You don’t often see Siberia in the news, particularly remote towns like Gaz-Sale. But this month (November 16, 2021 to be precise) it made a splash on news sites, with the sentencing of Vladimir Yadne for killing three people and eating their flesh, washed down with vodka.
The murders took place on March 6, 2021. The court heard that Yadne had gone out to buy some hard liquor when, on his way home, he saw a 51-year-old man and 59-year-old woman embracing. It is not clear if he knew them – the total population of the town is 1,800 so it is quite possible. At any rate, he got into an argument with them, and then stabbed them both to death.
Feeling hungry, perhaps from all the exertion, Yadne then cut pieces from the bodies and ate them raw, with his vodka, according to Inna Nosova, the head of the criminal justice department in Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Region.
“He came in with alcohol on him, and drank it as he was eating the meat.”
Apparently finding the taste to his liking, Yadne later that night stabbed to death another 52-year-old man and ate some of his flesh too. He then tried to dump the bodies (or what was left) but was arrested a few hours later, after police found them. He confessed to the murders and even helped police by recreating the crimes.
He underwent psychiatric evaluation, which determined that, at the time of committing the crimes, Yadne was ‘sane’.
The case has at least put Gaz-Sale on the map, with reports in the British tabloid press, US news services, Hindi Newstrack and even withinnigeria.com. One way to get famous I guess. The really fascinating question for me relates to the role of cannibalism in determining the newsworthiness of a story. A man who killed three people in northern Siberia would barely rate a mention in a Russian news outlet, let alone on websites all around the world. Take a bite of the corpses, though, with or without vodka, and everyone wants to know. The conclusion has to be that we are more interested in what happens to dead bodies than living ones.
Yadne has been sentenced to life in a very uncomfortable Siberian prison colony.