A prominent Saint Petersburg based Napoleon expert confessed to murdering his young lover and former student and dismembering her body.
63-year-old Oleg Sokolov, a history lecturer who received France’s Legion d’Honneur in 2003, was arrested Saturday on suspicion of murder after he was hauled out of the icy Moika River with a backpack containing a woman’s arms.
Sokolov’s lawyer said that the lecturer admitted his guilt and was cooperating with investigative authorities.
He was reportedly drunk and fell in as he tried to dispose of body parts.
Police discovered the decapitated body of Anastasia Yeshchenko, 24, with whom Sokolov had co-authored a number of works, and a blood-stained saw at his home.
After disposing of the corpse he planned to commit suicide at the Peter and Paul Fortress, one of the former imperial capital’s most famous landmarks, dressed as Napoleon.
Sokolov teaches history at Saint Petersburg State University, President Vladimir Putin’s alma mater, and was close to the Russian authorities.
He told investigators that he shot and killed his lover during an argument and then sawed off her head, arms and legs.
The lecturer’s actions has sent shockwaves to his students.