Alexander Pichushkin – the Russian Chessboard killer – has been found guilty of murdering 48 people in Moscow. Officially he ended up 16 short of his goal of a body for each square on the chessboard, although he claims to have murdered 63.
One of Russia’s most prolific serial killers, he faces life in prison, because of Russia’s moratorium on the death penalty. One wonders how long it is before Pichushkin becomes the 64th inhabitant of his morbid chessboard.
The Guardian newspaper has published a profile of Pichushkin which, as ever, attempts to show that serial killers are complex, yet strangely bonkers, even before taking into account the fact that they are murderers.
Pichushkin’s neighbour as a boy, Svetlana Mortyakova, remembers the future serial killer as a pleasant young man, always polite and someone who loved animals. She once found him in tears in the stairwell of the block of flats they shared, speechless with grief over the death of his cat.
Oddly absent from this profile of a chess killer is any mention of why he wanted to kill one person for each square on the board.