Russian police have arrested a father of two who they suspect is a notorious ‘grandma killer’ dubbed the ‘Volga maniac’.
38-year-old Radik Tagirov is suspected of murdering at least 26 elderly women between 75 and 90 years old in regions along the Volga River in Russia – one of the country’s most wanted criminals.
Last year, police offered a reward of three million rubles (£ 30,000) for information leading to the arrest of the ‘Volga Maniac’ after hunting him for several years, according to the BBC.
Investigators suspect his actual toll on casualties is as high as 32, and he has told investigators that he “can’t remember” how many female retirees he killed.
“I didn’t count,” he said.
“I only found out from the news.”
The mass murderer has been dodging the Russian police since 2011.
Tagirov, who investigators say lives in the Russian city of Kazan and has two children, including a baby, is accused of gaining access to the victims’ homes by posing as a social worker or maintenance worker before he used objects such as dressing. – cords and electric cables to strangle them.
He said to his interrogator, “I strangled them, with my hands from behind.
“I held on until the victim fell asleep, until she fell.”
Asked why he used this method of killing, he said it was “quiet, fast (and) I don’t know, painless … to them it seemed … was less painful.”
He stole money and valuables from his victims.
“I took the opportunity to make easy money,” he said.
Asked why he had targeted older women, he replied, “I can’t explain.”
The Russian Commission of Inquiry (SK), which operates like the FBI in the United States, said in a statement that Mr Tagirov’s arrest came after extensive forensics that revealed the criminal acts against the women had been committed by one person.
The SK also claimed that the “pattern” of some of the attacker’s actions appeared to be consistent with the defendant’s behavior, and that the commission had made the decision to detain him after “painstaking and systematic work”.
One of the alleged victims is named as Nasima Ishmuratova, 91.
CCTV footage of the suspect – and Identikit photos – was previously released.
A reward of £ 36,500 was given for information leading to an arrest.
The ‘Volga maniac’ was then described as ‘communicative and easily gains the trust of the elderly’.