A Russian already convicted of killing 22 women has confessed to 59 more murders — making him the world’s third most prolific serial killer and his country’s worst, according to published reports.
Mikhail “The Werewolf” Popkov, a former Siberian cop, was serving a life term behind bars when he told Russian authorities that he admitted to killing dozens more, The Siberian Times reported Wednesday.
Recently, the bloodthirsty maniac copped to 12 sexually motivated slayings of prostitutes, all of whom he killed during his rampage from 1994 to 2000, according to the report.
“That means, if we add them to the earlier 22, it will be 81 murders in total. We are quite sure about the 12 other cases,” Irkutsk police spokeswoman Karina Golovacheva told the site. “In the nearest future we can bring charges [in the 12 cases].”
A few days ago, Popkov was charged with 25 additional murders after police discovered the corpses of a “huge number” of victims based on his latest confessions, The Siberian Times said.
The macabre tally vaulted Popkov past Russia’s two other most prolific serial killers: Andrei “Butcher of Rostov” Chikatilo, who slaughtered 53 people, and “Chessboard Killer” Alexander Pichushkin, who whacked 49.
Only two other serial killers in the world, South Americans Pedro “The Monster of the Andes” Lopez (over 300) and Luis “The Beast” Garavito (147) have more victims, the outlet reported.
During his 16-year spree, Popkov raped his young female victims — all aged 17-38 — before killing them either with an ax, knives or screwdrivers.
Wearing his police uniform, Popkov would lure his drunken victims into his police car by offering them late night rides back home from bars.
He would then drive his lifeless victims to deserted areas and dump their naked corpses in the woods. DNA evidence was left at the crime scenes.
The crimes went unsolved for so many years because the police failed to conduct DNA tests on their own officers. When they finally tested the entire department, Popkov was revealed to be the killer.
After his arrest in June 2012, Popkov allegedly told police that he lost the will to kill after he had contracted syphilis from one of his victims, leaving him impotent. Cops say that he stopped killing in 2000 when he was stricken with the disease.
Police have theorized that the murders began after Popkov found two used condoms belonging to guests who had attended a gathering at his home. Popkov wrongly accused his wife of cheating on him, causing him to seek revenge against women.