Russian policeman jailed for life for raping and murdering 24 women who resembled his mother
Nirapad News :A former policeman known as a ‘perfect husband and father’ led a secret life as serial killer who murdered at least two dozen women in Siberia.
Mikhail Popkov axed, stabbed or strangled full-figured women ‘who resembled his mother’ who allegedly abused him in childhood, it was revealed today.
Russian investigators say the 49-year-old has confessed to 24 murders, though police suspect him of at least 29 and crime experts fear even more.
Nicknamed variously The Werewolf and the Wednesday Murderer – after the day of the week when many of his victims were found in forests – he eluded police for two decades as investigators catastrophically ignored evidence that the mystery killer could be one of their own officers who used his uniform to gain trust.
The father of one – who faces life in jail – selected victims who resembled his mother, say Russian reports of the case, which is centred on Angarsk in the Irkutsk region of Siberia.
Police earlier said that of the 29 he was suspected of killing, 25 were aged 19 to 28, and four were from 35 to 40.
‘He beheaded at least one woman and gouged the heart out of a victim,’ reported The Siberian Times.
‘Popkov claimed he suddenly stopped killing after he “became impotent”, suggesting a sexual motive to his murder spree.
‘Typically, his victims were slightly intoxicated when he lured them to their deaths.
‘He snared them after they had been to bars or parties. He is suspected of seeking revenge on his mother who was an alcoholic and allegedly abused him in his childhood.’
Investigators have established his killing spree lasted from 1992 until at least 2000, but have been unable to prove any killings since then.
Popkov was finally arrested in June 2012 after around 3,500 police officers, serving and retired, were forced to take DNA tests.
He told officers: ‘I just felt I wanted to kill a woman I was giving a lift to in my car.’
The Siberian Times goes on to say: ‘He murdered the women with a slipknot, knife, awl, screwdriver or an axe which he used up to 17 times on some victims.
‘He used his police uniform and car to gain the trust of at least some of his victims.’