Alexander Yuryevich Pichushkin (1 Viewer)


Alexander Yuryevich Pichushkin

A.K.A.: "The Bitsa Park Maniac" - "The Chessboard Killer"

Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: "Life without murder is like a life for you without food"
Number of victims: 49 +
Date of murders: 1992 - 2006
Date of arrest: June 14, 2006
Date of birth: April 9, 1974
Victims profile: Men and women
Method of murder: Hitting with a hammer
Location: Moscow, Russia
Status: Sentenced to life in prison on October 29, 2007

Alexander Yuryevich "Sasha" Pichushkin (Russian: Алекса́ндр Ю́рьевич Пичу́шкин, born 9 April 1974 in Mytishchi, Moscow Oblast), also known as The Chessboard Killer and The Bitsa Park Maniac, is a Russian serial killer. He is believed to have killed at least 48 people and up to 61–63 people in southwest Moscow's Bitsa Park, where several of the victims' bodies were found.


Pichushkin committed his first murder as a student in 1992 and stepped up his crimes in 2001. Russian media have speculated that Pichushkin may have been motivated by a macabre competition with Russia's most notorious serial killer, Andrei Chikatilo, who was convicted in 1992 of killing 52 children and young women in 12 years. Pichushkin has said his aim was to kill 64 people, the number of squares on a chessboard. He later recanted this statement, saying that he would have continued killing indefinitely if he had not been stopped.

Pichushkin primarily targeted elderly homeless men by luring them with vodka. After drinking with them, he would kill them, hitting them on the head with a hammer. He then stuck vodka bottles in their skulls to ensure that they did not survive. He also targeted younger men,children and women. He would always attack from behind to avoid spilling blood on his clothes.

He claimed that while killing people he felt like God as he decided whether his victims should live or die. "For me, life without killing is like life without food for you" he once said. "I felt like the father of all these people, since it was I who opened the door for them to another world". Experts at the Serbsky Institute, Russia's main psychiatric clinic, have found Pichushkin irrecuperable.

According to the documentary, "Serial Killers", Pichushkin, once apprehended, led police officers to the scenes of many of his crimes in Bitsa Park. He demonstrated a keen recollection of how the murders were committed, often acting them out in great detail, which has been committed to film. He also revealed that a number of the murders he committed were not done in his preferred method (hammer blows to the back of the head), but by throwing his victims down into the sewers underneath Bitsa Park (although one of his victims did survive the ordeal).

The murder of Marina Moskalyova, 36, in the summer of 2006, was his last. When a metro ticket was found in her possession at the time her body was found, authorities were able to view the last footage of her alive from surveillance tapes of the Moscow metro system, where she was walking on the platform accompanied by Pichushkin.

Trial and imprisonment

He was arrested on 15 June 2006, and convicted on 24 October 2007 of 48 (of 49) murders and three attempted murders. He asked a Russian court to add an additional 11 victims to his body count, bringing his claimed death toll to 60 and 3 surviving victims. During the trial, he was housed in a glass cage. It took Judge Vladimir Usov an hour to read the verdict: life in prison with the first 15 years to be spent in solitary confinement. Capital punishment in Russia has been abolished in practice due to a moratorium established in 1996.

Interview With A Russian Serial Killer

By Yasha Levine - The Exile

March 13, 2008

Alexander Pichushkin, the silver-medal serial killer known as “The Bittsevsky Park Maniac” recently gave the Russian tabloid Tvoi Den an exclusive interview, which we’ve translated for your reading pleasure. Until today, the man who almost bested Chikatilo had never been given a free platform to air his views, thoughts, and opinions to the world. Below, we are reprinting traslated segments of the interview. But first, here's a little background on Russia's second most prolific serial murderer:

The 33-year-old balding supermarket shelf stacker was caught back in June 2006 and charged with 49 murders, all but one carried out over a five year period, all in Bittsevsky Park, one of many massive parks in Moscow’s outer districts.

True to the FBI serial killer profile, Pichuskin admitted that he likes toying with cops. Riskier murders made him feel powerful, more powerful than the State. During the trial, he vainly bragged about how he carried out of all the murders.

