A Siberian policeman described as Russia’s most prolific mass murderer in modern times has been given a second life sentence.
Mikhail Popkov, 53, murdered 55 women and a policeman near Irkutsk. He was already in jail for 22 other murders.
He hacked women to death after offering them rides in his car late at night. At least 10 were also raped. In three cases he was on duty in his police car BBC reported.
Popkov was caught in 2012 after a DNA match identified his car.
The victims were all women between the ages of 16 and 40 apart from one male, a policeman. The killings took place between 1992 and 2007.
Popkov killed them around the city of Angarsk, near Irkutsk, with an axe and hammer. He dumped their mutilated bodies in forests, by the roadside and in a local cemetery.
The death toll exceeds the 48 murdered by “chessboard killer” Alexander Pichushkin, and the 52 murdered by Andrei Chikatilo during the Soviet era.
Popkov claimed to be “purging” Angarsk of what he saw as immoral women.
Tyre marks from Popkov’s Niva car were found next to some of the bodies, which led police to check all owners of that Niva type in Angarsk.
The owners’ DNA was checked against DNA found on the victims, and that enabled police to identify Popkov. He was arrested in Vladivostok, in the far east, where he had gone to buy a new car.
An Irkutsk court found him guilty of 22 murders in 2015 and sentenced him to life.