'Chess Killer' jailed for life

2007-10-29 13:50
Moscow - A Moscow court on Monday sentenced a man convicted of 48 murders to life imprisonment, ending one of Russia's worst serial killer cases.

The sentence for Alexander Pichushkin, who claimed to have killed 60 in an effort to mark all 64 squares on a chessboard, was the severest possible under Russian law and met prosecutors' request.

Pichushkin stood in a reinforced glass cage with his hands cuffed behind his back while the judge read the sentence for 45 minutes.

When judge Vladimir Usov asked Pichushkin whether he understood the sentence, the defendant replied: "I'm not deaf."

Pichushkin will also have to undergo psychiatric treatment at the prison. Previously experts at Russia's main psychiatric clinic had found Pichushkin sane.

A jury found Pichushkin guilty on Wednesday after deliberating slightly more than two hours.

Pichushkin said on Thursday he had killed 60 people and that three attempts had failed. However, prosecutors could only find evidence for 48 murders. The jury also found Pichushkin guilty of three attempted murders.

Most of Pichuskin's victims were killed in the sprawling Bittsa Park in southern Moscow from 2001 until his arrest in 2006.

- AP
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