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Furious widow demands punishment for 'cannibals' after confirmation husband was eaten by friends

By 0 and 0 and 0
03 April 2013


Olga and Andrei Kurochkin on their wedding day. Picture: Olga Kurochkina

Andrei Kurochkin, 44, had been on a fishing trip during which four friends got lost in a remote part of the Sakha Republic. In a lie detector test, one friend Alexander Abdullaev, 37, admitted eating his fellow fishermen - but denied murdering him.

Bizarrely, he claimed to police that he ate his friend 'but not because I was hungry. I had another reason', without saying what this was. Another friend Alexei Gorulenko, 35, has exercised his right to stay silent and has not spoken to investigators. The fourth fisherman Viktor Komarov, 47, remains missing and is presumed dead.

Olga's slender hope that her husband might still be alive was dashed by the DNA test proving that a few fragments of bone were his.

'The 12-page report did not leave me a tiny hope,' said Olga, 37. 'Now I can be sure my husband Andrei is dead and his body was found there in the taiga'. 

'Can you imagine what I have left? One foot with toes, one finger, and the back of his skull with some hair. This is it. This is all I have left from the man I loved. Having just these remains, how can I say goodbye to him? I have got almost nothing to cry over...sorry, I can't think about it, I am losing my mind with this. 

'Now I am sure they have eaten him. Now we know that Andrei died somewhere else and they dragged the body all the way through the snow, eating it step by step. But together with the remains of my husband there were also found the bones of animals. 

'It means only one thing - they kept hunting somehow and if so, probably they were not that desperate.

'I know the word 'extreme' may mean different things to different people but honestly, if they could kill animals, why would they need to try eating a human body? And why - for God's sake - did they carry his head with them?'

Andrei Kurochkin, 44, with his family

Olga and Andrei Kurochkin with their daughter Alyona, 21. Picture: Olga Kurochkina

Olga must wait for the results of the investigation, now extended until the summer.

'I can only hope it was not them who killed Andrei. I know that Abdullaev agreed to be checked on a lie detector and this was done. The experts say he did not kill Andrei but he did eat him because he was in despair and suffered terribly from hunger. 

'I don't want to suspect them of murder, this would be just too much. But I do want them to be punished for what they did, because it is just outrageous to leave it like this'.

Olga lives in Saratov region from where her her husband and Gorulenko set out last year on an epic fishing-trip-of-a-lifetime to eastern Siberia.

The couple have a daughter Alyona, 21.

'I never expected such horror could come into my life,' she said. 'It has ruined not just my life, but also the lives of all our relatives, and we are a big family. Now I want these cannibals to be punished. I fear our police is not keen to investigate this case properly. Our law does not say a word about cannibalism, it is not a crime, so our two survivors can be punished only for defiling a body and perhaps leaving a human being in danger'.

Andrei Kurochkin, 44, with his family

Olga and Andrei Kurochkin on their wedding day. Picture: Olga Kurochkina

While she cannot face the thought that the other fishermen killed her husband, police are probing this in an investigation which has been extended until June.

'I have posted my written statement and petition to the Prosecutor's office of Neryungri town where the investigation is going on. I demanded they take action and make Gorulenko and Abdullaev responsible for what they did. They must be punished for it. If this does not work I am ready to apply to the General Prosecutor's office in Moscow. I do not want this story to be forgotten by the police and media'.

Both survivors are now free, she said, and are categorised by the police as witnesses. 

'Abdullaev is cooperating with the investigators, Gorulenko preferred to rely on Article 51 of the Russian constitution that allows him to keep silence. He did not agree to be checked by a lie detector and it can be done only voluntarily.'

Former family friend Gorulenko is also refusing to talk to her. 

'I have not spoken to him since this happened', Olga said. 'He is avoiding contact with people now. I got to know recently that he is a convinced atheist. Maybe it helped him there in the taiga - but surely it did not help my husband to survive.

'I am still learning to live without Andrey. I never thought such a thing could happen.

'I was completely lost soon afterwards but now I am ready to make sure they won't give up on this investigation.'

widow Olga Kurochkina with daughter Nastya

Widow Olga Kurochkina with daughter Alyona. Picture: Olga Kurochkina

Investigator Dmitry Murashko declined to go into details on the disturbing case. 

'I can confirm that some of the test results have arrived', he said. 'However, there is more to be done. Until everything is ready and in place, I can't really comment. The murder inquest is extended until June this year - so far this is all I can say.'

Earlier Abdullaev said that Olga's husband 'died from the cold after getting a leg injury. He was frostbitten and froze to death. Only after that did we start eating him, to survive'.

He was also quoted saying: 'We needed protein. We cut his flesh from the bones and ate it and it helped us to survive for ten days.'

Though police refuse to comment, his lie detector test apparently bears out his claim. 

The fishermen became lost after their UAZ vehicle was swept into a river during a flood. 

Soon after being rescued, Gorulenko was asked if he had eaten his friend. He replied: 'How can you say such a thing?'

Gorulenko's mother Tamara Frolova said: 'Alexei did not tell anyone about what happened in the forest. He is silent most of the  time and sighs all the time'.

She added: 'He is still very weak, he needs to restore health, both physical and emotional.'

Olga revealed earlier that 'Andrei and Alexei were close friends for almost 20 years. They were passionate fishermen and often went away together.

fishermen 'cannibals' pictured minutes after they were rescued

Fishermen Alexander Abdullaev, left and Alexei Gorulenko, right, pictured minuted after they were rescued. Picture: The Siberian Times 

'This time they were with two others who I didn't know and this worried me.

'But I knew Andrei was with his best friend so I thought everything would be all right, that they would look after each other.

'We could never imagine it would end like this'.


Comments (3)

I've read about cannibalism cases among Siberian aborigines in the XIXth century. This happened during severe famine, when the whole camps died out. Russian thought it was due to barbarism of indigenous. And now do such a terrible things themselves, in XXI century... Unbelievable.
Condolences to the family
Anna, Siberia
04/04/2013 17:16
Roman, Siberia
04/04/2013 13:33
deeply shocking, so sorry for Olga and her could this happen?
Ania, Berlin
03/04/2013 23:30

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