He usually befriended his victims (he knew 20 of them from playing chess with them in the park) who varied in age and sex, by offering them to have a drink of vodka to mourn his dead dog, which he said he’d buried in a secluded area of Bittsevsky Park. Like Chikatilo, Pichushkin didn't rape his victims. He got his sexual kicks from sexual substitution. But unlike Chikatilo, he wasn't about the slashing and cutting. He was more into skeletal penetration, skullfucking. After he got his victims wasted, he'd bash their head in with a hammer, then stick empty vodka bottles and twigs into the holes he’d made in their skulls. "I liked the sound of a skull splitting," he told prosecutors. But he mixed it up a bit: strangling a few of his victims, or even trying out a homemade single-shooter craftily constructed out a pipe. To get rid of the corpses, he’d dump the bodies into a sewer wells, sometimes while they were still alive. Many of the victims were never found.

When the police finally caught Pichushkin, he boasted that he’d killed 62 people, topping Chikatilo’s body count by 8, making him Russia's most prolific serial killer. The police could only link him to 49, denying him this eternal fame. Was he angry? If the way the way he talked about his lawyer is any indication, then yes. Read on...


When I was brought to prison, I was not in a good mood . Now it's gotten better, I have completely adapted. They have ideal water here. It’s so hot, I even have to dilute it with cold water. For all the time that I have been here, my hair was cut only once. Do you know how much time they give me to take a shower - five whole minutes!


Human life is not too long. It is cheaper than a sausage. My lawyer: I would cut him open like a fish. I would have killed him like an insect, and I would receive much pleasure from the process. I would cut him up and make belts out of his flesh. But as for remembering everyone I killed, who and when and where, that, I don’t remember. I don’t even care to remember.


I was baptized when I was three-months old. The baptism took place, but I did not want it. Well, I do not think that someone ... is there. I can also say that I will not either read the Bible or write an autobiography. I have never prayed to God, never will. This is a beautiful fairy tale. For the weak, for those who sacrifice themselves to the State (Russian government). Men, as they age, increasingly dream that someone is there who is all powerful. Well, what is it? As for voting, in all my 33 years, I have never missed a chance to vote.


I have nightmares ... A dog. It lived with me a long time [he lured his victims by asking them to go mourn at his dead dog's grave in Bittsevsky Park with a couple of shots of vodka before smashing their heads in]. She died. It was my fault. I treated it, how to say, not very ... She could have been saved. It was a bad situation ... it left something in my subconscious.


Of course I don't write. Only devki (plural of dyev, Russian slang for "girls") write. Journalists too, I suppose.


First of all, what is a friend? This is not someone who gives you one hundred rubles or lets you stay over for a night ... And secondly, my principle: to the grave, and that's it. Yes, I received more pleasure from killing people whom I knew personally. But I also found a way to get to strangers and that is not easy. Their relatives said that they would never go somewhere with a stranger. But to me they are flying, despite the difference in age. A youngster, Koryagin [one of his victims]... I was leaving the police office and I knew that everywhere was an ambush, but I remained free. Then I spit and got caught.


No, I do not regret it. So much strength and time spent. Repent? I do not repent, this is again a dull formality. It will not change my sentence. Since I was young I dreamed ... Everything was different back then. And it all turned out the way I wanted it to. I knew that they had me nailed when they started pressing me about 12 victims, but then they all were surprised that I actually killed 60. I watched a show about me on TV. Denis, my classmate, told the camera: "When we learned that he had committed these crimes it was a shock." Others said I was a rare case - killing just for the sake of killing. There is no motivation: neither race nor sex nor religion. Even someone wrote: Pichushkin himself doesn’t know yet that the history of criminology is changed, that it didn’t account for someone such as him, that he will go down in history forever ...


I have never watched football. No football, no hockey.


I would like to live in Mexico. First, it is warm there, and secondly, there are forests. Maybe there I could live in a different way if I was there...
[After the Tvoi Den reporter told Puchushkin that Mexico doesn’t have forests, he replied:]
Do you want to tell me there are no jungles? Like Freddy Krueger said, “Elm Street exists in every city."

'Chessboard killer' gets life

Monday, 29, Oct 2007

A man who claimed to be planning to kill enough people to fill each square of a chessboard has been sentenced to life imprisonment in Moscow.

