Russia’s worst serial killer who slaughtered 86 women is planning to be freed by Vladimir Putin.
Mikhail Popkov, 59, is hoping to get out of jail early by volunteering to join the army and fight for Putin in his war against Ukraine. Popkov, also known as “The Werewolf”, could be granted freedom after six months – if he remains alive.
Putin has already recruited thousands of mass murderers and rapists from jails for his war – along with one Satanist cannibal killer. In return for their loyalty, he pardons them and wipes their criminal records.
However, Popkov is still waiting for an answer to his plea to go into uniform – but today’s verdict and sentencing may help.
The “Angarsk Maniac” – named after his home city – has been sentenced to another ten years in jail after a conviction for three more murders of women.
Popkov will serve the new term concurrently with two previous life sentences and a previous nine-year term. The ex-policeman has confessed to additional killings to bring his confirmed total to 86.
However, a police source believes his true toll is “closer to 200”, with further trials likely. The sex attacker only murdered women and raped most of his victims, who were aged 18 to 50.
Popkov would then kill them with axes, hammers, knives, screwdrivers and spades. His latest convictions relate to killings in Irkutsk between 1997 and 2003.
Two women aged 25 and 27 were strangled on the banks of the Angara River before the body of one was doused in petrol and set ablaze.
The third was a kindergarten teacher, 31, and a mother of two. A relative said she went to a cafe before a woman’s body was found in a freshly dug grave in the cemetery two days later.
“I went to the morgue for identification – it was definitely her,” they said. Popkov told the court that this woman had been “drunk” when he offered her a lift home.
He forced her to have sex in the car before stabbing her at least 40 times and throwing her body out of the vehicle.
The married father-of-one conducted a reign of terror against lone women between 1992 and 2010 – mainly in Argansk to “cleanse of prostitutes”.
A psychiatric evaluation diagnosed Popkov with homicidal mania, “a condition when a person has an irrational desire to kill someone”, reported TASS.
Nevertheless, the mass murderer was declared sane. During the pandemic, he was put to work in jail by making face masks.
“There were moments when I thought the death penalty was better,” he said.
Russia has had a moratorium on the use of the death penalty since 1996, although there is pressure for it to return amid the country’s lurch into authoritarianism.
Before this, the condemned were shot to the back of the head by an executioner. A chilling video from the 1990s in Popkov’s family archive shows him walking towards the camera clutching a knife.
At the same time, he recites a post-war nursery rhyme based on Nazi prisoners of war attacking locals. “I will slash you. I will beat you. Now it’s your turn,” he says with a sinister smile.
Earlier this year during his trial, Popkov told Russian state TV that his dream was “to join the army.”
The smiling mass killer said: “I would not hesitate to do so [join the war]. If I refer to my military registration profession, I think it’s in rather high demand now… Though it’s probably more modern these days – radio-electronics…
“But even though I’ve been in prison for ten years, I don’t think it would be so hard to learn [new skills] quickly.”