Written By: RA
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
At one point, Alexander Pichushkin was known as the deadliest man in Russia. His natural charisma and straightforward understanding of how society worked aided in his strategic way of committing murder. It’s not that none of his victims survived. It’s not even that none of his victims saw him again in public. It’s also not that he wasn’t reported by name. All of those things happened, and yet Alexander Pichuskin, later known as the Chessboard Killer, managed to evade arrest until he reached a body count which exceeded that of the most prolific serial killers. The Bitsa Park Maniac, as he was also called, accumulated a body count higher than Jeffrey Dahmer, Jack the Ripper and Son of Sam combined.
Alexander Pichushkin was born on April 9, 1974 in Moscow, Russia. Due to a childhood accident on a swing, Alexander had the frontal cortex of his brain damaged. This caused his mother to place him in a special school that helped children with mental disabilities. Alexander became withdrawn and hostile after his accident, the aggressive flame in his heart only getting worse as other children bullied and belittled him.
He came to live with his grandfather, who believed that Alexander was actually gifted and naturally intelligent. He taught young Alexander how to play chess – leading him to become a skilled chess player who often won chess games among older players within Bitsa Park.
Little did anyone know that chess would not be the only skill he would exhibit within the park premises.
History: Becoming the Bitsa Park Maniac
The Maniac was quoted saying, “life without murder is like life without food.” Like eating, he saw killing as both a necessity and enjoyable activity. With additional garnish and certain preferences, it could be appreciated better every time. His regular preference? He needed to know the victims personally. This made the killing, he said as though he was describing a delicious stake, more pleasurable.
Alexander was charming, used to baiting victims with friendly conversations and a free cigarette. A wolf hiding in sheep’s clothing, he worked as a grocery store clerk who lived with his family along a busy street. Around 30 of his victims were within the vicinity of his home, 10 coming from the very same apartment complex. As was his morbid preference, The Maniac always chose to befriend them beforehand. He actively killed people from 2001 until his arrest in 2006, but his first murder happened in 1992 when he murdered a classmate for backing out of a killing expedition he proposed for fun.
As a serial killer he was open yet strategic, being able to avoid arrest despite several reports from surviving victims. The corrupt police didn’t give any notice to the survivors of his modus operandi, as they came from depressed parts of the area. The homeless, orphaned and abandoned were easy targets he could pluck off the cold streets. He was known to bludgeon his victims to death with a hammer, then he would push a vodka bottle into the gaping head wounds.
Once, a terrified 13-year-old boy named Mikhail Lobov survived one of his attacks. The boy managed to crawl out of the well he was dumped in after he was left for dead and ran up to the police, only to be dismissed as a troublemaking punk. The young survivor was simply asked to go home.
If only they knew that Mikhail’s story was not only terrifyingly real, but also a small part of a much grimmer narrative. Some speculate that the Maniac was partly motivated by a morbid competition with another serial killer at large at the time, Andrei Chikatlo or the “Rostov Ripper.”
Arrest and Charges
After committing various murders from 2001 to 2006, the Maniac was finally caught on June 16, 2006. His latest victim, Marina Moskalyova had train tickets on her corpse’s possession. The police viewed the metro surveillance cameras and saw Pichushkin with her – presumably befriending the poor woman before he bludgeoned her to death.
Upon the Maniac’s arrest, it was said that the police found a chessboard in his house bearing marks of the murders he had committed. This earned him the moniker, “The Chessboard Killer.” A testament to his strategic and morbid fascination with murder.
Befitting of a man many would consider a remorseless monster, Alexander Pichushkin was sentenced to life imprisonment on October 24, 2007 for 49 murders and 3 attempted murders. He claims to have killed 11 more people on top of his convicted body count, bringing up his claimed body count at 60.
At first, he claimed that he only aimed to kill 64 people – enough to fill up the boxes on a chessboard. He later recanted his statement and said he would have continued killing if he was not stopped.
To this day, he is serving his sentence in solitary confinement at Arctic penal colony “Polar Owl.”
Do you like our article on Alexander Pichushkin? Comment below.