'Chessboard' serial killer gets life term

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Moscow, Oct 29 (UNI) A Court today sentenced Alexander Pichushkin, popularly known as 'chessboard' killer to life imprisonment.

Last week, the court found Pichushkin guilty of killing 48 people and attempting to murder three others. The jury observed that he did not deserve any leniency.

Moscow Prosecutor Yuri Syomin asked the court to sentence Pichushkin to life sentence, while his defence lawyers asked for partial acquittal. Since 1996 Russia has observed a moratorium on the death penalty.

The 33-year old former worker of a supermarket, pleaded guilty to 60 murders and three attempted murders .

He, however, claimed he planned to carry out 64 killings and said that the killings were ''a sort of ritual, my style, my handwriting.'' Pichushkin earned the name of 'chessboard' serial killer on account of recording each death on a chessboard.

He murdered many of his victims in last five years in the woods of Moscow's Bitsa Park, in southern suburbs, earning the nickname of 'Bitsa maniac'.

UNI

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