Russian serial killer and rapist charged with eight murders

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A Moscow man has been charged with murdering seven women, whom he also raped, and a young boy in a six-month killing spree, prosecutors said Wednesday.

The man, described only as a Muscovite born in 1979, "from January to July 2003 murdered seven women," investigators said. "In all cases he raped and then strangled the victims."

The eighth victim was the son of one of the women, a legal minor, who caught the killer red-handed. "The killings took place on the street, in apartments and in entrance halls of apartment blocks," investigators said.

Investigators did not explain why it had taken so long to identify the killer, who is in custody pending trial.

In the most sensational serial killer case in recent Russian history, Alexander Pichushkin in 2007 was jailed for life for 49 counts of murders and three of attempted murder in Moscow's southern Bitsevsky park.

Pichushkin claimed he had wanted to kill one person for each square on a chess board: a total of 64.

© 2010 AFP

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