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Hi, podcasters, I'd like to take a moment to let you know that we'll be taking a break next week for the Thanksgiving holiday.


But don't worry, we do have a very special treat lined up.


So stay tuned for that. I'd also like to take this opportunity to say thank you. Your loyalty and support is what makes this show possible. And this year, more than ever, it has meant so much to us. From all of us here at podcast. We wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.


Thanks for listening. Due to the graphic nature of this killer's crimes, listener discretion is advised this episode includes discussions of murder and assault that some people may find offensive. We advise extreme caution for children under 13.


It was a merciless winter's morning in Moscow, the kind of bitter cold that sets deep in your bones. Dawn was breaking over the snow covered forests of Bitzer Park, a stretch of urban wilderness in the city's southwest.


Much of Moscow was still asleep and the park was quiet. There was little movement save for the rustling of the trees in the wind. But just below the frozen ground, a young woman was fighting for her life.


Maria Viricheva, was 19 years old. She was three months pregnant and was trapped in a well, desperate to make it back to the surface. But her way was blocked by heavy iron manhole cover.


Maria pushed at the cover with every ounce of strength she had left, but the cover weighed 90 pounds and she couldn't move at more than a few inches. She tried to call for help, but her voice was hoarse and faint, lost to the wind, despairing. She didn't know what else to do, and her time was running out.


Hi, I'm Greg Polson. This is Serial Killers, a Spotify original fun podcast. Every episode we dive into the minds and madness of serial killers. Today, we're delving into the horrific saga of the chessboard killer Alexander Potiskum. I'm here with my co-host, Vanessa Richardson. Hi, everyone.


You can find episodes of serial killers and all other originals from Parkhurst for free on Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.


Today, we'll look at patrician's upbringing in Moscow, the physical and psychological trauma that shaped his personality, and how the competitive streak behind his chess obsession also drove him to kill in part two will follow Pushkin's escalating murder spree in the early 2000s.


His capture and the confession that stunned law enforcement. We've got all that and more coming up. Stay with us.


Alexander Pushkin's first loss came before his first birthday. Born on April 9th, 1974, Cheskin was still a baby when his father walked out on the family. He grew up with no memories of his father at all.


Pushkin's mother, Natasha, was left to raise her infant son alone. Still, at least she was in familiar surroundings. She lived in the same two bedroom apartment since she was 11 years old on Kerson Skya Street in Moscow.


The apartment was basically chilly and charmless, part of one of the Soviet Union's first public housing projects.


But it had one thing going for it.


It was only a six minute walk from BDK Park, known by locals by its shortened name, Bitzer. The park is a sprawling stretch of forest that covers around seven square miles filled with silver birch trees and glittering streams. The park offers residents a reprieve from Moscow's concrete jungle.


Bitzer Park was a huge part of Huskins childhood. Growing up, his mother and grandfather often took him there for walks or to play in the playground. And it was in the park that a freak accident changed Pushkin forever.


One afternoon, when Pushkin was four, his mother took him to play on the swings while her back was turned petrouchka and fell backward off the swing, landing hard on the ground. As he sat up dazed, the swings swung back around and hit him in the forehead. He was never the same.


After that day, Vanesa is going to take over on the psychology here and throughout the episode. Please note the NSA is not a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist, but she has done a lot of research for this show.


Thanks, Greg. According to Pushkin's mother, her son's personality darkened after the accident. He became angry and volatile, prone to wild mood swings and sudden outbursts. It's possible that the head trauma Petrushka suffered caused lasting damage to an area of his brain called the frontal lobe, which was still developing at the age of four. The frontal lobe controls impulse regulation and personality expression. Research has shown that frontal lobe trauma can cause problems with emotions and anger and interfere with the production of dopamine, which is known as the feel good.


Neurotransmitter research also indicates that there may be an association between head injury and homicidal behavior. According to a 2014 study by Scottish and Swedish researchers, one in four serial killers suffered either a head injury or an illness affecting the brain during their formative years.


In any case, the accident in 1978 had a profound impact on patrician's childhood. Details about his early life are sketchy, and we don't know the exact dates for many key events. But here's the timeline as we understand it.


After the accident, Natasha worried that Pushkin's cognitive problems were affecting his studies. So she took him out of his regular school and transferred him to an institution for children with learning disabilities.


This transfer may have come as a relief pitcher. Chicken was a shy child, and even before the accident, he struggled to fit in at school. His classmates physically and verbally bullied him, which only made him more withdrawn and angry. But not everybody knew Petrushka.