Alexander Pichushkin was convicted last month of 48 murders over the last 15 years in a park in the Russian capital that lent him his nickname 'the Bittsa Maniac'.

The 33-year-old had said he planned on killing 64 people – the number of squares on a chessboard – although he later said that he would have carried on killing if he had not been caught.

In court today the jury said that there were no mitigating circumstances in the former shop assistant's murders, and rejected a plea from defence lawyers, who were seeking a 25-year jail-term, to clear him of 18 killings.

Pichushkin, who claimed to have murdered more than 60 people, was said to have battered his victims to death with a hammer before dumping them in a sewage pit. Many were older homeless men, who he lured to their deaths with promises of free vodka.

He was caught when his last victim, a woman, left his mobile phone number with her boyfriend.

In his televised confession the killer said that, for him, "life without murder is like a life for you without food".

Russia has not executed anyone for 11 years, but the Pichushkin case has seen calls for the death penalty to be brought back.

Custody for Moscow serial killer extended until September 15

June 07 2007

The Moscow City Court extended, until September 15, the custody for Alexander Pichushkin, accused of dozens of murders in the Bitsa Park in southern Moscow.

"As of now, Pichushkin is accused of 49 episodes," a court representative said.

The court agreed with prosecutors that, Pichushkin, if at large, may go into hiding, hamper the investigation or destroy evidence.

Also, the crime he has been charged with is particularly serious.

Pichushkin claimed at the hearing that he was "a punctual and law-abiding citizen, who will immediately turn up for questioning once the investigator summons him."

The defendant denies his guilt.

Pichushkin was detained on June 16, 2006, with media stories referring to him as a "Bitsa maniac".

Initially, he was charged with the murder of two women on April 11 and 13, 2006, but Moscow prosecutors later ascertained his involvement in 46 murders.

Moscow Serial Killer Suspect Charged With 49 Counts of Murder

December 15 2006

Moscow prosecutors have charged Alexander Pichushkin, 32, nicknamed Bitsa killer by the media in a reference to a locality where he had allegedly committed his crimes in recent months, with killing 49 people.

“The man has been detained, arrested and charged on 49 counts of murder,” a top police official told a news conference organized by the Interfax news agency on Thursday.

Pichushkin has so far confessed to killing 62 people but investigators say they do not have sufficient proof to believe everything he says.

When asked whether the suspect was sane and could be held responsible for his actions, head of the Interior Ministry’s criminal investigation department Alexander Kshevitsky said the man was yet to undergo psychiatric tests but added that the accused was willing to answer investigators’ questions.

The probe into Pichushkin’s alleged crimes was launched several months ago. Investigators suspect the man does suffer from a certain mental disorder after all. At times he is very depressed and taciturn, at times he is quite cooperative and willing to talk to investigators, Komsomolskaya Pravda wrote.

Alexander Pichushkin, a loader at a small grocery store in southwestern Moscow, was arrested in June of this year on suspicion of killing his colleague. Her body was found in Bitsa Park in mid-June, a day before his arrest.

Pichushkin confessed to killing the woman and said that he had planned to kill as many as 64 people.

Serial Killer Confesses to 61 Murders on Russian TV

July 14 2006

A Moscow resident’s confession that he murdered 61 people over 14 years has been broadcast on Russian television, the Guardian daily reported Friday.

Alexander Pichuzhkin, 32, has told police the murders began when he was 18. If confirmed, they would make him the bloodiest serial killer in Russian history. Prosecutors say they cannot confirm his claims, but some law enforcement sources believe there is evidence that he may have taken part in at least 18 murders. Andrei Chikatilo, the Rostov Ripper, killed 53 people, many of them teenagers, in the southern Russian town between 1978 and 1990.

Pichuzhkin’s victims, mostly elderly men and women, were usually found in Bitsevsky park, a patch of dense woodland in southern Moscow. Most of them — up to ten since September — had been beaten to death. The Russian media has given grisly details of the murders, including one in which a woman reportedly had little sticks inserted into her eyes.

Pichuzhkin said in a police video of the confession, broadcast on Russia’s NTV channel: “In reality, the Bitsevsky Maniac, as I was called — it’s me.”

