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Mikhail Popkov, jailed this year for killing 22 women, 'to face new murder charges' in 2016

By The Siberian Times reporter
22 October 2015

State investigators examining whether 'The Werewolf' had 'dozens' more victims in Siberia and Russian Far East.

One anonymous source suggested Popkov, 51, could have committed another 20 murders while a newspaper citing police indicated his full toll could be as high as 61. Picture: Vesti.ru

The former policeman is being checked for links to 'many' unsolved murders but there is already sufficient evidence for a new criminal case including alleged new killings which is being actively prepared for next year.

One anonymous source suggested Popkov, 51, could have committed another 20 murders while a newspaper citing police indicated his full toll could be as high as 61. The mass killer gave lifts in his police car to many of his victims, who he then murdered with axes, knives or screwdrivers.

He also raped most of the women he killed, according to evidence at his trial which led to him being jailed for life in January 2015 for the murders of 22 women.  

During interrogations, he claimed he wanted to 'cleanse' prostitutes from the streets of his city of Angarsk. It is unclear if any of his victims were sex workers: most were women who had been out for an evening drink. One theory is that he targeted women in revenge for his fear that his wife had cheated on him. 

Mikhail Popkov

It is planned that a criminal case with new episodes will be passed to the court in 2016.' Picture: Timur Balashov

Until now, it was thought Popkov stopped his rape and murder campaign around the year 2000, a dozen years before his arrest in 2012. He claimed this was when he lost his sexual potency. Now the Investigative Committee - which probes serious crime in Russia - believe he did not halt his murderous spree in 2000, but they are also examining whether there were more killings before this. 

Head of the committee's criminology department in Irkutsk region, Ivan Rastorguev, said: 'It is planned that a criminal case with new episodes will be passed to the court in 2016.' The case is now 'in production - all episodes are checked, undertaken with laborious examinations'. He declined to say how many alleged murders are expected in the new charges, but one report has suggested at least 11 with a further 39 unsolved cases being scrutinised.

He confirmed: 'First, we are checking all the unsolved murders of women since the 1990s. Investigators are working in the archives, and look whether there are similarities with Popkov's trademark style. Then, additionally, we are working with Popkov himself.' It is unclear for now if he has confessed to more crimes, and the degree of his co-operation, if any. 

Wednesday murderer victims


Wednesday murderer victim Tatiana with sister Victoria and mother Lyubov

Tatiana Martynova (right) with a friend Yulia Kuprikova (middle) who they were both killed together. Viktoria Chagaeva (left), also killed by Mikhail Popkov, pictured with her younger sister Tatiana and mother Lyubov. Pictures: The Siberian Times

Rastorguev said: 'With police, we have made a selection of similar crimes committed in Irkutsk, Angarsk and Usolsky districts. There were many such crimes. Now the department working on investigations of particularly important cases is checking each of them. This work is very labour intensive. Each case requires at least three or four months.'

On top of this, investigators have alerted police in many other regions in Siberia and the Far East over Popkov's extensive travelling in the period when it was earlier thought his killing spree had ended. 

'Investigators suspect that Popkov could commit murders in other regions,' said one account. 'It is known that after quitting the police he was actively engaged in the sale of cars. This took him to Vladivostok among other places. In this regard, the Investigative Committee of Irkutsk region has sent reports of Popkov's possible involvement in similar crimes to all regions where the he has ever travelled. Investigators from those regions now also carrying out analytical work on unsolved murders of women in previous years.'

Mikhail Popkov

'Investigators are working in the archives, and look whether there are similarities with Popkov's trademark style. Then, additionally, we are working with Popkov himself.' Picture: Investigative Department in Siberian Federal District

In 'strong physical shape', Popkov used his police patrol car to offer late night lifts to women who had been drinking. His victims' bodies were invariably found dumped naked in woods, on the roadside and in a cemetery. They included a teacher and a shop assistant. Popkov managed to elude the authorities for two decades because investigators ignored evidence that the serial killer could be one of their own officers.

He was finally arrested in 2012 after detectives took DNA samples from 3,500 current and former police officers. The murders were said by police to have stopped in 2000 and Popkov later said this was because he had caught a venereal disease, which rid him of the maniacal desire to kill women.

