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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Man Confesses to 24 Murders

A 30-year-old unemployed loner from a Moscow suburb has confessed under police interrogation to the sex-related murders of 24 people in a gruesome killing spree that began in 1987.

The murderer, Sergei Rakhovsky, stalked area forests and remote places outside the capital, preying mostly on elderly women, though several younger men and women were also among the victims, the chief investigator for the case, Yury Kolesov, said Monday.

According to Kolesov, who has been interrogating Rakhovsky since he was apprehended April 13, the killer usually had sex with his victims and often mutilated the bodies afterward.

"He killed the women and then raped them", Kolesov said in a telephone interview. "We are not sure if he did the same with the men, but we are still building the case and strengthening our evidence against him".

According to newspaper accounts, Rakhovsky, who is unmarried, lived with his parents in the town of Balashikha just east of Moscow.

In 1980, Rakhovsky's fiancee left him, a trauma that Komsomolskaya Pravda speculated sparked a desire to seek revenge against all women.

He completed an earlier prison term for hooliganism in 1982 and after that reportedly spent much of his time watching television and writing science fiction tales. He also loved walking in the woods around Moscow that eventually became his hunting grounds.

A large, heavy man with a height of 1. 95 meters and a weight of 130 kilograms, he would have been easily able to overcome his victims.

The murders continued until last month, according to reports of Rakhovsky's confession.

On March 9, according to a community newspaper that quoted from what it said were transcripts of the confession, Rakhovsky attacked a woman near Rublyovskoye Shosse in western Moscow.

"I had a very strong desire for intimacy", the confessed killer was quoted as saying by the newspaper, Novye Rubezhy.

"On the path I met a woman in her '60s; I grabbed her shoulders and went to a nearby storage building", he said, according to the newspaper. "She started crying and I beat her in the face and started to strangle her. After she was dead, I undressed her".

In one case, Rakhovsky chopped off the head of a 16-year-old boy and burned it, according to investigator Kolesov. In an October 1992 case, he killed and then castrated a homosexual man in Izmailovsky Park, the investigator said.

Other murder weapons used by Rakhovsky included a ski pole, a screwdriver and the back side of an ax, Kolesov said.

Rakhovsky is the latest in a series of serial murderers to make headlines recently in Russia.

The most famous recent serial murder case involved the so-called Rostov Ripper, Andrei Chikatilo, who killed 52 boys, girls and women in the Rostov-on-Don area in southern Russia. Chikatilo was sentenced to death last year but remains on death row pending appeal.