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'Volga Maniac' Accused of Killing 26 Elderly Women

Russian police say suspect has confessed
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2020 2:42 PM CST

(Newser) – Investigators in Russia say they have caught the "Volga maniac," a serial killer who killed dozens of elderly women in 2011 and 2012. Russia's Investigative Committee says Radik Tagirov, a 38-year-old locksmith, was identified from DNA evidence and shoe prints and has confessed to the murders, the Guardian reports. Authorities believe he killed at least 26 women, most of them over 70. Tagirov allegedly killed women in at least a dozen cities in central Russia. Investigators say he posed as a plumber, electrician, or social worker to enter his victims' apartments before strangling them and often stealing valuables.

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In a video released by police, Tagirov admitted being the killer but didn't say how many victims there were, CBS reports. He was unable to explain why he murdered the women instead of just stealing from them. "All that happened spontaneously. I wanted to eat. I lived with my mother," he said when asked about the motive for his first murder. He said he strangled the women because it was quiet, fast, and "painless for them." Investigators say Tagirov, who was convicted of theft in 2009, wore gloves and wiped down crime scenes in an attempt to avoid leaving evidence. "The crimes remained unsolved for a long time, but the investigation was not suspended and the work of identifying the guilty person continued," the Investigative Committee said in a statement. (Read more Russia stories.)

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