He said he had committed 60 murders “all on Bitsevsky park’s territory. The first was in 1992 ... it was my college mate.” He claimed to be able to tell investigators details of the killings of which they were unaware, and that he knew 20 of the people he had murdered. “If they [the police] had not caught me, I would never have stopped,” he said.

He claimed that in February another man was arrested for the murders. “I was simply hurt, my work attributed to someone else.” A police source told the Guardian that Pichuzhkin claimed to have disposed of the bodies of 44 victims in the sewer system.

Bodies of 2 More Pensioners Turn Up in Bittsevsky Park

July 09 2006

Police said Friday that the bodies of two elderly men were recently found in Bittsevsky Park, indicating that a suspect arrested in late June may not be the serial killer linked to more than a dozen attacks in the park since December.

The latest victims died after being repeatedly struck on the head -- the trademark style of the so-called Bittsevsky Maniac, a police spokesman said. Police found the bodies in the southwestern Moscow park on June 30, several days after the killings.

The spokesman, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case, said that despite the latest deaths, investigators were continuing to investigate Alexander Pichuzhkin, 32, who was arrested June 15 on suspicion of killing two women in Bittsevsky Park several days earlier. Investigators have said Pichuzhkin confessed to killing 69 people. "Why should investigators suspend the investigation if Pichuzhkin is continuing to cooperate?" the spokesman said.

Komsomolskaya Pravda reported Friday that the investigation into Pichuzhkin had been suspended after the latest deaths.

The spokesman refused to provide details about the latest deaths.

Pichuzhkin is charged with killing two women in a Bittsevsky-area grocery store where he once worked as a loader.

Most targets of the other attacks in the park have been elderly men, suggesting that police have yet to track down the real serial killer.

A source close to the investigation has said that Pichuzhkin is mentally unstable and might be claiming to be guilty of crimes he did not commit.

The hunt for the killer has been problematic. On Feb. 20, police shot and injured an apparently innocent man while combing the park for the killer. About 200 officers were deployed there after police received a tip that a man resembling the killer had been spotted. The officers detained a suspect, but he pulled out a knife and managed to break free from his handcuffs. He then tried to flee. Police shot the man in the leg, and he was hospitalized.

Loner confesses to being Russia’s ‘Chessboard Killer’

June 25 2006

A police manhunt in a Moscow park where 16 bodies have turned up in the last nine months has ended with the arrest of a man who could turn out to be the most prolific serial killer in Russian history.

The suspect, a 32-year-old shop assistant who lives with his mother, has been nicknamed “the Chessboard Killer” since his self-confessed aim was to murder 64 people, one for every square on a chessboard.

According to his own account, which is being painstakingly checked by the police, he managed to murder “only” 61 people over 15 years, three short of his target.

He was said to be particularly “excited” by the sight of crushed skulls and to have sometimes used a hammer to kill.

Identified only as Aleksander P for legal reasons, the man claims to have been consciously trying to surpass the number of victims notched up by the former Soviet Union’s most infamous serial killer, Andrei Chikatilo.

Chikatilo, known as “the Rostov Ripper” or as “the Russian Hannibal Lecter” raped, mutilated, murdered, and indulged in cannibalism. He is estimated to have killed 52 women and children between 1978 and 1990.

Newspaper cuttings relating to Chikatilo were found in a search of Aleksander P’s flat, as was a chessboard; 61 of its 64 squares were reportedly crossed through, the number of victims he claims to have murdered. Police also found a large stash of pornography, much of it violent, though there is no evidence that he raped his victims.

The shop assistant, an alcoholic loner reported to have never had any friends or girlfriends, has been quoted by the Russian media as telling police he killed for sport.

“It was all the same to me who I killed. I killed for the sake of the process itself. And, for the record, I wanted to kill as many people as possible and to beat Chikatilo’s record.”

He was arrested after a massive police manhunt for a serial killer – 16 bodies have been found in the last nine months in Bitsevsky Park in southwest Moscow.

The killer followed what became a familiar pattern, striking his victims with a heavy object around the back of the head after drinking alcohol with them.

Many of those he killed were elderly men and the murderer did not kill for financial gain, never taking money or belongings.

His calling card was some form of mutilation. He often punctured his victims’ lifeless skulls once or twice with the murder weapon after they were dead.

