Russian ex-cop known as the ‘Angarsk Maniac’ convicted of 56 murders, bringing his victim count to at least 78

Russian ex-cop known as the ‘Angarsk Maniac’ convicted of 56 murders, bringing his victim count to at least 78:

MOSCOW — A court in Russia’s eastern Siberia on Monday convicted a former policeman of murdering 56 women, bringing the number he is believed to have killed to at least 78.

The court found Mikhail Popkov, from the eastern Siberian city of Angarsk, guilty of the murders between 1994 and 2000 and sentenced him to life in prison. Popkov, who was arrested in 2012, is already serving life for 22 other killings.

While in uniform, Popov patrolled the streets at night, luring women into his car with the promise of a ride home. He then raped and killed them. The verdict makes him Russia’s most prolific serial killer in at least the past century.
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Mikhail Popkov looks through bars during a court session in Irkutsk, Russia, Monday, Dec. 10, 2018.


Julia Pykhalova, Komsomolskaya Pravda via AP



Local police have for years been investigating murders in the Irkutsk region, where dozens of women were raped and killed in secluded spots. In order to help the probe, authorities ended up taking DNA samples from 230,000 residents of Angarsk. Sperm found on one of the victims led the investigators to the killer.

Psychiatric tests run on the police lieutenant who retired in 1998 have concluded that he is sane. In footage from the Siberian Times, Popov could be seen behind bars in court, his head bowed but showing little emotion.



U.K. outlet the Telegraph reports Popov was known locally as the “Angarsk Maniac,” and went after “women who lead loose lifestyles.”

At crime scenes, tire tracks from a Lada Niva would often show up. This is the same car used by Russian police. The discovery that his wife had been unfaithful is said to have sent Popov into a fury that launched his murder spree.

“He willingly described all of this with pathos and even with gusto,” the Telegraph quoted investigator Yevgeny Karchevsky as saying. “These were skills of psychological manipulation.”

Popkov’s lawyer told Russian news agencies that his 54-year-old client would appeal the verdict as well as the motion to strip him of his police pension, which he has been receiving despite the 2015 guilty verdict.

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