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Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Irina Gaidamachuk: Russia's "Satan in a Skirt"

     Irina Gaidamachuk, a 41-year-old mother of two in the remote Urals region town of Krasnovfimsk, had a big thirst for vodka. But her husband Yury wouldn't give her money to buy the drink. So, Irina decided to earn it herself.

     From 2003 until June 2010, Gaidamachuk, by posing as a social worker, gained entry into the flats of women living on government pensions. Using this ruse, she used a hammer to smash the skulls of 17 women between the ages 61 and 89. Each murder brought a small amount of cash from the victims's purses.

     Following Gaidamachuk's arrest in June 2010, the accused serial killer confessed that she had murdered these women for vodka money. At her trial in western Russia's Yekaterinburg, the country's fourth largest city, three psychiatrists testified that the defendant was sane when she hammered her victims to death.

     On June 6, 2012, after the trial judge found this cold-blooded serial killer guilty of 17 murders, he sentenced the so-called "Satan in a skirt" to 20 years in prison. While members of the victims' families were shocked and outraged by such lenient punishment, Gaidamachuk's attorney immediately filed an appeal demanding an even lighter sentence.

     One would expect that in Russia of all places, the cold-blooded murder of 17 women would bring, at the very least, life in prison without parole. (In the United States, while the death sentence would be out because she's a woman, Gaidamachuk could expect life without parole.) Assuming she served her full sentence, Gaidamachuk would be back on the streets of Krasnovfimsk at age 61. We can only hope that her husband Yury learned his lesson. When Irina asks him for Vodka money, he better give it to her.

     While Irina Gaidamachuk was being tried in Yekaterinburg, a 22-year-old woman in Russia's Udmurtia region beat a man to death with a blunt object on the eve of her wedding. The killer's fiancee looked on as his bride-to-be murdered the man who supposedly owed her money. If the Gaidamachuk serial murder case represents Russia's sentencing standards, the wedding-eve killer will probably spend six months behind bars.  

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