The Chessboard Killer: For Alexander Pichushkin, murder was a game. Police searching his Moscow apartment in June 2006 found a chessboard, with numbers on 61 of the 64 squares. Pichushkin, 32, was eager to explain the symbolism.
Each number represented a murder, he said, and his goal was to fill all 64 squares. In the press, he became known as the Chessboard Killer, but that might not have been his only game.
It appears he was also attempting to break a record set by the monster dubbed the “Russian Hannibal Lecter” — Andrei Chikatilo.
Between 1978 and 1990, Chikatilo murdered and mutilated 52 women and children and dined on parts of their bodies. In Pichushkin’s apartment, along with the chessboard, police found dozens of newspaper clips about the earlier killer, who was convicted in 1992 and executed two years later. Whatever the real motivation, Pichushkin was addicted to murder.
“For me, life without killing is like life without food for you,” he said. “I felt like the father of all these people, since it was I who opened the door for them to another world.”