A Russian historian caught with two arms of a woman tucked into his backpack has confessed that the arms were those of his former student whom he had murdered.
Oleg Sokolov, said to be Napoleonic expert, was hauled out of a St. Petersburg river carrying a backpack containing the woman’s arms.
According to Moscow Times, Police in St. Petersburg on Saturday detained 63-year-old Prof. Oleg Sokolov on suspicion of murdering a former student after he was pulled out of the city’s Moika river with a backpack containing the severed arms, authorities said.
They then searched Sokolov’s home, where they found the decapitated body of Anastasia Yeshchenko, 24, a former student at his university with whom he had co-authored a number of works.
Sokolov’s lawyer, Alexander Pochuyev, said that his client had confessed to the murder of his former student.
“Sokolov acted under some sort of strong influence. For now, we can only make assumptions,” Pochuyev said.
His Police statement revealed that Sokolov is believed to have planned to get rid of the body, after which he would have committed suicide publicly while dressed as French statesman and military leader Napoleon Bonaparte, local news outlet, 47, reported.
The historian, who is known in Russia’s history community for re-enacting Napoleon-era battles, previously served a stint as a visiting professor at France’s prestigious Sorbonne university.
In May 2018, the Russian outlet Moskovsky Komsomolets published an anonymous story by one of Sokolov’s students who accused the professor of beating and bullying her and torturing her with an iron 10 years earlier.
“When the iron warmed up, he brought it to my face, so that I could feel its heat coming from him, and began to threaten that it would disfigure me for the rest of my life,” the girl reporte.