NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia -- A Russian historian who stole the corpses of 29 women and dressed them as life-size dolls in his tiny apartment was charged with desecrating cemeteries.
Anatoly Moskvin, 45, allegedly dug up the bodies of females aged between 15 and 25 years old from their graves, mummified their remains and lived alongside them in his three-room apartment in the city of Nizhny Novgorod, in western Russia.
Russian police said that Moskvin, an expert on local cemeteries, stuffed the corpses' ribcages with objects including music boxes, toy hearts, bars of soap, stockings and tombstone fragments, Life News reported Tuesday.
"There was something particular in the chest of practically every mummy," an investigator told the website. "When we tried to move one of the bodies, the room unexpectedly filled with music."
The melody of the children's song "The Bear Really Loves Honey" could be heard from the body of a young girl due to a touch-activated musical mechanism placed inside her, the officer said.
Described as a "genius" by neighbors, the historian and journalist speaks 13 languages and gave lectures in a local museum.
Conflicting reports have emerged on how he was caught. Some say his elderly parents contacted the police after they made the grim discovery during a visit to their son, while others claim that police stumbled upon his collection when they went to consult him on their inquiry into the desecration of local graves.
Some of the bodies were dug up as long ago as 15 years ago, and all were undamaged.
The historian's fascination with female corpses apparently stemmed from an encounter he had as a 12 year old when he was forced to kiss the face of a dead girl at a funeral.
"An adult pushed my face down to the waxy forehead of the girl in an embroidered cap, and there was nothing I could do but kiss her as ordered," Moskvin wrote in Nekrolog.