St. Petersburg, 1912.
A lone news article is printed that soon circulates around the world, telling of the unspeakable crimes done in a place called "Kurdia".
On July 20, 1912, Ivanova Tamarin, and her 17 year-old daughter, Olga were seized at Kurdia. In the weeks leading up to their capture, there had been reports that men and women enticed to the Tamarin house were never seen again. Thus, a search was made of the nearby woods. An unknown number of corpses, mutilated beyond all recognition, were discovered there.
The murders were so brutal that a force of gendarmes led by a Colonel surrounded the Tamarin household. Ivanova and Olga did no go quietly, though. Once the officers had subdued the women, after "violent resistance", a search of the house revealed it to be a slaughterhouse.
27 corpses were found in a storehouse, along with a great many personal possessions including watches, purses, and male and female clothing. It seemed the Tamarins' motive was clear, that is, until the eating room was found.
The eating room had a trapdoor to the cellar. In the cellar were "murderous instruments and fetters of [text illegible] sorts." It seems the women not only stripped and robbed their victims, but used them as a unique protein source. It isn't clear whether they tortured their victims or simply bound them in the darkened cellar until they butchered them.
The women confessed to leading a gang of 30 other peasants who, over the course of recent months, robbed and murdered 40 people. The rest of the murderers were rounded up, but nine escaped.
And here the story ends.
Sadly, this is all we know of the horrifying events surrounding the Tamarin household. Short of diving into a Russian archive, there are no other news articles about these heinous crimes. After this, one suspects the women were summarily convicted and executed. Perhaps their house, with its "eating room", was demolished.
Research is further impeded by the confusion surrounding where these crimes took place. Kurdia isn't a place that exists, at least in this day and age. It might refer to anything from a selection of small villages in Estonia, or possibly to a section of Russia occupied by ethnic Kurds.
I wish that more information was available. I wish we knew what the Tamarins were like. Were they beautiful, or beguiling? Were they upstanding members of the town or were they outcasts living on the edges of society? How were they able to kill for so long before being found out?
Perhaps someday more will be uncovered, but until then the Tamarins will remain a bloody footnote, an oddity, of serial killing history.
The following is the full text of the article printed in the San Francisco Call in July 21st, 1912.
WOMAN AND HER DAUGHTER SLAY TWENTY-SEVENAlso, as an amusing side note: the Tamarin's are a favorite subject for MRA websites which is hilarious and awesome. So, if you try to go digging, be warned!
Horrible Discovery in Forest is Clew to Bloody Carnival of Muder Fiendish Trap Laid by Ogresses; Victims Mutilated Past All Recognition.
ST. PETERSBURG, July 20 - A real live ogress with a desperate desire for flesh and blood, having a daughter similarly depraved and numerous cannibal retainers, has just been seized at Kurdio. People remarked that numerous men and women, decoyed to the house of Ivanova Tamarin and her 17 year old: daughter, Olga, were never seen returning. The discovery in a neighboring wood of corpses, mutilated beyond recognition, led to the house being surrounded by a force of gendarmes under Colonel XXXXX.
Ivanova and her daughter were secured after violent resistance, and a search of the premises resulted in the discovery of 27 corpses in a storehouse, as well as a great number of watches, purses, and other articles of value, and a quantity of male and female garments. The eating room of the house was furnished with a trap door through which the victims were precipitated into the cellar. In the cellar murderous instruments and fetters of XX sorts were found. The women confessed to being at the head of a band which, during recent months, had robbed and murdered 40 people who had been decoyed to the house by Olga, and mentioned thirty other peasants belonging to the band, who were also arrested while nine others escaped.