Russia's former chief sanitary inspector Gennady Onishchenko famously dubbed Russia's New Year's holidays "10 Days of Horror" in 2013 for the tendency of Russians to get up to trouble when "left to their own devices." So what could one expect but more horror with a full 11 days in 2014?
The Moscow Times has dug deep to provide a roundup of the most bizarre and gruesome crime stories from over the holidays break, poring over the heinous details so that you won't have to.
Mind the Olivier Salad
On New Year's Eve, a 42-year-old man in the Voronezh region learned the hard way not to tamper with his food.
He and a 41-year-old woman he'd met over the Internet two weeks earlier decided to ring in the New Year together with the salad loved by all Russians, Olivier, according to regional news website Vremechko.org.
But the man unwittingly spilled the salad and wound up stepping in it, an error for which he paid with his life: The woman stabbed him repeatedly in the chest with a knife.
He was transported to a hospital, but died several days later.
A Family Affair
Meanwhile, 470 kilometers away in the Saratov region, three brothers were preparing to celebrate New Year's at an acquaintance's apartment.
But two of the brothers passed out long before the clock hit midnight, leaving the youngest one, a 31-year-old ex-convict, to sit alone with the apartment owner. Deciding he would rather spend holiday with family, he attempted to evict his host.
When the homeowner refused to vacate his own apartment, his unhappy guest stabbed him multiple times with a knife, according to news site Sarnovosti.ru. Realizing the holiday had been completely spoiled, the ex-convict then took the bizarre step of going to bed.
Despite the holiday being a sacred one for families, the suspect's older brothers turned him into police after discovering the apartment owner's body the next morning.
Battle of Drunken Wits
Another family took the holiday spirit a little too far on New Year's Eve when, in the Moscow suburb Marino, a 57-year-old man and his 35-year-old son got into an altercation at the dinner table that led to a knife fight.
The son lost and died on the spot, and his father was hospitalized with a stab wound to the stomach, the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper reported.
An almost identical scenario played out between another father and son in the Saratov region that same night. This time, the younger generation won the match: The 16-year-old son killed his father with a Samurai sword, regional news site OM-Saratov.ru reported.
The House Guest
In Vladivostok, one family looked to bring in the New Year with a quiet night together — until the son decided to invite his friend over at the last minute. Things soon took a turn for the worse when the two men started drinking.
After a shouting match broke out between them, the guest grabbed a knife and killed the family's son, regional news site News-Box24.tv reported. The culprit then proceeded to kill his friend's mother and grandmother, who were also in attendance at the New Year's gathering.
Police quickly apprehended the suspect, who told them he'd committed the murders because the victim had owed him money.