A Russian chef who founded the legendary Project OGI — a popular hangout space for the country's literary elite — has reportedly confessed to murdering and dismembering his journalist wife earlier this month.
According to local media, Alexei Kabanov, 38, attacked Irina Cherska, 39, during a domestic dispute over Kabanov's mistress.
Kabanov allegedly strangled Cherska to death with speaker wire and then dismembered her body using the knowledge he gained from his work as a chef. He subsequently stuffed her remains into garbage bags and hid them on the balcony.
As they say, that's when things get weird.
"Friends! My wife Ira has disappeared," his status update began.
She left home on January 3rd in the morning and never returned. The police are looking for her. The police say that she will return and it will all be fine. But as time goes by, I gradually lose hope. To give you a better understanding of the situation, I would say that she left after we had a fight. But I can believe any circumstances, except the ones that she just left without telling me. If you know something, please just let me know that she's alive.
The disappearance of Cherska, a radio editor who hosts a show on family violence, immediately conjured up thoughts of abduction among some in Kabanov's circle.
Kabanov continued posting updates throughout, but his inaction started raising suspicion with volunteers who were printing leaflets asking for the public's assistance (see left).
One of the more telling signs that something in Kabanov's story was off was his reference to his wife in the past tense.
It is believed that police, suspicious of Kabanov themselves, were monitoring his Facebook posts and phone conversations. After he borrowed a car from his mistress, allegedly with the intent to transport his wife's body parts out of town, officers decided to make their move.
Having learnt that Kabanov borrowed a car from a female friend of his, a detective visited the suspect's apartment. Having seen the car keys, the detective asked Kabanov to go to the car and open the trunk. Inside, there were a few bags. Kabanov began pulling the contents from some of them, but the detective wanted to inspect every bag.
The next moment Kabanov turned pale and said, "Don't, Irina is in there." One of the bags contained the woman's head and limbs.
Kabanov was arrested without incident, and now faces up to 15 years in jail for murder.
Alexey and Irina shared three children — two from their current marriage and one from Cherska's previous marriage. They have been removed from the home and will be placed in the care of relatives.