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IRKUTSK, January 10. /TASS/. Former policeman Mikhail Popkov who was sentenced to life in prison after he was found guilty of murdering 22 women in Russia’s south-eastern Siberia in the late 1990s has been charged with 47 new murders.
"Convict Popkov has been charged with another 47 murders. Major Crimes Investigator Yevgeny Karchevsky announced this information at a court hearing [on extending Popkov’s arrest]," the press office of the regional Investigative Department told TASS.
The verdict against the serial killer has not yet come into force and investigators are probing a new case, due to which the ex-policeman remains in a pre-trial detention facility in Irkutsk
According to a source in the regional law-enforcement agencies, Popkov has already given confessionary evidence on 59 murders.
The ex-policeman was sentenced to life in January 2015 after he was found guilty of murdering 22 women and attempting to murder another two. It also became known at that time that he might be complicit in another 20 similar crimes, for which he acknowledged his guilt. According to state prosecutors, he was telling his cellmates about the crimes he had committed.
Investigators established that Popkov, born in 1964, went on a killing spree between 1994 and 2000, murdering women in the Angarsk and Irkutsk regions.
According to the investigation data, women kept disappearing in the evenings and nights from public places in the city of Angarsk in 1994-2000. Mutilated bodies of the disappeared women were later discovered on the territories of the south-eastern districts of Siberia's Irkutsk Region. About 30,000 people were checked to identify the suspect.
In some cases, the police found the traces of wheels left by a Niva cross country vehicle at crime scenes. Law-enforcement agencies were checking all local residents who possessed cars of this brand. These measures helped identify Popkov who worked in the police at that time but resigned in 1998.
Popkov was detained in 2012 in Vladivostok. Initially, he confessed to three murder accounts but the further investigation proved that the suspected serial killer was behind 22 murders and two attempted murders.