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    Alleged Moscow serial killer claims 62 murders

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    An alleged Moscow serial killer, arrested in June, has been charged with 49 murders, but claims that he killed 62 people in all, a senior law police official said Thursday.

    MOSCOW, December 14 (RIA Novosti) - An alleged Moscow serial killer, arrested in June, has been charged with 49 murders, but claims that he killed 62 people in all, a senior law police official said Thursday.

    Alexander Kshevitsky, a deputy head of the Interior Ministry's operations and investigations bureau, said that in some of the murder cases Alexander Pichuzhkin claims to have committed, the victims are still considered missing.

    Pichuzhkin, 32 at the time of his arrest, was earlier charged with killing at least 10 people, most of them in Bitsa park, a stretch of dense woodland in the south of Moscow, where he was apprehended by police this summer.

    The investigation determined that Pichuzhkin began killing in 2000. Most of the victims found in the park were killed with a blow to the head after Pichuzhkin approached them from behind.

    If it turns out to be true that Pichuzkin, who has already been dubbed the "Bitsa Maniac," killed as many people as he claims, he will become the bloodiest serial killer in Russian history, well ahead of Andrei Chikatilo.

    Between 1978 and 1990, Chikatilo, or the "Rostov Ripper," killed 53 people, many of them young women and boys, in and around the city of Rostov, near the Black Sea. He was eventually caught, found guilty of multiple murders, sentenced to death and executed in 1994.

    In 1996, Russia imposed a moratorium on the death penalty, and if Pichuzhkin is found guilty of the murders he claims, the most severe punishment he faces will be a life sentence.

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