It gave him another nickname - the "Bitsa Maniac".

Pichushkin never denied the murder charges but said that he fell in love with killing.

If he is found to have murdered 63 people, he would be Russia's most prolific serial killer.

'Passion for killing'

Andrei Chikatilo, another serial killer, was convicted in 1992 and executed two years later for raping and murdering 52 people.

Pichushkin was arrested in June 2006 after a woman left a note at home saying that she was going for a walk with him and was then found dead.

Pichushkin said he was aware of the note but killed her anyway.

"I burned myself, so there's no need for the cops to take credit for catching me," he said during the trial.

"I'm a professional."

During the trial, which began on September 13, Pichishkin revelled in the memory of his first murder, saying "it's like first love - it's unforgettable".