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Cops Find Famous Prof in River, Human Arms in His Backpack

Oleg Sokolov is being questioned in murder of his 24-year-old student
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2019 7:11 AM CST
Another river in St. Petersburg, Russia, in this Feb. 9, 2019, file photo with the Smolny cathedral in the background.   (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)

(Newser) – The police statement begins thusly: "A 63-year-old man was rescued from the River Moika" in the Russian city of St. Petersburg, reports the AP. It then descends promptly into the realm of the utterly inconceivable. Police say that 63-year-old man is renowned historian Oleg Sokolov, that he was carrying a backpack containing two severed human arms, and that he fell into the river trying to dispose of said body parts while he was drunk, reports the AFP.

The story got more grim from there when police went to Sokolov's apartment and found the decapitated body of his 24-year-old student and collaborator Anastasia Yeshchenko. Sokolov was hospitalized on Saturday with hypothermia, but facing police interrogation on Sunday. Lawyer Alexander Pochuev tells the AP that Sokolov has signed a statement of guilt. He was previously awarded France's Legion of Honor for his work in French military history.

(Read more murder stories.)

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