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Jury trial of ‘chessboard’ serial killer begins

The trial of a Russian man who has admitted killing dozens of people in a Moscow park over a period of several years starts Friday. After his arrest last year Aleksandr Pichushkin claimed that he had taken the lives of more than 60 people. If found guilt

To date Aleksandr Pichushkin has been charged with 49 murders. If convicted Pichushkin faces the rest of his life in prison. Aleksandr Pichushkin claimed in televised confessions that he had killed his first victim, when he was 18.

Aleksandr Pichushkin allegedly killed most of his victims – mostly men, many of whom were homeless – by smashing their skulls with a hammer after getting them drunk. He is alleged to have lured his victims to the park with the promise of vodka.

Having caught me, they saved many lives. If they hadn't caught me, I would never have stopped, never,

Aleksandr Pichushkin,
the suspected serial killer

At the cramped apartment where he lived police found a chess board with marked numbers going all the way up to 62. He allegedly wanted to fill up all the squares, each commemorating a murder.

He has admitted his guilt on all charges. During a preliminary hearing at Moscow City Court a judge accepted Puchushkin’s request that the jury trial should be open to the public – apparently appealing to his desire for notoriety.

The media have speculated that Pichushkin may have been motivated by a macabre competition with Russia's most notorious serial killer, Andrey Chikatilo, who was convicted in 1992 of killing 52 children and young women over the course of 12 years.