The chessboard killer of Moscow

8/14/2007 – Distasteful news: Alexander Pichushkin, a 33-year-old park chess player, faces charges of serial murder – he told police after his arrest he planned to kill 64 people – one for each square on a chess-board. He was arrested last year at a count of 49 to 63 (depending on different sources) and went to pre-trial hearings yesterday. The international press is full of this story.

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Guardian Unlimited: Along the leafy lanes of Moscow's Bitsevsky Park, Alexander Pichushkin was a familiar figure. The 33-year-old supermarket worker played chess under the trees and even invited his opponents for a drink afterwards. But yesterday Mr Pichushkin was in court accused of murdering 49 people and attempting to kill three more, a tally which would make him one of Russia's most deadly killers. According to the prosecution, Mr Pichushkin lured his victims, who were mostly elderly men, to a quiet part of the park. He then attacked them from behind with a hammer. Mr Pichushkin boasted that he had killed 63 people. He said he drew a cross on his chessboard after each murder. His plan to fill all 64 squares came unstuck in June 2006 when he went for a walk in the park with Marina Moskalyova, 36, a supermarket colleague. Full story...

Moscow Times: A law enforcement source who participated in Pichushkin's arrest told The Moscow Times that police found a notebook in his apartment containing a drawing of a chessboard. All but one of the 64 squares on the board contained a date denoting the death of one of his purported victims. Full story...

Telegraph UK: Alexander Pichushkin, a supermarket shelf stacker known in Russia as the “Bitsevsky Maniac” after the Moscow park where most of the killings took place, allegedly told investigators that he had murdered 62 people. Officers who raided his flat last year reportedly found a chess board with a coin representing each victim placed on all but two of the 64 squares of a chessboard. According to police, the 33-year-old invited elderly people out for a stroll to drink vodka with him by the grave of his dog in an isolated corner of the Bitsevsky Park in the southwest of Moscow. Once they were drunk, Pichushkin allegedly bludgeoned them to death with a hammer or a bottle. Full story...

Times Online: The prosecution claims that [Pichushkin] wanted to kill more people than Andrei Chikatilo, Russia’s worst known serial killer, who murdered 53 people. “He dreamt of surpassing Chikatilo and going down in history,” said Yuri Syomin, the Moscow prosecutor. The Russian press suggested last week that he would enter Guinness World Records by being charged with 62 murders. But in the event he was charged with only 52 killings over a five-year period. That compared with the 53 murders of women and children in the Rostov area of southern Russia for which Chikatilo was executed in 1994. Full story...

Washington Post: Police found his chessboard with numbers attached to its squares, all the way to 62, the chief investigator in the case, Andrei Suprunenko, said in a recently published interview. Pichushkin also used the chessboard to keep stoppers from bottles of vodka he offered his victims. Full story...

See also: Arrest of Alexander Pichushkin in June 2006



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