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‘the Werewolf’ Killer Who Slaughtered Women for Two Decades — Mikhail Popkov

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He targeted women and brutally stabbed them to death for over two decades. He was the perfect husband and father, but he led a secret life of a serial killer.

Who is Mikhail Popkov?

Mikhail Viktorovich Popkov was born in Russia on March 7, 1964. Much is not known about his childhood, but according to media sources, it seems that his mother was an alcoholic and very abusive towards Mikhail Popkov. He worked as a police officer for a few years. In 1998, he resigned from his job and started working at an oil and chemical plant as a security guard. He has a wife and daughter. He was considered as the model husband and father. According to his co-workers and close people,, he was very charming, likable, funny, and the life of the party.

His ‘Cleaning Mission’

He started his killing spree in 1992 and continued until 2010.

Mikhail Popkov used to roam around the bars and gave lifts to intoxicated women in his Larda 4x4. Once he got them into his car, he used to take them into the woods to rape, torture, and kill. After doing such a horrendous act he used to go back home to his family as if he didn’t commit such a heinous crime. The woman used to belong to the age group of 16–40. He used to mutilate them and stab them up to 170 times, leaving the body of the victim extremely wounded to the point where it looked as if a Werewolf had torn open the body. Thus he came to be called ‘The Werewolf’.

He used to offer drinks to women in the bars and offer them a lift. Since he was a police officer at that time, the women trusted him easily and they could also safely get home. Except three women who rejected his offer, everyone else got into his car and ended up dead. Then he drove to the woods, beat them up, strangled, stabbed repeatedly, hit them with blunt objects, and sexually assaulted them. He reportedly engaged in sexual activities with the bodies after he killed them

He used to take knives, ropes, and hammer from the evidence room and use it to kill the victims. Once he used it, he would destroy the fingerprints on the tools and discard them.

He confessed that he wanted to clean the population of immoral women and that was the reason he started killing. Another reason that was speculated was when he came to know about his wife’s affair and he started killing women because of that. Even there were reports that said he killed women who resembled his mother since she abused him during his childhood.

Popkov said that one night he offered women a ride, without any bad intentions, and while they were driving he had the sudden urge to kill her, which was the beginning of his kill spree.

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He was such a good man to his family that his daughter refused to believe the fact that her father was a serial killer. He even gave donations to her music teacher, who was his victim, for a charity appeal for the victim.

His Arrest and Sentence

He was escaping the police while silently taking more and more lives, but one day one of his victims escaped. She took the ride offered by Popkov, once they reached the woods, he slammed her head against a tree. The next thing she knew was darkness. She woke up the next day completely naked, lying on the dirt, somehow she was discovered and taken to the hospital. When she identified Popkov as her attacker, the police refused to believe her. Elena Popkov who was working with the police department set up an alibi hence allowing the killer to continue his kill spree.

His DNA was connected to the crime scene, the tire marks of his Larda 4x4 were discovered beside most of his victims’ bodies. He also had contracted STD from one of the victims, thus confirming him as the suspect.

He was arrested on June 23, 2012, when he went to Vladivostok to purchase a car after getting his DNA recorded, alongside 3,500 other policemen. He was accused of murdering at least 29 women, 25 of whom were between the ages of 19 and 28, and four of whom were between the ages of 35 and 40. Angarsk, Irkutsk Oblast, was home to all of the victims.

Once he was arrested, he cooperated with the police very well and took them to the crime scene, and explained in detail what he did with each victim.

Popkov was subsequently found guilty of 22 murders and two counts of attempted murder in 2015. He admitted to 60 more crimes during his conviction, including 59 murders and one attempted murder. Popkov’s right to a pension as a retired police officer has been taken away from him, and he will spend the rest of his time in prison.

Psychology Of Mikhail Popkov

He was devoid of remorse and had a full smile on his face during interviews which angered the Russian public. According to psychologists who tested him he loved killing along with sadism and was also into necrophilia. Despite this, he was considered sane enough to stand the trial. The psychologists also reported that the motive for murder might be Misogyny.

People speculate that he might confess to more murders bringing the number up to 200.

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