A maniac who has killed women all over Russia for 16 years

Nobody knows about some crimes of the past years, except for the people who investigated them. In honor of the 10th anniversary of the founding of the Investigative Committee, we raised the archives on the case of the Yaroslavl maniac Alexei Gromov.

We talked with the investigators of the regional office, who made colossal efforts to unravel the case of the murderer who dealt with his mistresses.

In 2011, a police officer on duty from Lyubim was told that a local old woman had a baby out of nowhere. The pensioner explained that the child was brought by her son, who until recently lived in Orel. The man gave the baby away, said that the mother of the child could not come, and disappeared.

The officers requested information about the fugitive and found out that the mutilated bodies of two women had been found in Oryol. The appearance of an unknown baby became a hook for the investigation. From that moment on, a long investigation into a series of linked murders began in different regions of Russia. Murders, which at first did not even think to compare with each other.

First victim. 1995 year

In 1995, Alexey Gromov, a 25-year-old resident of Lyubim, was convicted of the murder of his ex-wife. The guy broke up with his wife badly. But he did not immediately start a scandal – he harbored a grudge. And he hatched a plan of revenge for a long time. Investigators can no longer remember how Gromov managed to convince his ex to go into the forest with him. But she agreed, and together with Alexey they went to pick berries. There Alexey beat his wife to death. The woman’s body was found only a month later. Gromov was put in a colony, but from there he tried to escape by digging a tunnel. He almost succeeded. But Gromov was caught and imprisoned again. He was released only in 2002.

After prison, Gromov returned to Lyubim. A typical resident of the province: he lived in a private house, earned his living by various “covens”. An ordinary man, the neighbors said later. Well, there were oddities – mood swings, but generally unremarkable.

Second victim. 2006 year

On the evening of June 26, 2006, in the depths of the Tver region, a railway worker walked away from the track line to cut branches for the bath brooms. Making his way through the bushes, he smelled rotting. After taking a few more steps, I saw a terrible thing – in the thick grass lay a naked female body with a disfigured head. Only five years later, investigators will be able to restore the chain of events that led to the terrible find.

Tanya Palkina, a resident of the Yaroslavl region, was killed. A month before her death, she was released from the colony, where she was imprisoned for petty fraud. The girl came to her native Lyubim. Tanya was a burden for her relatives, because of drunkenness her child was taken away. In Lyubim, she went into the gap: she drank and slept with everyone in a row, but one day she still met her love.

She immediately liked Alexey: he is rugged and knows how to make money. The novel was dizzying. The man brought his beloved home, kept her, gave her flowers and clothes. Everything changed when Tanya infected him with syphilis. Gromov’s mother also added fuel to the fire, now and then exposing her daughter-in-law in meetings with others.

Hit with a hammer until the skull cracked

Gromov could not bear such an insult. But he didn’t throw up the scandal. A month later, he offered Tanya a ride to the Tver region. The girl, who almost always lived in a half-drunk state, did not smell a trick. As Gromov later said, he did not want to kill her. I thought to teach a lesson by leaving her in another area without money.

But the plan didn’t work out. Having made many changes on the cross-over, the couple stopped to rest at the railway station of a tiny village in the Tver region. Then Tanya, as if sensing something, waited until Gromov fell asleep, and set off along the tracks away from the station. When Gromov noticed this, the girl managed to get a kilometer away from the station.

Gromov considered it an insult and realized that Tanya could be taught a lesson in only one way – by killing. The maniac caught up with her, convinced her to turn off the paths and led her to the edge. When Tanya turned her back on him, he grabbed a hammer from his bag and began to beat her on the head. He beat him until Tanya’s skull cracked. Gromov was sure that the woman’s bloody body could not be identified due to damage, but he took the hammer and clothes and threw them away.

“This is she – Tanya”

After the murder of Tanya Palkina, Gromov returned to Lyubim as if nothing had happened. He pretended to grieve for the missing girl and even managed to start an affair with her sister Lyudmila.

– Lyudmila noticed that Gromov was sometimes “not himself”. He closed up, refused to join the conversation, clenched his fists or “crunched” his jaws, – the investigators recall the woman’s testimony.

When Tanya’s body was found, Lyudmila was summoned for interrogation. The policemen explained that due to the fact that the body had been lying for a long time, they could not for sure establish the identity of the victim. When the woman returned home and told Gromov about this, he said with an imperturbable air: “Yes, it is she – Tanya …”

Gromov’s words embarrassed Lyudmila, and he abruptly got ready to go somewhere. Before taking off on the run, he put a note in the passport of his daughter Lyudmila. He wrote: “Vika! If they ask you from the police for Tanka earlier than me, you will give it to them. I’ll try to find out myself. “

Nobody understood the meaning of the note, but everyone guessed what had happened – and Gromov was put on the wanted list. They could not find it. The maniac continued to kill.

Third victim. 2008 year

On May 27, 2008, a young nurse, Anastasia Levitskaya, did not go to work at the Solovievskaya hospital. All day the girl did not answer calls from colleagues, did not respond to a knock on the door. A week later, Nastya’s neighbors in the stairwell reported to the police about the characteristic smell coming from the girl’s apartment. After breaking down the door, the police and rescuers went inside – in a bathtub filled with water, a swollen female body with a broken head lay. It was Nastya.

It all began fabulously. After graduating from medical college, the girl settled in Yaroslavl. Nastya was uncommunicative, and the closest relatives lived thousands of kilometers from her. In March 2008, according to an advertisement in the newspaper, the girl met Alexei, who was 9 years older than her. The romance spun quickly: the couple moved in almost immediately and even planned children. A month later, the relationship went wrong, and Nastya invited Gromov to leave, but continue to communicate.

