''My first murder was like a first love'': Serial killer

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Moscow, Oct 10 (UNI) A serial killer, charged with 49 murders and three attempted murders, described his first killing as falling in love for the first time.

''A first murder is like falling in love for the first time - unforgettable. It made a very long-lasting impression on me, and for 14 years I did as I pleased,'' Alexander Pichushkin said during a court hearing yesterday.

He also claimed to have killed a total of 63 people - one short of his target figure, the number of squares on an ''imaginary chessboard''.

''I have been charged over 52 episodes. I thought it would be unfair to forget about the other 11,'' he said, speaking from his cage in the courtroom.

When the judge interrupted him, saying he could only testify on victims listed in the case, he retorted ''So 63 does not interest you? Even though the bodies have been found?'' Pichushkin, a former supermarket worker, killed most of his victims between 2001 and 2006 in wooded areas of south Moscow's Bitsa Park.

He told the court he had begun killing in 1992, long before his main spree. He recounted his first murder, when he strangled a 19-year-old classmate named Odeychuk, and threw him down a well.

The two young men had planned to murder an acquaintance, but when Pichushkin realised that his accomplice was incapable of seeing the job through, he did away with him, the killer told the court.

''For him it was a game, but for me it was no game. Not everyone is capable of killing. I realised that he could not be an accomplice, and I decided to kill him,'' RIA Novosti quoted him as saying.

Pichushkin was arrested in Bitsa Park on June 16, 2006, 11 days after finishing off his final victim and leaving her body in a stream running through the park.

''I got creless, so there is no need for the police to take credit for catching me. I am a professional,'' he quipped.

During the hearing, Pichushkin pleaded guilty to four of the five counts of murder currently under consideration in court.

UNI

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