Police got their big break after finding the body of a 35-year-old woman in a river at Bitsevsky Park earlier this month.

The woman later turned out to have worked in the same shop as Aleksander P. She had suffered several blows to her head and small wooden stakes had been driven through her eyes and into her skull.

It later transpired that she had gone for a stroll in the park with Aleksander P that was to be her last. Crucially, she had left a note for her 15-year-old son beforehand, telling him where she had gone and with whom.

She had even written down Aleksander P’s telephone number which allowed the police to arrest him soon afterwards.

Police say they are 100% sure that he killed the woman but whether Aleksander P really is Russia’s most prolific serial killer remains unclear.

Though the authorities seem sure that he has murdered at least 10 victims they have yet to gather sufficient proof to back up his sensational claim that he has killed 61 people. He has been taken back to Bitsevsky Park where he has successfully pinpointed where he buried some of his victims but the police are nowhere near recovering 61 bodies and in some cases have found only skulls.

There is also a question mark over Aleksander’s sanity, with reports that he has done a stint in a home for the psychologically disturbed.

Under interrogation, he is said to sometimes become “hysterical” and parts of his confession are said to be vague and confusing, stoking police suspicions that he might be deliberately exaggerating the number of people he has killed, for effect.

Prosecutor’s office brings charges against suspected serial killer

June 24 2006

MOSCOW, June 24 (Itar-Tass) -- The Moscow prosecutor’s office on Friday brought formal charges against a serial killer suspect.

“The evidence gathered so far proved enough to accuse the man, Alexander Pichushkin, of committing at least two murders,” the prosecutor’ s office said.

Police detectives are now probing into the man’s complicity in other similar crimes to find out whether he is really the one whom the general public has dubbed ‘the Bitsevo park maniac.’

Pichushkin was detained on June 14 after years of investigation into several dozen identical murders committed in the area of the Bitsevo Park, in the city’s southwest.

Suspected Moscow killer leads prosecutors to victim's remains

June 23 2006

MOSCOW, June 23 (RIA Novosti ) - An alleged serial killer arrested Sunday on suspicion of committing several murders in southern Moscow led prosecutors to the remains of an unidentified man he had confessed to slaying, prosecutors said Friday.

Alexander Pichuzhkin is suspected of killing at least ten people in the Bitsa Park area since 2000. Prosecutors said the latest discovery adds another victim to the toll.

According to forensic specialists taking part in the investigation, most of the victims found in the park were killed with a blow on the head. The latest such murder was committed as recently as June 15.

Earlier Friday, law-enforcement officials said Pichuzhkin had admitted to eight killings and that he would be subjected to a psychiatric examination to assess his sanity.

“Crazy Chess Player” Serial Killer Confesses to 61 Murders

June 21 2006

A serial killer detained in Moscow has confessed to killing 61 people of the 64 he was planning to kill — one murder for each of the chessboard checks.

Alexander Pichushkin, 32, a shop assistant, has claimed to be the notorious Bitsa Park serial killer, who Moscow police have been tracking down for more than half a year, Kommersant daily reports.

Pichushkin, who has already been nicknamed “Crazy Chess Player”, said he had initially planned to commit 64 murders, one for each of the chessboard checks. He also said there were three checks vacant, thus admitting to have killed 61.

However the police have found only 14 bodies in the Bitsa Park in the suburbs of Moscow, and the investigators doubt the detainee’s testimony, since he cannot remember where he had hid the rest 47 corpses.

Pichushkin was detained on June 18, on suspicions of killing his co-worker whose body was found in a spring in the park. He admitted his guilt and gave to the police the hammer he had killed the woman with.

Another Chikatilo who killed 66 people arrested in Moscow

June 19, 2006

Chikatilo, the most notorious serial killer, killed 53 people. However, Alexander P., a 32-year-old Muscovite, has beaten Chikatio’s “black record.” He has killed at least 66 people. When detained after his last crime he told the police stories of all his previous crimes that happened in Bitsev park in the south of Moscow. His words shocked the police.

When Alexander told the police that he had killed 14 people in Bitsev park they didn’t believe him. Firstly they thought that he was telling the story against himself but then he told them the place of his another crime and they found a skull there.

