Russian Police Arrest ‘Volga Maniac’ Serial Killer Suspect

RUSSIAN police have arrested a man in connection to the ‘Volga Maniac’ serial killer case, in which at least 26 elderly women were murdered.

Radik Tagirov, a 38-year-old plumber, was arrested early on Tuesday morning in the southwestern Russian city of Kazan. Detectives linked him to the murder spree of elderly women that occurred between 2011 and 2012 using forensic evidence and shoe print samples. Footage released by police shows the handcuffed suspect admitting to the crimes, though not specifying how many victims he killed.

Dubbed the ‘Volga Maniac’ by Russian media, his alleged crimes were carried out in at least 12 cities along Europe’s longest river, the Volga. The killer’s tactic was to target vulnerable women aged between 75 and 90 who lived alone, pretending to be from social services or a handyman to be let into their homes. Once inside he’d strangle them to death and steal cash or valuables. One victim of the attacks survived but was unable to provide a description as she was blind.

In 2017 police raised the bounty for information about the Volga Maniac from 1 million rubles to 3 million (approximately 32,800 euro). Tagirov, the current suspect, told investigators that he strangled his victims because it was ‘painless for them’. When asked why he began his spree, he said ‘all that happened spontaneously. I wanted to eat. I lived with my mother.’ Police believe he could have killed as many as 32 victims, making him the most prolific serial killer in modern Russian history. 

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Oisin Sweeney

Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...