Monster is jailed for life for murdering as many as 60 victims mainly in Moscow's Bitsa Park.
'It was not immediately clear if Natalya has visited him in jail or whether their relationship is only on paper'. Picture: NTV
The blonde woman - named only as Natalya - claims it was 'love at first sight' with the jailed killer also known as the Bitsa Maniac, who has been described as Russia's worst-ever serial killer. When he was finally arrested, he was close to completing his morbid aim of one murder of every square on the chessboard.
Natalya works in a children's shop in Nyagan, the Siberian birthplace of tennis star Maria Sharapova.
'I go to bed thinking about him, I wake up thinking about him,' she told TV channel NTV in a remarkable interview.
She has been communicating with the mass killer - who is jailed for life in 2007 - for the past five years after the end of her own joyless marriage, she said.
'My husband was beating me and cheating on me with a friend of mine,' she explained. 'I was trying to forget about it by getting myself drunk, sometimes it was going on for days, weeks, months. Everything changed when they showed the Bitsa Maniac on TV.
'It was love from first sight. He became my ray of sunshine. I began writing, he answered, and we exchanged letters. In his letters, he told me in detail about the murders he committed, and how it was 'interesting for him to turn the living into the dead'.
'In all cases I killed for only one reason. I killed in order to live, because when you kill, you want to live', Pichushkin once said. Pictures: NTV
While not expressing any condemnation of his terror campaign in the Moscow park, she 'is as proud of her groom as if he was a Hollywood star', reported NTV. 'I feel bad, I start walking about, kicking about all corners of my flat thinking constantly about him,' she said. Her colleagues know she is passionately in love with someone but have no clue as to her sweetheart's identity.
Pichushkin's trademark 'signature' was to wedge a bottle into the cracked skulls of his victims who were mainly elderly and often drunk men he befriended often with vodka in the large Moscow park. Other victims were women and children. Notoriously, he said: 'For me, life without killing is like life without food for you. I felt like the father of all these people, since it was I who opened the door for them to another world'.
Bullied and taunted as a 'retard' when he was at school, he was taught chess by a grandfather who he loved and whose death may have triggered his fearsome killing spree. His victims were often killed with repeated hammer blows to the skull.
'In all cases I killed for only one reason. I killed in order to live, because when you kill, you want to live', he once said. His final victim Marina Moskalyova, 36, in the spring of 2006, was his last. She had left a note for her son with his name and phone number on it.
A metro ticket found on her body also led police to track her journey and he was seen with her on surveillance tape footage. He confessed at once, his only condition was doing it in front of TV camera, which investigators staged for him. The confession was then shown on NTV channel.
Natalya 'is as proud of her groom as if he was a Hollywood star'. Pictures: NTV
He was convicted on 24 October 2007 of 49 murders and three attempted murders. He asked for 11 more victims to be added to his gruesome death toll.
Pichushkin was sentenced to life with the first 15 years to be spent in solitary confinement.
He is now serving his sentence in a high security prison in northern Siberia.
It was not immediately clear if Natalya has visited him in jail or whether their relationship is only on paper.
Hundreds of years ago, the Cosssacks were at the forefront of the conquest of Siberia; now the heritage passes to a new generation.
Gunman 'with hatred for ethnic minorities' killed two in security service office, one in an earlier shooting, before he was 'eliminated'.