And as a volatile kid, his neighbor Svetlana more Take-Over, remembers him as a sensitive and polite boy who was devoted to animals. On one occasion, she found the young Petrouchka and sobbing in a stairwell in their apartment building. The boy's pet cat died that day, and he was inconsolable. According to Svetlana, he was speechless with grief.


This doesn't line up at all with the typical image of a burgeoning serial killer. Cruelty to animals is famously considered an early warning sign for homicidal behavior. But by all accounts, Pushkin enjoyed the company of animals more than people.


The exception to that rule was his grandfather, who he was close to. As Petrushka neared adolescence, his grandfather recognized a natural intelligence in the boy and wanted to help him harness it. He also felt that Petrushka needed a father figure to keep him in line.


By this time, Natasha had another child. She gave birth to her daughter Katya in 1982, when Pushkin was age between her growing son and her infant daughter. Natasha's two room apartment was getting very crowded.


So when her father suggested that Potiskum come and live with him, she agreed Petrouchka and grateful for a change of scenery, packed up his scarce belongings to move to his grandfather's home. His grandfather encouraged him to develop intellectual interests outside of his studies. To that end, he introduced him to Russia's national pastime. Chess chess has a long and proud history in Russia since soon after the revolution in 1917. The game had been funded by the state, promoted by politicians and hailed as a way for Russia to dominate on the international stage.


The Soviets saw chess as more than a game. It was an embodiment of their ideals requiring skill, strategy and discipline.


For the teenage patrician, chess was a breakthrough. After years of struggling at school here at last was an opportunity to excel, to be admired and celebrated. He was a natural, and his grandfather soon declared that he was ready to show off his skills in public. The ideal place for the team to make his debut was Bitzer Park. The park was vast and versatile, popular with cross-country skiers in the winter, lovebirds in the summer and joggers all year round.


But for chess players, it was an arena.


Pushkin began playing public chess games in the park, opposite much older men who had been playing their entire lives. He was an outstanding player, and in the game he found a competitive outlet for the rage and alienation simmering inside him.


Peterkin also found a sense of belonging among the chess players. He felt more kinship with these vodka drinking strategic masterminds than he ever did with his fellow students at school.


But his happiness was short lived. When Pushkin was still a teenager, his grandfather died, having lost his own father before he was old enough to form memories. The loss of this father figure hit him hard. Pushkin fell into a deep depression.


He moved back in with his mother and half sister and the three of them crammed into the same old apartment where the living room doubled as a second bedroom. The claustrophobic living situation likely added to pitches and spiraling mental state. Perhaps seeking an outlet, he adopted a dog taking refuge in his love of animals.


He spent hours in Bitzer Park, taking long walks with his dog among the birch trees and drinking to dull the pain of his loss. And when he felt up to it, he went back to playing chess. But now, without his grandfather's stabilizing influence, the mood of the matches was darker. Even when Petrushka in one he didn't seem happy, and the huge quantities of vodka he drank probably didn't help.


Pushkin thrived on the feeling of control chess gave him. Seeing the look in his opponent's eyes as he realized he had lost was intoxicating. But these fleeting moments no longer satisfied his craving for dominance. Likewise, chess no longer occupied his mind the way it used to, no matter how many games he won.


But Pushkin couldn't escape the hopelessness of his real life. He left school with few qualifications and took a job stacking shelves at a local supermarket. He longed for a way to stand out to be exceptional in the eyes of the world.


In 1992, he found an unlikely role model. That year, as Bachchan turned 18, headlines across Russia were dominated by the trial of the Soviet serial killer Andre Chikatilo, accused of 52 murders. Chikatilo was the most prolific killer in Russia's history, earning him the nickname The Butcher of Rostov.


Most Russians watched in horror as Chikatilo gruesome crimes were recounted by the media. But for some aqab reason, Pushkin was inspired.


Watching ticketless ascent, the way an ordinary man could rise from humble beginnings to become the talk of the nation sparked something in the deeply competitive position. He didn't just want to be like the extraordinary killer. He wanted to outdo him.


He fantasized about beating the butcher of Rostov at his own game. Not chess, of course, but murder. And so began a one sided competition that would consume Pushkin for years to come.


Coming up, Pushkin goes on his first killing expedition. Listeners hears this show you do not want to miss.


When it comes to love, every story is unique. Some play out like fairy tales and some don't.


