Cliburn winner’s wife is charged with murder of their daughters

Police in Benbrook, Texas, last night brought charges of capital murder against Sofya Tsygankova, a Russian pianist, in connection with the deaths of her two children, Nika and Michela.

The children, aged five and one, were found dead by their father, Vadym Kholodenko, winner of the 2013 Cliburn Competition gold medal, when he came to visit last Thursday. The cause of death has not been disclosed, but there was no physical injury. Sofya was in the house, covered in stab wounds.

She is presently in hospital in Forth Worth. ‘We have probable cause, reason to believe, that she committed the homicides,’ said Benbrook police commander David Babcock.

The couple were going through a contested divorce.

sofia tsyganova

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    • Seroquel is used for an Insomnia Med by the VA when a patient can’t sleep. Giving it to young men that do not need it can trigger psychotic responses, especially if they are on other Anti-depressants already making their flesh crawl. I know the poison they push at the VA, Seroquel and a few other drugs will cause people that are perfectly normal to go completely insane.

      You can thank the VA and whomever else was giving anti-depressants to Aaron Alexis for the people he murdered.

    • Seroquel is used for an Insomnia Med by the VA when a patient can’t sleep. Giving it to young men that do not need it can trigger psychotic responses, especially if they are on other Anti-depressants already making their flesh crawl. I know the poison they push at the VA, Seroquel and a few other drugs will cause people that are perfectly normal to go completely insane.

      You can thank the VA and whomever else was giving anti-depressants to Aaron Alexis for the people he murdered.

  • Hmmm… recently had a child… perhaps an undiagnosed, untreated post-partum depression?

    Certainly some serious mental illness at work, although I’ll note that that hasn’t been a successful legal defense in similar cases we’ve had here in Texas.

    • The child in question was one year old. A more relevant reason might be that Miss Tsygankova was undergoing a divorce. We shall find out more when she is tried in court for the murder of her children.

      • It automatically stops after one year? No.

        “…In women who were receiving medical care, 50% of patients experienced depression for more than 1 year after childbirth. The review also found that in women who were not receiving clinical treatment, 30% of women with postpartum depression were still depressed up to 3 years after giving birth… ”

        There’s gotta be more wrong than just that the father was coming by for his regularly scheduled visit.

        • According to the autopsy results, not only was Williams under the influence of antidepressant drugs, but the powerful antipsychotic Seroquel was also found at the scene and appears to have been recently taken by Williams. While toxicology tests apparently were negative for the antipsychotic Seroquel, the fact remains that a bottle of Seroquel prescribed to Williams on August 4th, side effects associated with Seroquel include psychosis, paranoid reactions, delusions, depersonalization and suicide attempt.

  • In addition to the younger child being one year old, as I seem to remember reading, the “mother” was expecting the father to come over to visit the children .. and perhaps to take them out. The most unfortunate thing is that she didn’t start the day by killing herself.

    • I find it striking that, whilst Norman Lebrecht censors a comment about the supposed drinking habits of Yuri Temirkanov, your hostile and inexcusable words are allowed to linger on this blog 2 days in a row.

  • For more (horrible) details, see:
    Clearly she wanted to commit suicide, and she didn’t even remember that she choked her own children with a pillow (as suggested in the affidavit).
    I think it’s too easy to just say, “what a disgusting woman”. This is a very tragic case, and when I read it, it leaves me with many questions. Considering that she more or less gave up her own career and moved to the United States in 2014, and considering that she probably had a depression after the birth of her second child, the timing of Kholodenko filing for a divorce one year later and moving out of the house was very very unfortunate. How much mental support did she get in recent months? Who diagnosed her, and how was she able to get these large amounts of “medication”? Maybe in these last weeks she felt totally abandoned, leading to this horrible act of despair, under the influence of drugs. While not guilty of the killings, I would say that her husband’s role in this entire horrible affair also must be investigated thoroughly.

