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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Brutal Sex Killer Slays 3 in Central Moscow

A brutal sex killer has struck three times over the last 10 days, murdering young women in sadistic attacks within a small area of central Moscow near Pushkin Square, city police said Tuesday.

The three victims all had been ferociously stabbed and police said the killings bore other hallmarks leading them to suspect that the same man was responsible.

The victim's bodies were found within a mile of each other in a five-day period last week.

The first murder was discovered on Aug. 8 when the body of a young woman was found in the basement room of an apartment house in Suvorovsky Bulvar, central Moscow. She had been disemboweled and sexually mutilated.

The second killing occurred Aug. 9 on Tverskoi Bulvar, in a house near the McDonald's restaurant on Pushkin Square.

"She was probably beaten to death with a brick," said Igor Tsyrulnikov, a police spokesman.

The most recent killing occurred on Tverskaya-Yamskaya Ulitsa on Aug. 12. The body of a naked woman, between 16 and 17 years old, was found between the eighth and ninth floors of an apartment house. She had four very large knife wounds in the chest.

Police have not yet released the names of any of the victims.

"Most likely, these three women were killed by one man who has a serious mental disorder, because the hallmark of these killings was the same," Tsyrulnikov said.

"Police are now checking city mental health clinics and criminals who have been convicted of sexual crimes," he said.

The frankness of police officers investigating the case contrasted with attitudes during the Soviet era, when sexual or serial killings were covered up and dismissed as a peculiarly capitalist disease