Russian 'Werewolf' Serial Killer Mikhail Popkov: 'I Was A Good Dad'
Mikhail Popkov explained that he didn't want to target all women, just "those of a certain negative behavior. I had a desire to teach and punish."
Mikhail Popkov, the Russian serial killer nicknamed "The Werewolf," has told police that despite killing a reported 82 victims between 1992 and 2010, he was a good husband and father.
Popkov, who raped almost all his victims, also said he performed well at his job as a police officer.
The 53-year-old told investigators:
“I had a family. My wife and daughter considered me a good husband and father, which corresponded to reality. I was in the service, in the police, having positive feedback on my work. I never thought of myself as mentally unhealthy. During my police service, I regularly passed medical commissions and was recognized as fit.”
In testimony reportedly leaked to Komsomolskaya Pravda, Popkov said that he had been leading a "double life." “In one life I was an ordinary person," he said. "In my other life I committed murders, which I carefully concealed from everyone, realizing that this was a criminal offense.”
Popkov used his job as a cop to lure victims, who were aged 17 to 38, by offering some of them rides home in his police car before taking them to remote locations, where he sexually assaulted and murdered them.
He has previously claimed he wanted to “cleanse” the streets of “prostitutes” and told investigators he targeted women who were "behaving carelessly" by being "ready to drink alcohol and have sexual intercourse with me." He explained that he didn't want to target all women, just "those of a certain negative behavior. I had a desire to teach and punish."
He also recounted how he used all types of weapons to kill his victims, including a knife, an ax, and a bat. He would take them from the police collection of confiscated weapons that had been used in other crimes.
Police arrested Popkov in 2012 after linking DNA from the crime scenes to him. Popkov was convicted in January 2015 after confessing to 22 murderers and, despite his initial insistence that he stopped killing in 2000 due to catching a venereal disease from one of his victims, he continued to kill until 2010.
Authorities have now reportedly charged Popkov with 60 murders, bringing his total confirmed killing total to 82 — which investigators believe is the likely "final" death toll.
His wife Elena, 51, and daughter Ekaterina, 30, initially refused to believe he was a serial killer. Ekaterina, now reportedly pregnant with her own child, told reporters that she had been a "Daddy's girl."
Popkov claimed that if not for advances in DNA and technology, he believed that he would have continued to get away with murder. He explained that he was confident that he would never get caught, but that he could not have anticipated the advances made in forensic DNA detection.
“I was born in another century," he said. "Now there are such modern technologies, methods, but not earlier. If we have not got to that level of genetic examination, then ... I would not be sitting in front of you.”
Read more: The Independent