A man accused of paedophilia, murder and cannibalism has died in prison while awaiting trial.
Arkady Zverov gouged out an eye of his victim, boiled and ate it along with the heart and brain in the company of a 12-year-old girl he called his girlfriend.
The 22-year-old told how he put the severed head of Alexander Popovich, 21, in a microwave, turning it on the highest setting for three minutes.
The girl admitted to police she used a frying pan to cook and eat the heart of a man she had “killed” – but the taste was “too sweet” while “the brains turned out to be much more tasty”.
The Russian authorities revealed Zverov went into a coma and several months later died under guard in hospital following “an attempt to take his own life” in his cell.
He had confessed to his crimes and showed detectives how he killed his victim in a macabre video four months ago.
His victim’s mother, Galina Popovich, said she would weep no tears for the death of her son’s killer.
“There is Karma after all – and it made its decision,” she said.
Zverov also confessed to having sex with underage schoolgirl he took on a car journey 1,500 miles from the Black Sea resort of Sochi to St Petersburg without her parents’ permission.
The girl remains in a children’s detention facility but is below the age of criminal responsibility and will face no charges for the cannibalism.
She has allegedly confessed to stabbing the victim and opening his abdomen with a knife after his death before cooking human meat.
A decision on her future will be made soon.
Mr Popovich’s heart, brain and one eye were cooked and eaten after Zverov used an axe to dismember the man in a house in Novinka village near St Petersburg, police say.
Zverov said he was “curious about the taste” of brains after a previous girlfriend died falling out of a window and cracking her head open, he told a judge in a closed session hearing, according to Russian media reports.
He had been charged with murder and was expected to be accused of raping a minor.
Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper cited Russian Investigative Committee officials saying “the young girl took part in this massacre.”
But because she was below 14, she was “interrogated as an underage witness and placed into a special detention centre for children”.
Zverev, from the Altai mountains in Siberia, previously had a relationship with another underage girl who died after falling from a window.
Her parents demanded that police should reopen the an investigation into her death.