‘Werewolf’ killer Mikhail Popkov convicted of 56 more murders
A Russian serial killer nicknamed the “werewolf” who is serving a life sentence for killing 22 women has been convicted of 56 more murders.
Former policeman Mikhail Popkov, one of Russia’s most prolific serial killers, was found guilty of killing 56 people between 1992 and 2007 by a court in the Siberian city of Irkutsk.
He confessed to 59 murders but investigators had not managed to prove three of the crimes took place, according to local reports.
Popkov was found guilty of raping 10 of the victims and was given a second life sentence on top of the one he is already serving.
He was convicted in 2015 of killing 22 women.
Prosecutors said Popkov had a “pathological attraction to killing people”, while Russian media nicknamed him “the werewolf” and the “Angarsk maniac”.
He killed his victims with a hammer or axe after offering them rides late at night, sometimes in a police car, while he was off duty around his home city of Angarsk near Irkutsk.
Popkov told journalists last year that he viewed himself as a “cleaner” who was purging his city of prostitutes.
He said he had targeted women who were drunk or he viewed as immoral.
Some of his victims were prostitutes and drug addicts, but most were ordinary women with families.
Popkov was finally caught in 2012 after investigators DNA-tested people who drove cars matching tyre tracks found at the crime scenes.
He later showed police where he had buried his victims’ bodies.
Popkov has become Russia’s most prolific killer in at least the past century, with the number of murders exceeding that of “chessboard killer” Alexander Pichushkin, who murdered 48, and Andrei Chikatilo, who killed 52.