In our love story, the new Spotify original film podcast, you'll discover the many pathways to love, as told by the actual couples who found them. Every Tuesday, our love story celebrates the ups, downs and pivotal moments that turn complete strangers into perfect pairs. Each episode offers an intimate glimpse into our real life romance, with couples recounting the highlights and hardships that defined their love.


Whether it's a chance encounter, a former friendship or even a former enemy, our love story proves that love can begin and blossom in the most unexpected ways. Ready to hear more? Follow our love story free on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Now back to the story. In the summer of 1992, 18 year old Alexander Pushkin made a fateful decision, Russia was watching with bated breath as the trial of vicious serial killer Andre Chikatilo unfolded. But instead of being horrified by Chikatilo crimes, which included murder, rape and mutilation, Pushkin was envious, fiercely competitive by nature.


But Cheskin wanted to outdo Chikatilo. He wanted to become a killer even more legendary than the restaff butcher. But he didn't want to do it alone.


Pushkin was a misfit at school, and his early experiences of bullying made him something of a loner. But his late grandfather helped him gain social confidence by teaching him to play chess and taking him to play public games in Moscow's Bitzer Park.


Being a part of a chess playing community helped. Petraeus can see that he wasn't so unusual after all. And though he didn't have much in common with most of the other teens at school, there was one boy who he thought might understand his impulses.


On the afternoon of July 27, 1992, Katushka invited his former classmate, Mikhail Otha Chuck, to accompany him to bits a park. When Otha Chuck asked what he wanted to do, their Petrushka nonchalantly told him it was a killing expedition. He wanted to murder someone that day, and he wanted Otha Chuck to be his accomplice.


When Chuck agreed to accompany him to the park, Petrushka was thrilled. Finally, he had found a kindred spirit, somebody who understood his new dark impulses.


But when they reached Bitzer, Petrouchka noticed a change in Otha. Chuck Bushkin tried to engage him in conversation as they walked, sharing observations about people they passed and wondering aloud who would make the perfect victim pietistic, and suggested that their best bet was someone who was alone, perhaps homeless, someone who wouldn't be missed out.


Chuck didn't respond. He seemed uneasy and kept trying to change the subject. Pushkin realized with a prickle of anger that Odah Chuck had never taken this killing expedition seriously.


He was only here as a joke, Pichushkin and thought Chuck was making fun of him. And after so many years of mockery at the hands of his classmates, Picosecond couldn't tolerate that from a friend. As dusk settled over the park, the young men wandered deep into the forest. It seemed as if there was nobody around for miles. Realizing this picture, Pushkin's seized his moment. When Odah Choux back was turned pitch, Mushkin hit him hard in the head with a hammer as Odah Chuck crumpled to the ground.


But Bushkin kept hitting him.


He struck more than 20 times, fracturing his friend's skull and killing him.


Within minutes after Otha Chuck stopped breathing Potiskum and left his body where it lay and headed back towards his apartment on the north side of the park. He'd walked this path countless times, often after winning a chess game, and none of those victorious highs compared to this feeling.


But like most thrills, it faded quickly. The next day, Otha Chuck's body was discovered in the forest and police arrived at Pushkin's door. In seconds, his euphoria gave way to panic.


There's very little reporting from this time, so we don't know exactly what led the police to petition. It's likely that witnesses saw the two men walking to the park together that afternoon. But Pichushkin insisted he had nothing to do with Otha Chuck's death, that investigators had no evidence against him. Apparently, the 18 year old was a convincing liar, so they let him go.


There are conflicting accounts of what Peterkin did after this. Many reports state that he didn't kill again for nine years until the year 2001.


But according to another report, he killed someone else in the year 1992.


Here's how that story goes. Peterkin was in love with his neighbor Olga, a girl around his own age. But she didn't feel the same way. And when she rejected him, Cheskin was furious. He murdered Olga's boyfriend, Sergei, by pushing him out of a window because he died by falling from a building.


The police dismissed Sergei's death as suicide. It suggested that Patriquin murdered Olga, too. But this doesn't seem to have been proven either way. Peter Pushkin took a long hiatus from killing.


After that, we have no way of knowing exactly why he stopped for so long. Perhaps being questioned by the police spooked him. Or it's possible that the fate of his idol. Andre Chikatilo gave him pause in October of 1992, Chikatilo was sentenced to death, two years later, he was executed by gunshot, which might have put a dampener on patrician's desire to emulate him.


Whatever his reasons, the pause is striking. But it's not as unusual as you might think for a serial killer to stop killing in a 2008 study on serial murder. The FBI's National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime found that murderers will sometimes stop when they find a different outlet for their emotions or when sources of stress in their lives disappear. According to the report, certain events or circumstances in a murderer's life can make him less likely to pursue more victims.


