerous trips to take the body parts out of the apartment building. 

Samsonova told police that she was tired of Valentina, and that they had gotten into it when Ulanova had told her that she didn’t wash the tea cups. 


Samsonova was arrested for the murder of Valentina Ulanova.  During a search of her home, investigators found her diary where she talks about murdering 11 people. They also found traces of blood in her bath tub and a saw.  The police are now relooking at unsolved cases with victims being dismembered. 

It was also found that Tamara was obsessed with serial killer Andrei Chikatilo.  He murdered, sexually assaulted and cannibalised at least 55 people.  Police also found books on black magic.

Samsonova was taken for a psychiatric evaluation in which she was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic.  

Tamara told journalists outside the courthouse: “I knew you would come. It’s such a disgrace for me, all the city will know.”

Closing Remarks

Well, what did you think? Tamara Samsonova is definitely not one little old lady who I would want to encounter.  It hasn’t been confirmed if she is a cannibal, but if they couldn’t find her husband and she had Valentina’s head in a pot, I have to think the worst.  All I know is that I hope that Russia never releases her due to old age. She is one dangerous lady.

The Granny Ripper Tamara Samsanova

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