Published: Thu, December 13, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Russian ex-policeman convicted of murdering 56 women

Russian ex-policeman convicted of murdering 56 women

At least 10 were also raped.

Popkov, who has been nicknamed the "Angarsk Maniac" and "The Werewolf" by local media, has now been convicted of 78 murders, making him one of the world's most prolific serial killers in modern history.

Mikhail Popkov, 53, murdered 55 women and a policeman near Irkutsk between 1992 and 2007.

Popkov was caught in 2012 after investigators re-examined the case and carried out DNA testing of residents, focusing on those who drove a make of vehicle that matched tracks found at crime scenes.

Popkov was caught in 2012 after investigators re-examined the case and carried out DNA testing of residents.

He killed his victims with a hammer or axe after offering them rides late at night, sometimes in a police vehicle, while he was off duty around his home city of Angarsk near Irkutsk.

Chief Public Prosecutor for the Irkutsk region, Alexander Shkinev, said that psychological and psychiatric examination showed that Popkov committed the crimes out of homicidomania - a mania for murder.

Gunman kills four worshippers during mass at cathedral
The investigator also said that before shooting himself in the head, the suspect took a bullet in the ribs from responding police. Paramedics were also seen treating several people outside the cathedral and there were multiple police cars in the street.

While tabloids have reported that Popkov targeted inebriated woman and prostitutes, the Investigative Committee said his victims were "women of various social status and position in society".

The number of murders for which he has been convicted is more than the total of several notorious murderers in Russian Federation and the ex-Soviet Union.

He was arrested in 2012 en route to Vladivostok, where he was going to purchase a new auto, the BBC reported.

The first killings happened in the early 1990s when women as young as 15 began disappearing while they were out at night in the town of Angarsk.

The so called "Chessboard Killer" Alexander Pichushkin was sentenced to life in prison in 2007 for 48 murders and Andrei Chikatilo was convicted of 52 Soviet-era murders.

Mikhail Popkov, who is already serving life in prison for killing 22 women, was found guilty of the murders, which took place between 1994 and 2000.

Popkov was found to be sane but with a "pathological attraction to killing people", according to prosecutors.

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