Crazed wife, 36, 'strangled, knifed and then burned to death her husband's lookalike mistress in a jealous rage'

Elena Romanova, 36, faces up to 20 years in jail if found guilty of conspiring with others to kidnap then murder Maria Sokolova, and mutilate her body.

In a dramatic law enforcement video, she confesses how – after discovering the affair – she forced her husband’s 32 year old mistress into her car while in a fury about their relationship.

She said: “When I got in the car, I had a knife in my hands. But I can’t remember what happened."

Romanova added that she had tied a scarf around the victim’s neck and tightened it around the car seat before driving for 30 minutes to a forest in a village outside St Petersburg.

She explained: “This way she got strangled in half an hour inside the car.

“When I took her out of the car, she still made a sound.”

Romanova then set fire to the woman, say court reports.

“I was in a state of severe mental distress, I don't really remember what was happening,” she said when asked to demonstrate on a mannequin how she allegedly mutilated the mistress.

Romanova told detectives she had exploded after Maria Sokolova posted online pictures of her 37-year-old husband Evgeny Romanov’s presents to his mistress, who worked with him as a subordinate at an airport cargo terminal.


She said she wanted to confront the woman, who had received an identical bunch of 101 red roses from him on Valentine’s Day.

Romanova was unaware that her husband had taken his mistress on a romantic trip to Paris and other exotic holidays when she believed he was abroad for work.

Of Sokolova's death, she said: “It happened after she told me: 'I will take your family from you’."

Romanova went to police to make a full confession the same day, but later retracted it, the court was told.

One Russian newspaper, Komsomolskaya Pravda, headlined its report with the allegation: "Wife killed twin-looking lover with whom her husband had a five year affair.”

The dead woman's mother, Svetlana Sokolova, said: “I knew that my daughter was having a relationship with a married man. I wasn't very happy about it but she loved him.

"My child was stabbed with a knife, strangled and burned."

She said that after her daughter’s death, her lover, Evgeny, had vanished.

He neither attended his mistress’s funeral nor visited his wife in detention, say reports.

Maria Sokolova’s sister Daria told a TV show on the shocking case: “She wasn't just killed – she was tortured.

“Maria was not just a friend for me, she was the closest person to me."

Daria slammed Sokolova's lover as a "true coward" as "he did not even come to the funeral of my sister.

“As far as I know he now lives with a different woman.”

Elena Romanova's mum, Tatiana Pavlenko – a police investigator turned lawyer – said she was initially convinced of her daughter’s guilt.

But she now believes Romanova is innocent and has alleged that cops have concocted evidence against her.

Pavlenko led her daughter's defence in court.

The trial comes five years after Maria's death, and followed a direct appeal from Maria's mother to Vladimir Putin to speed up the snail pace legal process.

A jury is due to give a verdict on the case soon.



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