A former grocery store clerk who imagined he was "almost God" as he methodically hunted and sought to kill one person for every space on a chessboard has been sentenced to life in prison for 48 murders.
A Moscow court handed down Russia's harshest possible sentence for Alexander Pichushkin, 33, who mostly preyed on residents of his poor Moscow neighborhood.
Pichushkin stood in a reinforced glass cage, his hands cuffed behind his back, while the judge read out the sentence Monday. Asked whether he understood the sentence, he replied: "I'm not deaf."
Pichushkin became known as "the chessboard killer" because he said he aimed to kill 64 people to match the spaces on a chessboard.
He had boasted of killing 60 people and trying to kill three others. However, prosecutors could only find evidence to charge him with 48 murders and three attempted murders.