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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 August 2007, 20:37 GMT 21:37 UK
Russian suspected of 62 murders
Alexander Pichushkin (Image: Moskovsky Komsomolets)
Alexander Pichushkin was arrested in June 2006 (pic: Moskovsky Komsomolets)
A Russian man facing trial in Moscow later this month is believed to have murdered 62 people, police have said.

Alexander Pichushkin is suspected of being the "Bitsyevskiy maniac", named after a park in south-west Moscow where several victims' bodies were found.

A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for 13 August at Moscow City Court.

The 32-year-old, arrested in June last year, allegedly told police he had planned to kill 64 people, one for each square on a chess board.

"There is proof of 62 murders by Alexander Pichushkin," the Itar-Tass news agency quoted police investigator Iskandar Galimov as saying.

Previously the number of killings Mr Pichushkin was accused of was 52.

Blow to the head

Mr Pichushkin, who worked at a grocery store in south-west Moscow, was detained on suspicion of killing a female colleague, whose body was found in Bitsyevskiy park.

The woman, Marina Moskaleva, had reportedly left Mr Pichushkin's number with her son before she was killed.

The killings began in 2000 and led to bodies being found in many parks and other places across the Russian capital.

Many, but by no means all, of the victims were elderly men, and there was little else to link the murders, except that they were caused by a blow to the head.


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