A serial killer who “wanted to cleanse the streets of prostitutes”, may have killed as many as 61 victims with axes, knives or screwdrivers, and brutally raped most, if not all of them. Mikhail Popkov (50) (aka “The Werewolf”) is already serving a life sentence for killing 22 women although he confessed to murdering 29. He beheaded at least one woman and gouged the heart of another. Police are now focusing on an extensive list of other possible victims. If it is determined that the number of victims is 61, Popkov will surpass the killing sprees of Andrei Chikatilo (“The Butcher of Rostov”) who killed 53, and Alexander Pichushkin, the killer of 49. Popkov, a former police officer, had eluded discovery for years in part because he was a policeman and off the radar screen. A policy that required all police to submit DNA samples led to his discovery and identity. He allegedly used his patrol car to lure intoxicated victims into the vehicle by offering the women rides. His wife, Elena Popkova (48) has stood by her husband from the start stating, “we have been married for 28 years. If I suspected something wrong, of course, I would have divorced him”. His daughter, Katya, also stands by her father stating, “I do not believe any of this, I always felt as if I was ‘Daddy’s girl.’” Mikhail was arrested in 2012 for the killing spree that started in 1992.
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