08-14-2007, 12:59 AM #1
Russia - Alexander Pichushkin, serial killer, 49+ victims, 1992-2006
Alleged chessboard killer faces trial
MOSCOW - One by one, the squares on the chessboard filled up with numbers — each commemorating a murder. Alexander Pichushkin allegedly killed most of his victims in a sprawling Moscow park, smashing their skulls with a hammer or throwing them into sewage pits after getting them drunk. He boasted he had nearly reached the last square, No. 64, by the time police captured him last year. "For me, a life without murder is like a life without food for you," he told investigators in a nationally televised confession. "I felt like the father of all these people, since it was I who opened the door for them to another world."
Pichushkin, 33, looked calm and aloof Monday as he sat in the defendant's cage of the Moscow City Court during a preliminary hearing in which a judge accepted his request for a jury trial and ruled it would start Sept. 13.
After his June 2006 arrest, Pichushkin claimed he had killed more than 60 people over several years, but prosecutors said they had evidence to charge him with only 49 murders carried out in Moscow's Bittsa Park between 2005-2006.
At the cramped apartment where he shared a bedroom with his mother, police found his chessboard with numbers attached to its squares — all the way up to 62.
09-28-2015, 06:31 PM #2
Feature article from April 2009:
In the beginning — 2001, 2002 — people just disappeared. Pensioners. Bums. Hardly anyone noticed. Or in some cases, family members waited the requisite three days and then filed a missing-person report with the police, but the police, who are known for drinking and taking bribes, rarely did anything. No one made any connections. And then, as the disappearances mounted, the families found one another. There was fear, which led to speculation. Nobody knew anything; therefore, everybody did. The babushkas wondered aloud about the vanishing Lyoshas, Nikolais, Viktors... The rumors metastasized. Could it be a psychiatric patient who’d escaped from the institution in the park? Could it be the Chechens? The Mafia?
By early or mid-2003, the families had begun to wonder whether it was someone they knew. There were too many connections between the missing. By then the count was approaching thirty. No one had come back. No one expected much to be done about it, either. That’s because the people on Kherson-skaya, like so many Russian peasants in their crumbling urban hives, understand that in their country only certain people matter, and that they are not among them.
“There was total shock when we heard it was Sasha Pichushkin,” says Natasha Fyedosova, a pale blond woman of 27 whose father, Boris Fyedosov, was the thirty-sixth victim...
On October 24, 2007, Alexander Pichushkin was found guilty of murdering forty-eight people. Throughout the trial, he insisted that he’d actually taken sixty-three lives, but authorities could muster evidence to prosecute him for only four dozen. He was sentenced to life in prison.
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