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'Chessboard' killer sentenced to life

The Russian serial killer known as the chessboard killer, for his attempt to slay one person for each square on the game board, was sentenced to life imprisonment Monday.

The Russian serial killer known as the "chessboard killer" — for his attempt to slay one person for each square on the game board — was sentenced to life imprisonment Monday.

Alexander Pichushkin looks on from behind the glass of a security cage during the first day of his trial in Moscow on Sept. 13. ((Associated Press))

Alexander Pichushkin was found guilty last Wednesday of 48 murders, though he claimed to have killed 60, four short of the number of squares on a chessboard.

The sentence is the most severe possible under Russian law.

With hands cuffed behind his back, Pichushkinstood in a reinforced glass cage as the judge read the sentence.

The 33-year-oldwill undergo psychiatric treatment at the prison, though experts have declared him sane.

Last Thursday, Pichushkin said he had killed 60 people and that three attempts had failed. Prosecutors, however, found evidence of only 48 murders.

The jury also found Pichuskin guilty of three attempted murders.

The serial killer has been dubbed the "Bittsa Maniac" because most of his victims were killed in Bittsa Park.

Prosecutors said he lured his victims, many of them homeless, to the park by promising them vodka if they joined him to mourn the death of his dog.

He killed most of his victims by throwing them in a sewage pit after getting them drunk, and in a few cases strangled them or hit them on the head, prosecutors said.

With files from the Associated Press

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