A Russian Killer Kept Women In Captivity And Tattooed "SLAVE" On Their Foreheads


Alexander Komin was a serial killer who tattooed slaves as punishment for failing to follow all his commands. He expected each of his captives to spend their waking hours sewing in his underground sweatshop. For two and a half years, Russian serial killer Alexander Komin beat and raped his captives. Komin also murdered every victim who failed to please him. Police found some of the bodies but believed that Komin's victims had died from drinking tainted moonshine. In other words, there were zero investigations into these deaths until one brave victim escaped. 

By hiding his victims underground, Komin escaped notice and actually earned a good reputation in the local area. Komin also kept up the ruse for so long by abducting mostly homeless women who had a criminal record. This definitely made their disappearance a low priority for police, and it's possible Komin would still have his illegal operation going if he hadn't made a big mistake.   

  • 1

    He Spent Four Years Creating The Underground Slave Bunker

    The inspiration for Alexander Komin's underground slave bunker came from a fellow inmate during the early 1970s. Although Komin did attempt to make an honest living after serving his time, he found it difficult to do so. Therefore, approximately 20 years later, he made usage of his government provided garage to construct a living nightmare.

    Komin and his friend Alexander Mikheyev created a two room slave labor factory. After four years of secret construction, their disturbing plans led to an underground space protected by a trapdoor and three additional doors. Komin wanted to put his slaves to work, which meant keeping them alive for an extended period of time. He provided basic necessities such as a toilet, bedding, electricity, and a kitchen.  

  • 2

    When Captives Asked For Better Food, He Offered Them Human Meat

    Survivor Tatyana Kozikova told police and the media about the horrible conditions all the captives had to endure. Although Alexander Komin did provide food, the women were often near starvation. Part of the problem was the scant quantities of bread and potatoes he provided. After all, potatoes do have many nutrients, but they're not enough to keep people healthy. Kozikova indicated that she and the others ended up begging the serial killer for something better to eat.

    His chilling response was that he could carve up one of the deceased victims and give them the meat. Needless to say, no one said yes. 

  • 3

    He Claimed Beating And Tattooing Captives Was Necessary

    He Claimed Beating And Tattooing Captives Was Necessary
    Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY

    Some of Alexander Komin's victims had their face tattooed with the word "раб," which is Russian for "slave." Survivors also recounted several beatings occurring during their captivity. According to Komin, though, he had to punish the women in this way if they tried to escape.

    Yes, that's right; Komin actually blamed the women for the atrocities they faced. He also indicated that doling out these punishments made his victims fear him.

    Each woman received a choice: getting tattooed or having the sides of their mouth cut up to their ears to form a Glasgow smile.     

  • 4

    He Used His Female Slaves For Sex

    Even though Alexander Komin's original plan was to have his victims produce slave labor to pay his bills, he quickly took things much further. The bunker was only 100 square feet and contained two rooms. In this tiny space, captives sometimes found themselves forced to have sex with Komin.

    In one instance, he even fell in love with a woman he kept locked up. After the police caught him, Komin freely admitting to using his slaves for sex.  

  • 5

    Two Of The Captives Were Forced To Kill

    The serial killer made a big mistake when he decided to capture Yevgeny Shishov to dig more rooms. Alexander Komin couldn't control Shishov, and it became evident he'd have to kill the man to keep his secret. To eliminate the problem, Komin tied Shishov to a chair with electrical wires. Next, he handed a switch to two female captives.

    At first, they tried to protest, but he threatened them into complying. As each woman flipped the switch, Shisov's body received a lethal jolt of electricity.  

  • 6

    His First Victim Lured More Victims Into The Pit

    His First Victim Lured More Victims Into The Pit
    Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY

    On January 13, 1995, Alexander Komin put his diabolical plan into action. His first victim, Vera Toipayeva, woke up enslaved after Komin drugged her drink. He soon found himself very disappointed, though, when it became apparent that Toipayeva wasn't going to sew products for him to sell.

    Instead, she became a lure who helped bring unsuspecting victims into the bunker. This bought her some time, but she eventually tried to escape. Her punishment was death and she had to choose her method of execution. Toipayeva died a few hours after drinking antifreeze.