The Story of a Genius Who Fell in Love with a Child’s Corpse
Anatoly Yuryevich Moskvin is a former Russian linguist, philologist, and historian who was arrested in 2011 after the mummified bodies of 26 girls and women aged 3 to 29 were found in his residence in Nizhny Novgorod.
After exhuming the bodies from nearby cemeteries, Moskvin mummified them before dressing and displaying them around his home.
Anatoly Moskvin was born in Gorky, which is now known as Nizhny Novgorod in Soviet Russia. He spoke thirteen languages, traveled widely, taught at the college level, and worked as a journalist in Russia’s fifth-largest city, Nizhny Novgorod. Moskvin also referred to himself as a “necropolist,” a self-proclaimed authority on cemeteries. A coworker described his efforts as “priceless.”
Unfortunately, Moskvin has taken his expertise to unhealthy new heights. In 2011, Moskvin was arrested for exhuming and mummifying the bodies of 29 girls, ages three to twenty-five. He preserved, clothed, and painted them as life-size dolls and stored them in his residence.
At age 11, Moskvin’s preoccupation with death began with an apparent encounter with necrophilia. He was requested to be the “husband” of a young woman during her burial.
The clearly depraved adults at the memorial requested that he kiss her corpse and then place a wedding band on his finger that matched the one on hers. Perhaps this made the girl’s parents feel better, but it sparked an obsession that would prove fatal for 29 other girls in the future.
Moskvin’s parents believed that their 45-year-old son was a collector of bizarre, life-sized antique dolls. In actuality, each doll was a corpse dressed in fabric and cosmetics. Some of the corpses included mementos from their graves, while others had music boxes placed into their bodies so that when Moskvin touched them, they would play music.
Some of the mummies included personal possessions and clothing as well. One mummy…