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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Suspect Says First Killing Like First Love

APPichushkin sitting in the defendant's cage Sept. 13, the first day of his trial.
Alexander Pichushkin, accused of killing dozens of people and keeping count of them on a chessboard, reveled in the memory of his first murder at his trial Tuesday, saying it's like first love -- unforgettable.

Pichushkin, 33, also insisted that prosecutors charge him with all the murders he has taken responsibility for, saying to do otherwise would be unfair.

Pichushkin, who went on trial last month, has confessed to murdering 63 people, with the goal of marking all 64 squares on the chessboard. Prosecutors charged him with 49 murders, most committed from 2001 to 2006 in Bittsevsky Park, a sprawling wooded area on the southern edge of Moscow.

"A first killing is like your first love. You never forget it," he said from the defendant's cage in the courtroom, after explaining how he started killing at age 18 with the murder of a classmate.

Pichushkin said he had suggested to his classmate that they kill someone, but when his friend refused, "I sent him to heaven." He then smirked at the jury.

Often aggressive in court, Pichushkin gesticulated to show the jury how he strangled his victims and the marks his victims had left on his hands as they struggled.

Pichushkin asked the court to take into account an additional 11 murders for which he has not been charged. "I thought it would not be fair to forget about the other 11 people," he told the court.

He said he was aware that a woman whom he intended to kill had left a note at home saying she was going for a stroll with him -- but killed her anyway. The note led to his arrest soon afterward, in June 2006.

"You should not credit the police with catching me. I gave myself up," he told the court.

If convicted, Pichushkin could be Russia's most prolific serial killer. Andrei Chikatilo was convicted in 1992 and executed in 1994 for raping, butchering and in some cases eating as many as 52 people.

Pichushkin's trial is expected to be lengthy, with testimony scheduled from at least 41 relatives of the victims and another 98 witnesses.

Reuters, AP