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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Serial Killing Trial Begins

Alexander Pichushkin went on trial Friday on charges of murdering 49 people, many of them by smashing their skulls with a hammer in Moscow's Bittsevsky Park.

The 33-year-old glared at the floor of his glassed-in dock while prosecutors took two hours to read out the charges against him.

They described how he killed 46 men and three women over 14 years, many with hammer blows to the head, and others by throwing them off a balcony or drowning them in a sewage pit.

They said Pichushkin had confessed to killing as many as 63 people.

Pichushkin refused to testify at the opening session in Moscow City Court until what he called some "personal issues" had been resolved.

Ivannikov said Pichushkin wanted to transfer out of a cell at Butyrka prison to a smaller cell at a jail closer to the court.

"He said it's more comfortable; he's done time there," Ivannikov told reporters.