Please charge me with more murders: The story of the Chessboard Killer

Alexander Pichushkin, also known as the “Chessboard Killer”, was one of the most prolific serial killers in Russian history. Over the course of his killing spree, he was responsible for at least 48 murders, and it was this total that he was eventually charged with in Russian court. The “Chessboard Killer”was unsurprisingly troubled by the verdict, but not for the reason one might think. He was insistent that the court charge him with 60 murders instead.

The Chessboard Killer was obsessed with the notion that he eventually kill 64 people, the number of spaces on a chessboard, hence the name. However, modus operandi bore little resemblance with the methodical nature of a chess game. He would attack his victims from behind, typically by bludgeoning them repeatedly with a hammer. Once he had created a large enough crevice in the victim’s head, the Chessboard Killer would, in characteristically Russian fashion, insert a bottle of vodka into the hole. While this became his calling card, some victims were instead thrown into sewers.

The Chessboard Killer experienced a 14-year run of murders before his arrest. During the trial, he was brought into the courtroom in a glass cage. Currently serving his life sentence, the Chessboard Killer remains bitter about his unfinished work: the killing of 64 people. He still wants to be charged with those extra 12 murders, too.