Serial killer Mikhail Popkov: 'I killed 82 women but I was a good husband'

Popkov raided the police station's store of weapons confiscated from criminals to use for his own murders. Photo / Police handout
Popkov raided the police station's store of weapons confiscated from criminals to use for his own murders. Photo / Police handout

Russia's worst-ever serial killer has given a chilling account of how he was a 'good husband and father' when he went on a killing rampage murdering 82 women over almost two decades.

Mikhail 'The Werewolf' Popkov, 53, was formally charged with 60 new murders on Monday, adding to the 22 for which he is already convicted and serving a life sentence, according to the Daily Mail.

Popkov, a former policeman, has already confessed to all the killings, saying he wanted to "clean up" his Siberian city Angarsk of "prostitutes" and "immoral women".

Prosecutors believe 82 to be the 'final toll' of a killer who raped almost all his victims before butchering them with knives, axes or screwdrivers.

Popkov returned to a crime scene with police. Photo /  Investigative Committee
Popkov returned to a crime scene with police. Photo / Investigative Committee

The cases date from 1992, just after the collapse of the Soviet Union, to 2010. His newly confirmed victims were aged 17 to 38, according to law enforcement sources.

In leaked testimony from the macabre case, he described to criminal investigators how he separated his 'ordinary' family life from his other existence as one of history's worst and most bloodthirsty serial killers using axes, knives and screwdrivers to murder his victims.

"I had a double-life," he told investigators working on his case. "In one life I was an ordinary person, I was in the service, in the police, having positive feedback on my work.

"I had a family. My wife and daughter considered me a good husband and father, which corresponded to reality.

Popkov with his daughter. Photo / NTV
Popkov with his daughter. Photo / NTV

"In my other life I committed murders, which I carefully concealed from everyone, realising that this was a criminal offence.

"My wife and daughter never knew about the crimes I committed and did not even suspect this."

He coldly revealed how he cruelly selected women to kill during his 18 reign of terror in Irkutsk region between 1992 and 2010.

He said: "The victims were those who, unaccompanied by men, at night, without a certain purpose, were on the streets, behaving carelessly, who were not afraid to enter into conversation with me, get into my car, and then go for a drive in search of adventures, for the sake of entertainment, ready to drink alcohol and have sexual intercourse with me."

He used his police car, offering lifts to some victims, then taking them to remote areas to rape and murder them.

Investigators never believed a policeman could be responsible for such crimes.

"Not all women became victims, but those of a certain negative behaviour, I had a desire to teach and punish," he said of his decision who would live and die.

"Others did not behave in such a way, they were afraid,' he said. "The exception was the murder of (victim) Elena Dorogova, who was hurrying to the [railway] station to meet her mother. On this occasion, the woman was sober."

He raided the police station's store of weapons confiscated from criminals to use for his own murders, he admitted in testimony to criminal investigators.

"I had the opportunity then to take them,' he said. 'Then I threw them away either at the crime scene or nearby, wiping them with something to remove my fingerprints.

"The choice of weapons for killing was always casual. I never prepared beforehand to commit a murder, I could use any object that was in the car - a knife, an axe, a bat.

Popkov's wife Elena has started a new life. Photo / Channel 1, NTV
Popkov's wife Elena has started a new life. Photo / Channel 1, NTV

"I never used rope for strangulation, and I did not have a firearm either. I did not cut out the hearts of the victims."

On one occasion he murdered a teacher at his daughter Katya's music school, he said.

"Her corpse was found in the forest along with the body of another woman," he said. "My daughter asked me to give her money, because the school was collecting to organise funerals. I gave [it to] her."

Once he went back to the crime scene after leaving two women for dead, because he realised he had lost a police identity token at the site, which would identify him as the serial killer.

"I found the token right away, but saw that one of the women was still breathing," he said.

"I was again shocked by the fact that she was still alive. I finished her with a shovel."

The victims were Maria Lyzhina, 35 and Liliya Pashkovskaya, 37, who were killed in 2000.
The killer has been judged mentally fit to stand trial.

His wife Elena and daughter Katya (Ekaterina) have started new lives in different cities after initially refusing to believe he was guilty, reported The Siberian Times.

Popkov's daughter has said she found it impossible to believe that her 'loving' father could be the killer. Photo / NTV
Popkov's daughter has said she found it impossible to believe that her 'loving' father could be the killer. Photo / NTV

Katya, a teacher, now 30, and expecting a child, told how she found it impossible to believe that her 'loving' father could be the man who violently raped his victims before butchering them.

She has not seen him since he was convicted of 22 murders in 2015, but she now said she wants to "look into his eyes and understand if he really could be that killer".

He told a court in Irkutsk: "I admit my guilt in full.... Committing the murders, I was guided by my inner convictions."

After he was detained in 2012, he told police he wanted to 'cleanse' the streets of 'prostitutes'.

"They abandoned their husbands and children at home and went out to party as if it was the last day on earth," he said.

- Daily Mail

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