If we often hear about stories of mummies and exhumations of corpses in horror films, the story of Anatoly Yuryevich Moskvin , it is far from belonging to the world of cinema. Moskvin is a linguist, philologist and historian born in Russia on September 1 st , 1966, and what is unusual about him is that he was arrested in 2011 for having mummified and hidden the bodies of 26 girls in his apartment.
The corpses that Moskvin mummified and dressed up as dolls came from local cemeteries, that is, from the Nizhny Novgorod region. Although the man lived with his parents, they were unaware that they were human bodies but thought they were giant dolls.
Moskvin was interned in a psychiatric hospitalique after passing a psychiatric assessment in 2012, a court-ordered conviction. The assessment indicated that the man suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.
A rather successful career and professional life
Even though Moskvin apparently had psychiatric problems, this did not seem to affect his professional life. Indeed, the man spoke 13 languages and was at one time a lecturer in Celtic studies at Nizhny Novgorod Linguistic University. He also worked at the Institute of Foreign Languages. Besides having written several well-known books and articles, he was also an expert on the cemeteries of Nizhny Novgorod.
Between 2005 and 2007 Moskvin worked on the census of the dead in more than 700 cemeteries in 40 regions of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast. Editor of the weekly Necrologies newspaper Alexei Yesin at the time described Moskvin's work as "unique and invaluable.
MoskiHe also wrote articles for the Nizhny Novgorod Worker newspaper between 2006 and 2010. In 2008, several series of articles he wrote on the history of the Nizhny Novgorod cemeteries were published in the newspaper.
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Arrest and conviction
Following an investigation by police on numerous cases of desecration of cemeteries in the Nizhny Novgorod region, Moskvin was arrested on November 2, 2011. A total of 26 bodies were found in his home, including his apartment and garage. The corpses were placed in small rooms full of books and papers, in different places such as on sofas and shelves. Police also found l plaques at his home that had been removed from tombstones,s instructions for making dolls, maps depicting the cemeteries in the area as well as videos and photos of several open graves and exhumed bodies.
Originally, Moskvin was sentenced according to the 'Article 244 of the Criminal Code for desecrating graves and corpses, a sentence that can lead to a maximum of five years in prison. However, a psychiatric assessment showed that he suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, which led the Leninsky District Court of Nizhny Novgorod to release him from criminal liability. He was nonetheless sentenced to "coercive medical measures" and was transferred to a psychiatric clinic. His psychiatric treatment was extended numerous times, and in February 2019, another psychiatric assessment determined that he could not yet be released.
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After his arrest, Moskvin explained in an interview why he committed these crimes. He confided that he felt sympathy for the dead children and believed that it would be possible to bring them back to life through black magic or science. as well as Moskvin began to research the obituary section to find recently dead children. When he found a suitable case, he would sleep at the tomb of the deceased to talk to him, drawing inspiration from the ancient druids of the Celtic culture who could communicate with the spirit of the deceased. He explained that this allowed him to know if the spirit wanted to be brought back to life. He also claimed that at the beginning he never dug up the grave of a child without his permission.
With age, sleeping on graves became quite painful for Moskvin, so he began tostarted to bring the bodies home. To preserve them, he researched mummification techniques and also learned methods of making dolls, including giving children a functional body when he finds a way to bring them back to life. According to Moskvin's statement, he was aware that he was committing a crime, but he preferred to choose to answer the "call" of the dead children who he said wanted to be saved, rather than follow the law.
On the other hand, Moskvin was also motivated by his desire to have a child, more precisely a daughter. It seems he even tried to adopt one once, but the request was not granted due to his financial situation. Regarding his feelings for the dolls, he said he considered them his own children and never felt any sexual attraction towards them.
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