88-Year Old Woman Hacks Villager to Death

The ax-murder pestilence continues unabated in Russia, inducing even octogenarians to hack acquaintances to death.

An 88-year-old woman in Chuvashia used an oven fork and an ax to kill a fellow female villager who had asked to borrow some money, the regional Investigative Committee branch said in a statement.

The 73-year-old victim, who suffered more than 50 wounds from the two murder weapons, had paid the suspect a visit and, while complaining about her lot in life, asked to borrow some money to move in with relatives outside the region, investigators said.

"According to the accused, she told the village woman that she only had 2,000 rubles [$60] and proceed to show her [the money]," regional committee spokesman Oleg Dmitriyev said. "At that moment the victim snatched the money and refused to give it back."

The suspect grabbed an oven fork and stabbed the woman, then followed up with the ax, "inflicting numerous blows to various parts of the victim's body," Dmitriyev said.

The visitor died at the scene from the numerous wounds she suffered, Dmitriyev said.

The woman has been charged with aggravated murder, punishable by up to life in prison, though it's unclear whether her advanced age might result in a lighter sentence should she be convicted.

Typically the ubiquitous ax murder in Russia is fuelled by alcohol. According to the Interior Ministry, more than half of all murders in Russia are alcohol-related, and most of those are carried out with knives and axes.

President Dmitry Medvedev said this week that he wants stricter rules for owners of stun guns firing rubber bullets. Perhaps he could encourage background checks for those who buy axes as well.