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A 24-year-old female medical student has confessed to murdering two elderly women so she could study the process of dying for her doctorate, say police.
The alleged killer - named Tatyana but called Dr Death in Russia - axed her victims before scrupulously observing their last moments.
'She cracked open her victims' scalps with the axe and studied their bodies' reactions,' said a police source.
The medical student, from Novosibirsk in Siberia, was close to qualifying as a surgeon. She confessed to her crimes, said prosecutors.
She knew her first victim Olga Stepushenko, 85, a neighbour who saw her grow up, said Zhizn newspaper.
'I took the axe and hit her to the head several times,' said the student.
'When she fell down, I sat next to her and waited until she died. I had an unbelievable view.'
The woman's son Georgy said: 'My mother knew her throughout her childhood. Who could imagine she would turn into such a snake? My Mum survived the Second World War, to die at the hands of this thug.'
Four days later she attacked Olga's neighbour, 87 year old Zoya Karpova, who she struck eight times with the axe.
This time she didn't just record the death - which took an agonising four hours - but made notes about the decomposition of the woman's body.
For the next two weeks, she kept returning to the flat to study changes to the rotting corpse, observations which she used in her dissertation at a top medical institute where she was known as 'studious'.
'I wanted to have more details of the death process to use it in my work,' she said.
She was arrested before she could complete her analysis. 'I aimed to see how the worms would decompose Zoya's body,' she said.
'When two similar crimes happened, we realised that we were dealing with a maniac,' said senior investigator Oleg Karbovsky.
'We questioned all the neighbours and found that Tatyana was visiting both women. During the search of her flat, we found an axe on which there were blood traces from both victims.'
The student faces 20 years in jail. Police are also investigating whether she had other victims.
Tags: Female, medical, student, murdered, murder, dying, killer, surgeon, Russia, crime, scalp, Siberia, Novosibirsk, Tatyana, axe, Dr, Death, doctorate, elderly, process, women, study, death,
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