Archive for Thursday, October 25, 2007

Chessboard killer’ convicted of 48 murders

October 25, 2007

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— A man who once boasted he wanted to kill one victim for each of the 64 squares on a chessboard was found guilty of 48 murders Wednesday, a bloody spree that terrorized the Russian capital.

Alexander Pichushkin leaned against the wall of his reinforced glass cage in the courtroom and stared at the floor as the jury foreman took about an hour to read the verdict.

Although he claimed to have killed 63 people - most of them in southern Moscow's Bittsa Park - prosecutors could only find evidence to accuse him of murdering 48, most of which occurred over five years.

The panel, which deliberated for little over two hours, also found him guilty of three attempted murders.

Chief Prosecutor Yuri Syomin recommended that the judge sentence Pichushkin to life imprisonment, with the first 15 years to be spent in isolation given his violent nature.

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