December 10, 2018 8:34 am
Updated: December 10, 2018 1:03 pm

Ex-police officer convicted of killing 56 women in Russia

WATCH: Mikhail Popkov, a former police officer in Russia, has been found guilty in the murders of 56 women. The conviction brings the number he is believed to have killed to 78.


A court in Russia’s eastern Siberia on Monday convicted a former policeman of murdering 56 women, bringing the number he is believed to have killed to at least 78.

READ MORE: Expect a surge in serial killers in 15 years, Canadian author says

The court found Mikhail Popkov, from the eastern Siberian city of Angarsk, guilty of the murders between 1994 and 2000 and sentenced him to life in prison. Popkov, who was arrested in 2012, is already serving life for 22 other killings.

The verdict makes him Russia’s most prolific serial killer in at least the past century.

WATCH BELOW: California police crack 45-year-old case using genealogy database

Local police have for years been investigating murders in the Irkutsk region, where dozens of women were raped and killed in secluded spots. In order to help the probe, authorities ended up taking DNA samples from 230,000 residents of Angarsk. Sperm found on one of the victims led the investigators to the killer.

WATCH BELOW: U.S. serial killer Samuel Little confesses to 1978 murder, linked to dozens more

Psychiatric tests run on the police lieutenant who retired in 1998 have concluded that he is sane.

Popkov’s lawyer told Russian news agencies that his 54-year-old client would appeal the verdict as well as the motion to strip him of his police pension, which he has been receiving despite the 2015 guilty verdict.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

Report an error


Comments closed.

Due to the sensitive and/or legal subject matter of some of the content on, we reserve the ability to disable comments from time to time.

Please see our Commenting Policy for more.