Chessboard killer admits sixty murders

Moscow's infamous “Chessboard killer” has confessed to a total of 60 murders and three attempted murders at his trial in the Russian capital. Aleksandr Pichushkin made the claim as he began giving the grim details of his life as Russia's worst

Prosecutors have charged Aleksandr Pichushkin in connection with 49 murders, but he said that would be unfair.  He said it wouldn't be right to forget about the 11 other people he was not charged with attacking.

The 31-year-old has admitted to carrying out a stream of attacks between 2001 and 2006 in Moscow's sprawling Bitsevsky park.  

Known as the 'chessboard killer', he was aiming to kill 64 people, the number of squares on a chess board.

On Tuesday, he began giving chilling details of his attacks.

“I will be back in the Bitsevsky park. I still feel the hammer in my hands,” Aleksandr Pichushkin stated.

In 1992, when Aleksandr Pichushkin was only 18, he already thought he was mature enough to decide what to do with his life. Unfortunately, he decided to kill.  

Bitsevsky park, Moscow
Bitsevsky park, Moscow

His university friend Mikhail Odeychuk said he also wanted to take part, but Aleksandr took it much more seriously. So seriously, that his companion who was helping him to find a place to hide dead bodies in the future, had no idea that he was actually looking for his own final resting place.  

Pichushkin says when he realised his friend Odeychuk saw his plan to kill as just a game, he became Aleksandr's first ever victim, whose murder he now compares to first love – thrilling and unforgettable.  

He says that night he strangled Mikhail and threw his body in a well beginning his long chain of murders.  

Pichushkin picked Bitsevsky park in Moscow as the place for his killings.  

His victims were mostly men, many of them homeless.

He says he lured them into the park by promising them vodka. But instead of alcohol, he hit them over the back of the head with a hammer.

At the cramped flat where he lived, police found a chessboard marked with numbers. He allegedly wanted to fill up all the squares – each commemorating a murder.                 

Psychiatrists have speculated that Pichushkin may have been motivated by a sense of competition with Russia's most notorious serial killer – Andrey Chikatilo. The latter was convicted in 1992 of killing 53 children and young women over the course of 12 years.  

Pichushkin says he's been doing whatever he wanted for 14 years and claims it was his own fault that police got on his trail.  

Now, if found guilty, the ‘Chessboard killer’ faces life in prison – a punishment many of his victims’ relatives feel is too soft.

Meanwhile, some specialists predict an increase in the number of people with deviations from normal behaviour.  Criminal psychiatrist Mikhail Vinogradov believes the trend is linked to drug abuse among delinquent teenagers.
“Unfortunately, the number of maniacs will continue to grow steadily. Maybe not as fast as the maniacs want, but too fast for us. This is because drug abuse among teenagers has grown rapidly and babies are being born with deviations – already prone to aggression,” he said.

The expert also thinks that special police departments should deal with tracing maniacs, as the work requires special kind of training: “In fact it is often too difficult to catch maniacs. They have animal instincts and can slip out of the hands of the police. I think that a special department should be set up which would catch maniacs of all kinds, especially those seeking to kill children. They are a separate kind of person with a separate way of thinking and it’s exceedingly difficult to catch them”.