Chess-Playing Killer Goes on Trial in Russia

Says he tallied victims on a board, but cops are at a stalemate
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2007 7:16 AM CDT
Chess-Playing Killer Goes on Trial in Russia
Alexander Pichushkin is escorted into a court room in Moscow on Monday, Aug. 13, 2007. Alexander Pichushkin, accused of killing 49 people in a Moscow park over nearly 15 years, will face a jury trial next month, a court ruled Monday. After his arrest last year, Alexander Pichushkin claimed that he actually...   (Associated Press)

Russia is in the grip of the king of all murder trials, the Guardian reports: A chess player has been accused of luring dozens of opponents away from the board and to their brutal deaths in a Moscow park. Alexander Pichushkin has allegedly boasted of 63 murders, one shy of a chessboard, and each marked on his personal board with a cross.

Police finally arrested Pichushkin, a supermarket clerk by day, after they discovered his phone number on the body of a former colleague; they say the competitive killer wanted to break Russia's serial-murder record. And while the defendant purportedly revealed his game, police admit that the case is not exactly black and white—they've only found 14 bodies and have no forensic evidence. (More murder stories.)

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