Written By: LFG
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Irina Gaidamachuk was born in 1972 in the cold town of Nyagan, Soviet Union. As a young girl, she was deemed to be a troublemaker as her parents had difficulty controlling her. Her addiction to alcohol surfaced during her early teen years, particularly to vodka. It is believed that this could be a direct result of her parents’ influence since they also did substance and alcohol abuse. She moved to Krasnoufimsk when she got older and would subsequently meet her would-be husband, Yuri. The couple had two children, and all seemed well; however, Irina was never able to absolve her drinking problem. It came to a point where Yuri had to withhold cash from her for fear of squandering their hard-earned money on alcohol.
Upon her arrest, Yuri shared that he never suspected Irina was doing malicious acts in the fourteen years they were together. She always seemed sane and acted normally around neighbors despite her alcoholism.
In 2002, Irina began her murder spree and targeted elderly women, with her youngest victim aged 61, and the oldest was 89. To gain her victim’s trust, she pretended to be a social worker to gain access to inside the house. Once there, Irina would attack the poor woman with either a hammer or an ax, smashing their heads until they died. There were also instances where she would burn down the victim’s home and make it seem like an accident such as a gas leak or an unplugged appliance in hopes of concealing her tracks.
The motive behind her killings was her alcoholism as she would rob the victims and use the money to purchase more vodka. According to reports, Irina stole more or less £1,000 in total from her victims. She also killed for as little as £20 to satisfy her vodka craving. From 2002 to 2010, Irina successfully killed 17 women out of the 18 she attacked. In her final crime, where she killed an eighty-one-year-old woman named Alexandra Povaritsyna, she opted to pose as a decorator instead of the usual social worker guise to throw off the investigation, which was slowly building.
Irina’s victims were mostly from Krasnoufimsk, but she also killed women in other areas like Yekaterinburg, Serov, Druzhinino, and Achit.
Arrest and Trial
Irina was able to get away with her crimes due to a lack of leads, and the police thought a man was behind the murders. It wasn’t until she tried to murder a woman named Bilbinur Makshaeva that things started to go awry. Her victim was able to escape and report that it was a woman who attacked and tried to kill her. The investigation led to the arrest of a woman named Marina Valeeva, and although she was innocent, she forced to confess under pressure. Still, around three thousand people were questioned, and two thousand forensic examinations were conducted. The police believed there’s a possibility that a man dressing as a woman could be the culprit.
The police were able to finally crack the case and capture the real killer when the neighbors of the eighteenth victim saw Irina leave the victim’s house on the same day the murder happened in May 2010. She was identified through the witnesses’ description, and the police immediately arrested and detained her on June 7, 2010.
A trial ensued in the Yekaterinburg court in February 2012, and while Irina confessed to her crimes upon the preliminary investigation, she denied the allegations when the trial started. A company called GNTSSSP Serbsky did a psychiatric evaluation, and Irina was deemed legally sane when she killed the women. Among the evidence presented was the note Irina left in one of the victim’s homes, and a handwriting test proved her guilt.
Irina was sentenced to twenty-five years in prison, which is the maximum term for women jailed in Russia, on June 4, 2012. However, the judge lessened the sentence to twenty years because she has children. This decision outraged the relatives of the victims as they argued Irina should be getting lifetime imprisonment instead. According to them, she does not deserve to be free for the appalling crimes she did.
Irina is currently incarcerated while her lawyer, Suren Sarkisyan, is looking into appealing for a shorter sentence. Depending on Russian law, she will be released in the year, 2032, but good time may
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