At the time he told police: 'I just neglected the illness, tried to cure it by myself, was afraid to go to the hospital. And I felt the consequences, I became impotent. After that, I lost the desire to rape and murder.' The latest investigations, however, are examining the periods before and after 2000.

Elena Popkova


Elena Popkova


Elena Popkova

'We have been married for 28 years. If I suspected something wrong, of course, I would divorce with him.' Pictures: NTV, Odnoklassniki

In a newspaper interview earlier this year, a handcuffed Popkov did not comment on alleged new cases. He boasted at how he had outfoxed police and said he was only finally arrested because of the invention of DNA analysis. 'I could not anticipate the examination of DNA,' he said. 'I was born in another century. Now there are such modern technologies, methods, but not earlier. If we have not got to that level of genetic examination, then... I would not be sitting in front of you.'

He admitted that he killed women - including wives and mothers - who had gone out drinking, indicating he saw this as inappropriate behaviour. But he now says: 'I had no right to evaluate people, their behaviour... this is my repentance.' Asked he could turn back time, what he would do differently, he said: 'All initially should have been changed. Straight from school. Since childhood.'

He suggested that his killing spree was triggered by fears his wife, Elena, 49, also a police officer, had slept with another man. 'I just had some reasons to suspect her,' he said. 'I'm not looking for excuses, but this was the impetus for my future,' he told a reporter from Komsomolskaya Pravda. 

'If I had seen the treason with my own eyes, I would maybe have done everything differently. Everyone goes through such things differently: some take it easy  and forget,  others take it painfully. What happened with me? The worst-case scenario.'

He admitted to being filled with a desire to kill his loyal wife, who in the aftermath of his conviction as a mass murderer refused to believe he was guilty, as did the couple's only child, Ekaterina, a teacher, aged 27. After he was convicted both women refused to believe the overwhelming evidence against Popkov. 

Ekaterina Popkova


Mikhail and Ekaterina Popkov


Mikhail and Ekaterina Popkov

'For 25 years we were together, hand in hand. We walked, rode bikes, went to the shops, and he met me from school.' Pictures: NTV

'We have been married for 28 years. If I suspected something wrong, of course, I would divorce with him,'  Elena said at the time. 'I support him, I believe him. If he was to be released right now, I would not say a word and we would continue to live together. I love him, I support him. He did not cause me any harm for all these years. I felt safe with him.'

The couple's daughter Ekaterina also found it impossible to see him as a mass killer. 'I do not believe any of this. I always felt myself as 'Daddy's girl'," she claimed on Russian TV. 'For 25 years we were together, hand in hand. We walked, rode bikes, went to the shops, and he met me from school. We both collect model cars, so we have the same hobby. I wanted to be a criminologist, so I read a book with tips of how investigators catch serial killers and there were also basic classifications [about murderers]. Daddy doesn't fit any of these classifications - he doesn't look like some maniac.'

Both women have now moved to another city to start new lives, and it is believed they no longer visit Popkov in detention, as they did earlier. Popkov confirmed in his recent interview that he was 'not now' in touch with his daughter. 

Comments (4)

he is innocent
sean murphy, riga, latvia
02/12/2016 20:51
0
0
The women around him his wife, daughter, were blinded by love for him, because he gave them love & respect. But it is these type who keep the females within the home happy...but out of the house kill as many women as they can & hope to get away with same because homewise they have an air of respectability about them. Even now after learning of all his horrible acts, his wife will stand by him, because she is in denial. In fact, "Incredulous" to his horrific crimes.
Jaker, Dundalk
27/10/2015 22:36
0
0
I am curious whether he as a child was brought up in a strict family environment where in particular sex was seen as something taboo and bad, sometimes these kinds of restrictions can backfire when a child grows up with a distorted view caused by the parents, and when becoming a young adult discovers the world doesn't look like as one would have imagined can causes a strong disdain for wantonly behaving opposite sex.
inspector gadget, Ostrobothnia
27/10/2015 13:04
0
0
Do Bozi.
zuptar, Tarnów
23/10/2015 00:18
0
0
1

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