These can include increased participation in family activities, sexual substitution and other diversions. But there's no indication that patrician's life improved for the better during this time. As his teenage years drew to a close, he settled into a mundane and lonely existence. He went to work at the supermarket and then came home to the two room apartment he shared with his mother and half sister. There's no record of girlfriends or any significant relationship outside of his family.


For nine years, Pushkin's life continued. In this unremarkable vein, nobody gave him much thought, and certainly nobody had any idea of the darkness that was brewing within his troubled mind.


His ordinary life proved to be the perfect smokescreen. Pushkin spent the decade plotting, devising a way to melt his two greatest obsessions chess and murder.


The image of the chessboard was never far from his mind. He saw it when he was walking alone in the park, when he woke up in the morning and in the moments just before he fell asleep at night, he imagined each of the board squares as a death.


If he could fill up the entire board, one victim per square, he would have killed 64 people, a total, far greater than Chikatilo, 52 over the years, the plan crystallized in his mind he had killed once and gotten away with it.


He knew he could do it again and better if he went in with a strategy.


On May 17th, 2001, almost nine years after he killed Odah, Chuck Kukushkin was finally ready to put his plan into action. Now 27, he had spent his entire adult life preparing for this moment.


The image of the chessboard loomed in his mind as he walked across Bitzer Park that night, heading for a familiar spot.


It's always the chess exhibition area was populated by old men moving ponds and knights around in between swigs a vodka.


Pushkin was still a regular at the chess tables, and he knew many of these men well. He approached a fellow regular, Yevgeny Pranayam, and invited him to take a walk through the park. He told Yevgeny that today was a sad day. It was the anniversary of his beloved dog's death. The dog was buried in Bitzer Park, Pushkin explained, and he wanted to visit the grave and raise a toast.


After pictures can promise to split his bottle of vodka, Yevgeny agreed to go with him.


Peterkin led him to the park, to a secluded clearing, where he said his dog was buried, producing the vodka from his pocket. Peterkin poured Yevgeny a drink.


The two talked for a while. Kukushkin was in no rush. He found it interesting to spend time talking to a man who was destined to die.


But finally, the moment came when Yevgeny wasn't looking Pichushkin and struck. He smashed the vodka bottle hard into the back of the man's head, knocking him unconscious.


A familiar, intoxicating feeling of power flooded through him. But Pichushkin learned from his previous mistake.


He wasn't about to leave this body out in the open for the police to find he had a plan.


A network of sewers serving most of western Moscow runs beneath Bitzer Park, accessible by wells at ground level pictures, and dragged the unconscious form to a nearby well and dropped him in, leaving him to fall 30 feet into the sewer. Pichushkin knew that if the head trauma and the fall didn't kill him, Yevgeny would surely drown in the fast flowing and filthy water.


Just like that. It was over. Pichushkin's plan was a success. Nothing remained to suggest a murder even took place when he arrived home that night, he greeted his mother and sister as usual, then went straight to his bedroom and took out his prized possession, his chess board.


There are different accounts of exactly how Pushkin kept track of his kills. Some reports say he drew crosses on his chess board.


Others say he placed coins onto the squares for each murder. And yet another account suggests that he kept a drawing of a chess board in a notebook, then wrote the date of each kill onto a different square.


Though the details about his chilling score card are fuzzy, it's clear that killing Yevgeny cracked something open for. And now that he knew how smoothly his plan could work, he was unstoppable.


Over the next eight weeks, he killed nine more men using the same M.O. Each time he picked his target and invited them to take a walk to his dog's grave with him, luring them with the promise of free vodka when they reached his favorite secluded spot, Pichushkin, and hit his victim over the head, dragged them to the well and threw their unconscious body into the sewer to drown.


It's difficult to find reliable details of the names and ages of Pichushkin's victims from this era.


There are a couple of reasons for this. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, there were some growing pains as the state adjusted to a new structure.


As a result, recordkeeping deteriorated significantly also Pichushkin and made a point of targeting victims whose place in society was already fragile men without permanent homes or close family whose absence might go unnoticed for days or even weeks.


That also means that they were less likely to show up in official records. And when they did, the police were less motivated to investigate.


Just as Pushkin hoped, the wells proved to be a perfect place to dispose of a body. The sewer system was so large and unwieldy that even if the bodies washed up and could be identified, nobody could possibly trace them back to bits of park or to him.


