Doppelgänger murder attempt with poisoned cheesecake leads to conviction and connects perpetrator to prior alleged murder in Russia

Cheesecake Photo Source: Adobe Stock Image

A Queens, New York, woman arrested and charged with trying to murder a woman who looked like her was found guilty. Viktoria Nasyrova, 47, laced a cheesecake with poison and attempted to kill her doppelgänger, 35-year-old Olga Tsvyk, and was found guilty of attempted murder by a jury.

Nasyrova was convicted of multiple charges including attempted murder, assault and unlawful imprisonment. She will be sentenced on March 21 and faces up to 25 years in prison.

Nasyrova bought a cheesecake and added a strong sedative for the victim, and then stole the woman’s passport and other items, said Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

After Ms. Tsvyk ate the tainted cheesecake, she became sick and lost consciousness. A friend stopped by later and discovered the woman passed out and almost comatose, and contacted medical help, which most likely saved her life.

“The jury saw through the deception and schemes of the defendant,” Katz said in a news release. “She laced a slice of cheesecake with a deadly drug so she could steal her unsuspecting victim’s most valuable possession, her identity. Fortunately, her victim survived and the poison led right back to the culprit.”

The release stated that Nasyrova targeted Ms. Tsvyk and carefully planned the attempted murder because her victim looked like her. Her scheme, Katz said, was to impersonate her victim after she died. Both women resemble one another, but luckily, Ms. Tsvyk survived.

When the victim was released from the hospital and went home, she discovered that her passport, a gold ring and jewelry, her US work authorization card, and other valuables were missing.

Authorities tested the cheesecake in Ms. Tsvyk’s home, which was still in its box, and found residue from the powerful drug phenazepam, which led to Nasyrova’s arrest.

This is not the first time the convicted defendant was involved in a case where someone close to her was poisoned.

In 2017, when Nasyrova was still living in Russia, she was charged with murdering a woman in 2014 by drugging her. The woman, Alla Alekseenko, was Nasyrova’s neighbor, and also the victim’s best friend.

The friendship turned sour after Nasyrova borrowed $6,100 from Ms. Alekseenko, promising to purchase and bring two fur coats to the murder victim’s daughter, Nadia Ford, who lived in the United States.

But when Ms. Alekseenko did not get her money or the fur coats back, she told her daughter Ms. Ford that she was worried and frightened.

Soon afterward, on the day Nasyrova was supposed to return the money and fur coats to her neighbor, Ms. Ford could not reach her mother any time she called, which was unusual. She reached Nasyrova and asked where her mother was, and was told that they just had tea and that her mother was out with a friend. After checking her mom’s phone records, Ms. Ford discovered that the last call to her had been from Nasyrova.

The Russian police did not arrest Nasyrova at first, and by the time they did go to arrest her, she had fled Russia. Tragically, a burned body was found about 110 miles away from Ms. Alekseenko’s home. The body was that of Ms. Alekseenko, and the area it was found? It was where Nasyrova grew up.

Nasyrova’s attorney said he plans to appeal her conviction.

Ms. Ford spent years researching and working with detectives to catch Nasyrova, who she claims murdered her mother. In the end, she found the now-convicted Nasyrova living happily, in the public eye - on Facebook.

Diane Lilli
Diane Lilli
Diane Lilli is an award-winning Journalist, Editor, and Author with over 18 years of experience contributing to New Jersey news outlets, both in print and online. Notably, she played a pivotal role in launching the first daily digital newspaper, Jersey Tomato Press, in 2005. Her work has been featured in various newspapers, journals, magazines, and literary publications across the nation. Diane is the proud recipient of the Shirley Chisholm Journalism Award.
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