Alexander spoke in detail about his 52 murders. All of them were of the same scenario: he approached his victims from behind and attacked people with an iron bar. He liked to listen to the sound of crashing skull bone and see the agony of his victims.

According to Alexander’s neighbors he was a quiet man, but then he changed completely.

“He would leave his flat every morning and come back only in the evening. He was as drunk as a fish and fell down near his door” – says Lubov Volkov, one of his neighbors.

Alexander’s father left the family when his son was only 9 months old. Alexander was brought up by his mother and grandfather.

“I grew up together with Alexander. We had common friends and spent a lot of time together. Once when we were 15 years old the boys beat him and after that he became withdrawn and aloof,” – says Lubov Volkov’s son.

Neighbors couldn’t even imagine that Alexander is accessorial to the most violent recent crimes. Now they are raving that the death penalty is canceled.

Alexander’s mother refuses to comment. She cries and tells neighbors that her son is innocent.

Alexander has never been married. He has never been spotted with a woman. However, the police found plenty of porn films in his room. It shows that he was interested in sex, especially in violent sex.

Michail Vinogradov, psychiatrist and criminal law expert, says that Alexander most probably has serious problems with psyche. Perhaps, he has an early stage of schizophrenia. During most tender, fragile period of his life, when he was 15, he became very lonesome. He can’t interact with women. He wants them but is afraid of them. Alexander had no friends and his relationship with relatives was also far from being perfect. All these factors made him hate the society and violate all of its norms and laws.

Alexander has been drinking for a long time. Alcohol helped him forget his failures. But when he was sober he felt much lonelier staying alone together with his fears. It is very difficult for such a man to assert himself. The crimes that he has committed made him feel more confident. The more he was killing the more confident he was growing of his future crimes. When he was committing the crimes he was gaining sexual satisfaction from them too.

Russian police arrest suspect in serial killings

June 19, 2006

First there was The Wolf of Moscow in the 1920s, then The Rostov Ripper in the 1980s.

Now Russian police say that they have arrested a man suspected of being the Bitsevsky Maniac, possibly the most prolific serial killer in post-Soviet Russia.

They believe that the man has murdered at least ten of sixteen people, mostly pensioners and homeless people, found dead in Bitsevsky Park in Moscow since October last year.

But they say that the case could turn out to be even more gruesome than that of Andrei Chikatilo, The Rostov Ripper, who killed 53 teenagers and children in southern Russia between 1978 and 1990.

“The suspect is being questioned and is giving evidence,” the press service of the Interior Ministry said. “By all accounts the case will be far more serious than the widely publicised case of the maniac Chikatilo.”

Police gave no further details, but one Russian newspaper reported that the man, identified only as Aleksandr, had confessed to killing as many as 60 people since the 1980s. His arrest on Friday followed the discovery on Wednesday of the latest victim, a well-dressed young woman, in Bitsevsky Park, a huge patch of dense forest in southwest Moscow.

The Russian media, which have provided graphic coverage of the murders, reported that she had been hit on the head with a heavy object and stabbed in the eyeballs with small wooden stakes.

Most of the previous victims were elderly local men who were killed by a blow to the head from behind, but they were never robbed of their money, possessions or documents.

Police believe that the killer would invite his victims to drink vodka with him in the park before attacking them when their backs were turned.

Russian newspapers, quoting police sources, said that the suspect was 32, lived near the park and worked in a local supermarket with the woman whose body was found on Wednesday.

He was caught because the woman had left a message for her son, saying that she was going for a walk in the park with Alesksandr to visit his dog’s grave. She also wrote down his mobile phone number.

The Moscow prosecutor’s office suggested that he would be charged only with her murder, and may not have committed the others. But Moscow police, under pressure to find the killer, continue to trumpet the capture of a man who has repeatedly evaded them and terrorised the neighbourhood around the park.

The arrest followed several failed attempts to catch the murderer. One suspect was a transvestite who kept a hammer in a handbag, but that person had an alibi for the recent killings.

Chikatilo, the Soviet Union’s most prolific serial killer, was arrested in 1990, condemned to death and executed in 1994. Before him the country’s most notorious serial killer was Vassily Komarov, a horse dealer, who was known as The Wolf of Moscow, who killed 33 people in the 1920s.

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