After a couple of months of completely undetected murders, Kukushkin concluded his summer spree on July 21st, 2001. That day, he murdered a man named Victor Volkov. It was his 10th kill in two months and his chessboard was filling up fast. But he was careful. He kept the board hidden away in a safe place where nobody could find it.


Nobody in his life noticed anything amiss. But Pushkin had always been quiet and withdrawn, and his mood didn't change when he started murdering people. Despite the frequency of his kills that summer, he never seemed to lose control. His violence was as careful and methodical as his chess game.


He even timed his murders to fall in the afternoon so he wouldn't miss his favorite TV show. He tried to be home by eight thirty every night to watch the French soap opera The Duchess de Montoro.


Pichushkin eased his pace a little in the fall and winter of 2001 and 2002, though he still murdered five people during this period, it's unclear exactly why he slowed down.


Maybe people were more reluctant to take long walks with him in the park once the weather turned cold.


Moscow's winters are brutal.


Temperatures fall to below 20 degrees Fahrenheit and snow is thick on the ground for months.


But Pichushkin didn't ease up for long before the end of winter in 2002, he was back on the hunt and his old ammo was getting stale, craving a challenge. He set his sights further afield than the park. That February, he prowled the streets of Moscow unnoticed in the crowds of commuters. Eyes peeled for the perfect victim. He found her sooner than he imagined.


Coming up, Pichushkin's first female victim puts up a fight. Now back to the story.


By the winter of 2002, 28 year old Alexander Pushkin was flying under the radar as one of the deadliest serial killers in Russia's history.


Nine years after his first murder in 1992, Pichushkin embarked on a frenzied killing spree in the summer of 2001. By the start of 2002, he had murdered at least 11 people, luring them into the sprawling forest of Bitzer Park with the promise of free vodka. He knocked his victims unconscious, then dumped them into the sewer system to drown. With every kill, he felt more powerful and more unstoppable pitch.


Pichushkin was well on his way to his ultimate goal to kill enough people to fill every one of the 64 squares on a chessboard. But he was getting bored of the same old routine and the same old victim. For the past nine months, he'd targeted older men who'd spent their days hanging around Bitzer Park, playing chess and drinking vodka, both in killing and in life.


Participants lack of interest in women or any romantic partner is striking. There's no indication that he ever had a girlfriend or even showed an interest, except for the unconfirmed story about him killing a romantic rival in 1992.


Then again, Pichushkin made a point of picking victims who wouldn't be missed. It's possible he avoided women. For this reason, they were less likely to live alone.


But on February 23, 2002, he took the risk that afternoon and crossed paths with Maria Viricheva, a 19 year old woman who was three months pregnant. Maria's boyfriend, Sergei, was an acquaintance of Pushkin, so he recognized Maria immediately when he saw her outside the Karkowski, a metro station.


Maria was distraught. She just had a huge argument with Sergei and she was afraid he was going to leave her.


Pichushkin approached her and offered her some company for a Petrushka, and the coincidence was almost too good to be true. He almost like to get to know his victims at least a little before killing them. The closer he was to a person, the better he knew them, the more he enjoyed the kill.


Statistically, this makes Pichushkin an outlier. In a 2009 study conducted by Penn State University, researchers examined gender differences in serial killer behavior. They found that male serial killers were almost six times more likely to kill a stranger than female serial killers who were more likely to kill a person they already knew. Male serial killers were also more likely to hunt their victims before the kill, the study found and tended to pick strangers. But Pichushkin was definitely a hunter. But he often targeted people he knew, usually men he had met playing chess at the park.


Though these don't seem like particularly close relationships, Pichushkin got more of a thrill out of killing acquaintances than strangers, and he knew Maria well enough to know that he would enjoy killing her.


But targeting Maria Force Pichushkin to change his M.O., trying to lure a pregnant woman to the park with alcohol wasn't going to work. Instead, he told her he had several boxes of brand new camera equipment hidden in a safe place inside Bitzer Park.


He made her an offer. If she helped him move the heavy cameras, he would give her half of them to sell so that she could provide for herself and her baby. He told her, don't waste your time grieving. You'd be better off making some money. Maria agreed to go with him. She followed him to the park and let him leader deep into the forest towards a concrete well, where Pichushkin said the cameras were hidden. By the time they reached the well, it was getting dark and Maria was antsy.


She had to wake up early for work the next morning and hadn't planned on being out this late Pichushkin and slowly lifted the iron manhole cover off the well and told Maria to come closer. As she approached him, he grabbed her and pushed her head first towards the well, adrenaline flooding through her.


