Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Vampire Killers

Vampire Witch

In the Ukraine in March, 2005 Diana Semenuha, 29, was arrested after police discovered that she had lured street children to her home to drink their blood.   She admitted to the deed.  Apparently, she believed that this practice could thwart a muscle-wasting condition she had, but her crime appears to have a different agenda as well.  As reported in the Odessa press, which dubbed Semenuha "the vampire witch," she invited the children in with promises of food and a bed, gave them alcohol and had them sniff glue to make them pliable, and then bled them.  Whatever she did not use herself, she sold to practitioners of black magic who participated with her in the Black Sea port's occult network.  Once a blood source weakened, she moved the child back out to the streets and found a replacement. 

Odessa, Ukraine
Odessa, Ukraine
The police were tipped off about this and raided her Odessa apartment.  The place was painted entirely in black, the windows covered with black cloth, and the lighting done with black candles.  Strapped into beds were seven children, all of them drugged.  The raid also turned up a large knife and a silver goblet engraved with symbols believed to be for witchcraft.  In fact, upon her arrest, Semenuha offered "witch" as her occupation.  During the subsequent investigation, after Semenuha admitted that she took blood from the children, it was learned that she taught witchcraft to others and allowed her students to drink blood from her.  She did not view what she was doing as a crime, since there was a fair exchange and no force or violence.  Since she had fed the children and given them shelter, she believed she had paid for their blood.

One male child reported that he actually saw Semenuha drink his blood.  She let him sniff glue and then used a syringe to draw blood from his hand.  He said that as she muttered in a language he did not understand, she then squirted the blood into a silver bowl and consumed it.

The seven children who were rescued from her home disappeared into the streets again, making the case against the vampire witch difficult to prosecute.

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