Offended because of sex

At the end of May, the maniac undertook to fix Nastya’s water pipe, on May 26 he came to her and found another man in her apartment. The girl’s new lover is gone. Gromov pretended not to care, and stayed overnight at her place. The next morning, she and Nastya began to quarrel.

– So you stayed with me, but why didn’t you go to bed with me?

– So I saw that you have already found a replacement for me …

– You are a jerk!

Something like this later described the quarrel Gromov. And again the maniac was hurt by the girl’s words.

Gromov grabbed a hammer and an awl from the nightstand. He hit him on the head with a hammer, and thrust an awl into Nastya’s chest. When the girl fell, he climbed on top of her and began to stick an awl in her neck. He made sure the victim was dead and dragged the corpse into the tub. Gromov examined the wounds he inflicted on Nastya. Surprisingly, there were practically no traces of the awl.

– He realized that the hammer wound could not be hidden, and decided to stage an accident. Gromov did everything as if the girl fell in the bathroom and broke her head, recall the operatives who were the first to arrive at the ill-fated apartment.

The maniac hastily cleaned up the apartment, threw away the murder weapons, the victim’s phone and took to the run.

Fourth and fifth victims. 2011

In March 2009, young Oksana Popova from Oryol met a man and immediately plunged into a relationship. She did not know anything about Gromov’s bloody past, he told her that he used to live in a nearby town. And although Oksana once saw his real registration in her passport, she still stayed with him without asking unnecessary questions. Almost immediately, the couple began making plans to start a family. At the end of May, the girl became pregnant, but her own mother convinced her to have an abortion. After that, Gromov harbored a grudge against his mother-in-law.

In February 2010, Oksana became pregnant again, and in October gave birth to a girl. The baby was given the surname of her mother, and Oksana put a dash in the column “father”. Later, Gromov will explain to the investigation that it was on his initiative, since he was terribly afraid of being caught.

For the next six months, family relations only worsened. Oksana and Gromov, together with their daughter, moved to the girl’s mother. Neighbors often heard swearing from behind the walls, but none of them attached any importance to it. One of these quarrels was the last for both Oksana and her mother Inna. On February 8, 2011, the women began to argue, Gromov tried to shut them up, but they caught him: “You are nobody here.”

Killed, fed his daughter, went to bed

As in previous cases, the maniac could not forgive insults addressed to him. He silently walked to the kitchen, took the knife and returned to the room. He stabbed his wife in the back, then stabbed her again, again and again … When the girl began to sink to the floor, Gromov jumped up and began to stab her mother.

Inna fell on the sofa, and the maniac found an ax in the apartment and hit the woman on the head with it. After that, Gromov took his daughter in his bloody hands, fed her and put her to bed. The apartment covered in blood and two mutilated bodies did not bother him – the man fell asleep calmly.

In the morning, the first thing he did was to go to the room where the bodies were lying. He covered his wife’s corpse with a blanket and put a pillow under his head. He opened the windows wide, put his daughter in a travel bag, inscribed his last name in her birth certificate with a ballpoint pen, and ran out of the apartment with the child. I got to Moscow on the checkpoints, and from there – again to Lyubim, to my mother, whose neighbors were surprised by the sudden appearance of the baby.

So the maniac’s own daughter became the main lead in a long-term tangled case.

Revel in the memories

After this murder, Gromov was still detained. Five years after the first murder in the Tver region. The maniac actively cooperated with the investigation, describing in detail the crimes committed. Operatives recall that from the moment he returned to the Yaroslavl region, the man had already managed to find himself a new passion. Again on the ad in the newspaper.

– He was well-read, and often quoted classical works during interrogations. Gromov had a phenomenal memory. He thoroughly described each item, the location of things at the scene of the murder. Gromov seemed to flaunt what he had done, he was proud, – recall the operatives who conducted the interrogations.

The detention was followed by months of gathering evidence. Investigators had to start from scratch, piecing together a chain of events and testimony. For this, they even exhumed the body of one of the victims.

“So awful and so quiet”

Years later, in a conversation with investigators, a colleague of the murdered Nastya Levitskaya will recall several fatal phrases she said on the eve of the murder. Alas, this became known only years later.

– Nastya asked if I could fall in love with a man if he was not a very good person. I replied that I could not. In response to this, Nastya said: “But I can. And I can lose my head, ”- recalled the conversation of the murdered colleague.

Only when Gromov was caught a few years later did the neighbors of Anastasia Levitskaya find out what had happened at their entrance.

– An investigator came to me and told me what happened on our fourth floor several years ago. Lord, it was so awful … And so quiet, – told the portal 76.RU a neighbor Levitskaya.

“How else?”

In 2012, a judge of the Yaroslavl Regional Court announced the sentence to Gromov: life.

– I think his punishment is fair. I don’t want to know anything about him or his family. I don’t want to remember what happened, ”Irina, the mother of the murdered Nastya Levitskaya, told the 76.RU portal.

Investigators have solved one of the most difficult cases, but in such creepy stories there is always a question that torments parents: why were their daughters treated this way?

During the hearing, where the verdict was announced, the judge also asked about this. From behind bars, the maniac said that he killed because of insults addressed to him.

“So why did you kill when you could just leave?

Gromov’s answer amazed everyone in the audience.

– How else? On another it is impossible.

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