Maria tried desperately to grip on to the edge of the well, enraged by her resistance Pichushkin and grabbed her by the hair and started slamming her head hard into the concrete wall, disoriented and in pain. Maria had one clear thought.


He will kill me like this.


She had no choice but to let go and fall into the darkness.


Maria landed in a sewage pipe around 25 feet below the mouth of the well. The water was deep and the current was powerful enough to sweep her away, so powerful that she was trapped under water for a while.


But Maria was a fighter. She wanted to live. After she caught her breath, she took off all of the heavy winter clothes that were weighing her down. Without her jacket and boots, she was able to swim more easily and managed to find her footing. She planted her hands and feet firmly at the sides of the pipe and made her way through the darkness, her head throbbing with pain, her heart pounding.


Maria eventually made it to another. Well, this one had a ladder attached to its side, and she was able to climb all the way up. But once she reached the top, the 90 pound manhole cover was almost impossible for her to move. She pushed with all her strength, but only managed to dislodge the cover by a few inches.


By this stage, Maria had been in the pipe all night. It was now Dawn and a few early risers were taking morning walks in bits of park. One woman stopped frozen in horror as she saw the manhole cover moving from underneath the cover.


Maria could see only a sliver of the world just enough to watch helplessly as the woman fled.


It was over. After fighting so hard to survive, she knew she was going to die inches from freedom.


But within minutes, the woman returned, bringing two security guards from a nearby garage. As they drew closer, they heard Maria's faint cries for help. The guards removed the manhole cover, lifted the exhausted, terrified woman out of the well and called an ambulance.


Against all the odds, Maria survived. At the hospital, she breathed a sigh of relief as the doctors confirmed that her unborn baby was also unharmed. But her ordeal wasn't over yet.


Maria wasted no time telling the police what happened, but when an officer came to question her at the hospital, he didn't seem very interested in the extraordinary story.


She told him this could have been an easy arrest. Maria knew exactly who her attacker was and could identify him by name. And Pichushkin was not a powerful man. The police had no vested interest in protecting him.


And yet what happened next is incomprehensible. Perhaps the officer was lazy, or maybe he had some other reason for not wanting to investigate. Whatever the case, his goal that day wasn't to find out the truth from Maria, but to keep her quiet. So he blackmailed her.


Maria grew up in a rural area where job prospects were scarce. She moved to the capital to build a better future for herself. But special paperwork was required to live in Moscow at the time, perhaps suspecting what her answer would be, the officer asked Maria for her papers.


Maria told him the truth, she didn't have the documentation, the officer shook his head, he told her that if she stayed quiet about being attacked, then the police would overlook her, quote, illegal habitation in Moscow. She was forced to sign a statement saying that she fell down the well herself by accident.


If that officer made a different choice and the police had arrested Pichushkin on that day, dozens of lives might have been saved.


Instead, as Maria lay in her hospital bed, traumatized and defeated Pichushkin and was going about his normal business at work. There was a spring in his step that day as he stacked the supermarket shelves. As far as he was concerned, his latest murder had gone off without a hitch.


He believed that Maria was dead. Her body lost to the labyrinthine sewer system. That meant another square on his chessboard was filled.


Pichushkin basked in the memory of Maria, the feeling of power he felt as she disappeared into the black void of the well.


But he didn't dwell for long.


Like any chess player worth his salt pit, Pichushkin was already planning his next move, and his twisted game was only just beginning.


Thanks again for tuning into serial killers.


We'll be back soon with Part two or we'll explore pictures again, snowballing murder spree through the early 2000s.


For more information on Alexander Pichushkin, amongst the many sources we used, we found Peter Savard, Nick's 2009 article on the chessboard killer featured in GQ. Extremely helpful to our research.


You can find all episodes of Serial Killers and all other originals from podcast for free on Spotify.


Will see you next time. Have a killer week. Serial Killers is a Spotify original from podcast, executive producers include Max and Ron Cuddler Sound Design by Mike Ramos with production assistance by Ron Shapiro, Carly Madden and Bruce Kaktovik. This episode of Serial Killers was written by Emma Daybed in with Writing Assistants by Joel Kaplan, fact checking by Hayley Millican and research by Brian Peteris and Chelsea Wood. Serial Killers stars Greg Polson and Vanessa Richardson. Don't forget to check out our love story, the newest Spotify original fun podcast every Tuesday discovered the many pathways to love as told by the actual couples who found them.


Listen to our love story. Free on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.