'Chessboard killer' jailed for life

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The Independent Online

Moscow's "Chessboard murderer" was formally sentenced to life imprisonment today ending one of Russia's worst serial killer cases.

Alexander Pichushkin was convicted of murdering 48 people, but insisted he had killed 60 in his quest for one death for each square on a chessboard - a total of 64.

The sentence was the harshest possible under Russian law.

Pichushkin stood in a reinforced glass cage with his hands cuffed behind his back while the judge read the sentence for 45 minutes.

When judge Vladimir Usov asked him whether he understood the sentence, he replied: "I'm not deaf."

Pichushkin will also have to undergo psychiatric treatment at the prison. Previously experts had found him sane.

He was found guilty of the murders last Wednesday.

Most of his victims were killed in the sprawling Bittsa Park in southern Moscow from 2001 until his arrest in 2006.