Hammer maniac smashed in six skulls in chessboard killer copycat spree

A Russian “hammer maniac” has been jailed for life after a murder spree in which he crushed the skulls of six people in 17 days.

Anatoly Shanaurov, 30, has been labelled as a copycat of notorious chessboard serial killer Alexander Pichushkin who murdered 49.

Car repair shop worker Shanaurov killed all his victims within 17 days in Miass, Chelyabinsk region.

All of Shanaurov’s victims were male and were mainly homeless out on the streets.

The victims had all been struck up to 50 times in the head with a sledgehammer, before their bodies were found in either cemeteries or on waste lands.

In similarities to Moscow mass killer Pichushkin, who claimed a “sexual thrill” from each life he took, Shanaurov would give his victims vodka, leaving them drunk.

He would lure them to remote areas and before repeatedly striking them in the head with a hammer.

Police laid in wait for the new maniac Shanaurov after seeing a man with a “strange walk” on CCTV close to a 55-year-old homeless man, Valery Algazin.

Shanaurov was held as he prepared for another killing, along with a blood stained hammer found in his bag.

Senior prosecutor Ruslan Timshin said: “Shanaurov complained about the disorder in his life, low earnings, and no girlfriend.

“That is why he went out to kill people weaker than himself , so asserting himself.

“He had no conflict with any of the victims."

One of his victims was Ivan Sidorenko, 83, a beggar at a local church.

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The killer’s neighbour Oksana described: "He was calm and even a little downtrodden.”

She also said his family were deeply religious.

All his victims were killed during July 2020, but the full details of the killings only came to light at his trial, when he was sentenced to life.

Police believe he had sought to emulate Pichushkin, whose victims were found in Bitsevski Park in Moscow.

Pichushkin, who also used a hammer as the muder weapon, told police his aim was to kill one person for each square on a chessboard.

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