  • Well a few of you have a portion of what happened here. Those of you already passing judgement and wanting to hang her high as my great great grandfather witnessed often when he was mayor of Tombstone during the OK Coral Days. He and his sheriff and good friend Wyatt Earp would be a little upset at how little you bothered to find out before passing such harsh judgement, and that judgement is being passed not only on the mother, but the father as well???!!!!.:

    For 25 years now I have worked non-stop to prevent these tragedies and testify in the cases. Several of those cases have been very high profile – Columbine, the murder/suicide of comedian Phil Hartman and his wife Brynn, and I did work with Rusty Yates on the case of his wife, Andrea. In 1999 I did the Leeza Gibbons Show on this very subject of mothers killing their children under the influence of serotonergic drugs – mainly antidepressants. Here is one study that will explain why since they found that excess serotonin produces violence thereby supporting decades of other research stating the same which you can find in the 21 pages of references in the back of my large text on this Prozac family of drugs, Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightmare!

    Here is a database of thousands of similar tragedies: http://www.SSRIstories.NET

    Here is a similar database of school shootings:

    This mother’s medication was changed the day before just like in the case of Andrea Yates, the Houston nurse who drowned her five children. The FDA warned when they issued the Black Box Warning for antidepressants that ANY abrupt change in dosing of these drugs can cause suicide, hostility, and psychosis. So far the only medication mentioned is the one added the day before, the serotonergic atypical antipsychotic, Seroquel – a drug I testified against before the FDA Advisory Committee in 2008.

    I have NO DOUBT that you will find that as in the case of Andrea Yates, Sofya Tsygankova was as much of a victim of these deadly drugs in this tragedy as were her children. How I wish she or her husband, Vadym Kholodenko, would have had a chance to see the Russian documentary filmed in 2997 when a Russian film crew came to the US to interview me with the hope that they could curb the tide of these deadly prescription drugs coming into Russia. What a shame they came to this country where doctors hand them out like they are candy to almost anyone they see!

    If you watch the only school shooter I know of to speak out about what happened to him under the influence of similar drugs and then watch the information coming out in this case I have no doubt you will see the similarities:

    • You are right that the prescription of these heavy drugs that can have serious side-effects was absolutely wrong in the situation she was in.
      However, may I remind you that this situation could have been avoided (as far as I know from the reports) if she was not abandoned with two little kids to care for while she was at her most vulnerable.

      • Yes Erwin I will certainly agree with you that she should not have been allowed to go home and adjust to such a drastic medication change on her own. But something that should send chills up and down our spines and keep us all in constant alert is that this is something doctors do to patients all day long, around the world, and in everyone’s neighborhood and everyone’s family, including even my own!

        I would refer you to another case a few years back when a woman, her teenage daughter, and her parents were all chased through their home and yard and gunned down by her husband who was on one of the two antidepressants Andrea Yates was taking. The husband then shot himself. A seasoned police officer who had spoken to the husband just half an hour before told me personally that there was NO WAY anyone could have convinced him that this man was about to commit a mass murder/suicide.

        And to make this case even more shocking is to learn what position his wife held….a position with the manufacturer of this antidepressant. Her job was to take adverse reaction reports all day long on this very drug her husband was taking, yet even she did not see this reaction coming in her own husband soon enough to save herself and the lives of her entire family! True to the testimony a drug company expert just the year before in a similar case of familial mass murder/suicide. He testified that when these antidepressants impair one’s ability to metabolize serotonin (serotonin reuptake-exactly what we have been told is the “therapeutic” effect of this class of drugs) this process should be expected according to his years of research to produce impulsive murder and suicide. In that Wyoming case the drug maker was found to be the guilty party (that was after the jury learning the impact of the antidepressant upon this man after taking only TWO pills!) The drug maker was ordered to pay out $8 Million to the two remaining family members who were lucky enough to not be home that morning. Little compensation that seems when you consider the four lives lost – one an eight month old baby.

        There is far too much secrecy around the dangers of these drugs for even doctors to be informed. You must read through pages of court documentation to find that public safety information which should be available to us all and certainly to doctors who deal with these deadly drugs which can produce a sleep disorder in which you act out your worst nightmare and known to include both murder and suicide.

        These drug makers are getting away with murder by prescription according to testimony of their own experts and making Billions doing it!

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