A 68-year-old Russian woman originally arrested for the alleged killing and dismembering of a neighbour may actually have had a dozen other victims.

Police in St Petersburg suspected Tamara Samsonova may have also killed a 32-year-old lodger in 2003. The elderly woman's case drew substantial attention in Russia after police retrieved a diary she kept in three languages – Russian, English and German – detailing 11 other murders.

Samsonova reportedly confessed to several murders when speaking to reporters during her court appearance.

Russian prosecutors claim that Samsonova killed a 79-year-old paralysed woman she lived with and cared for, hacked her body into eight pieces and scattered plastic bags containing body parts in a nearby residential area next to a pond.

When police came to the victim's flat, they found Samsonova, blood stains in the bathroom and a saw. Samsonova immediately confessed to the killing, local media said.

The CCTV images from the apartment show Samsonova making repeated trips from her flat down stairs in the early hours of 25 July, carrying large bags.

Investigators also found a hand-written diary next to books on magic and astrology during an apartment search. In them Samsonova describes in detail at least 11 more killings.

During her court appearance she made erratic statements, first confessing to the murders and then saying that it was her neighbours who committed them. She also blew a kiss to television journalists.