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The Moscow City Court sentenced on Monday Alexander Pichushkin, one of the most prolific serial killers in Russia's history, to life in prison for 48 murders
The Moscow City Court sentenced on Monday Alexander Pichushkin, one of the most prolific serial killers in Russia's history, to life in prison for 48 murders. The 33-year-old former supermarket worker has been nicknamed Russia's "chessboard killer" for his habit of marking off his victims on the squares of a chessboard, which number 64. He claims to have taken the lives of at least 60 people, but investigators have yet to find evidence for the other alleged killings. Reading out the sentence, judge Vladimir Usov said: "The defendant killed with particular cruelty," targeting elderly and very young people, the disabled, and people with psychiatric problems. Most of the murders are believed to have taken place between 2001 and 2006 in wooded areas of south Moscow's sprawling Bitsa Park. Typically, Pichushkin lured his victims into the woods and plied them with vodka before battering them to death. "When killing, Pichushkin inflicted particular torment and suffering on his victims, beating them repeatedly with a hammer and nail puller, and in some cases thrust sticks and bottles into their skulls," Usov said. When the judge asked the defendant whether he had understood the sentence, he answered: "I am not deaf. I understood." The court ruled that the defendant undergo compulsory psychiatric treatment. In previous court testimonies, Pichushkin said he needed to kill like others need food, that murder made him "almost a god," and that his first killing was like falling in love for the first time. Speaking in his final statement on Thursday, he denied he had killed with particular cruelty. He earlier said he committed his first murder was in 1992, strangling a classmate and throwing him down a well. Pichushkin was arrested in Bitsa Park on June 16, 2006, 11 days after finishing off his final victim and leaving her body in a stream running through the park. Before Pichushkin's murder spree, Russia's most infamous serial killer was Andrei Chikatilo, executed in 1992 for killing 52 people, many of them children. Pichushkin earlier said his goal was to surpass the record of the Ukrainian-born "Rostov Ripper". Pichushkin's sentence is the maximum possible under the Russian Criminal Code. The country imposed a moratorium on capital punishment in 1996. One of the defendant's lawyers, Alexander Skoryagin, said the defense team would appeal against the sentence. Chief prosecutor Yury Syomin said investigators were probing Pichushkin's additional murder claims.
Print The Moscow City Court sentenced on Monday Alexander Pichushkin, one of the most prolific serial killers in Russia's history, to life in prison for 48 murders Bookmark The Moscow City Court sentenced on Monday Alexander Pichushkin, one of the most prolific serial killers in Russia's history, to life in prison for 48 murders

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