“Of course I’m mad, if that made
An interview with “Angarsk maniac” Mikhail Popkov.
In mid-December 2017 the Department of the investigative Committee for the Irkutsk region completed the investigation of a new case of a former policeman Mikhail Popkov. It is called the “Angarsk maniac”, the bloodiest serial killer in modern Russia: in 2015 the court of the Irkutsk region already Popkov was sentenced to life in prison for 22 murders and two attempts. In January 2017, it became known that Popkov admitted 59 murders and one attempted murder. “Medusa” details of how almost 20 years, investigators searched for Mikhail Popkov, the Russian company Yellow, Black and White launched a series of it. The journalist of “Medusa,” Alexander Sulima spoke with Mikhail Popkov.
The Case Of Mikhail Popkov
In the mid-1990s, in Angarsk (Irkutsk region) began to regularly find bodies of young women were brutally murdered and raped. For a long time they were considered victims of shootouts and didn’t pay attention to the same handwriting of these crimes. About “Angarsk maniac” started talking seriously only in 2002, after the publication of the article in “Moskovsky Komsomolets”. Then in Angarsk from Moscow were sent to the investigator for particularly important cases of Evgeny Kostarev and senior Commissioner of the Ministry of internal Affairs of Russia Colonel Sergey Derzhavin; they organized the investigative team, which in the next ten years was engaged in the search for the killer.
Mikhail Popkov, who worked several years in the militia of Angarsk, was arrested in 2012, his genetic sample matched with that found on the body of one of the victims. Popkov admitted to the murders. He said that they picked up on their own, and sometimes in an official car of the women; if they were drunk or their behaviour irritated him, he took them to the outskirts of the city and were killed there.
In 2015, Popkov was sentenced to life in prison for killing 22 women and two of attempted murder. The investigation of crimes Popkov was continued, and in January 2017 he admitted 59 murders and one attempted murder. In December 2017 the investigation of new crimes “Angarsk maniac” ended, the case was transferred to the Irkutsk regional court.
How was this interview taken? Says the journalist Sasha Sulima
At the end of November 2017 I saw an interview of Mikhail Popkov in the talk show of Andrei Malakhov “live” on the channel “Russia”. I sent a formal request to the press service of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation with the request to allow us to talk with him. The next day I called back and said the request is approved. We had to choose the interview date — I led the negotiations with the representative a press-services of investigatory management SK the Irkutsk region. At some point she told me that Popkov may ask for an interview money. On my remark that “jellyfish” never pays for interviews, press Secretary replied, “you May be able to persuade him to talk with you for free.”
That to persuade I’m not very Popkov and his lawyer Elena Maslova, I learned only the day before departure to Irkutsk, when it was bought the tickets and booked the hotel — from the press service of the Irkutsk SK. Maslow explained that to communicate with the press free Popkov uninteresting: he has no money, and this is his only way to make money for cigarettes and food from the store of the detention facility. I once again explained that the wording “Medusa” does not pay for interviews, but I can pay him five thousand rubles of his own money. Maslov promised to agree on the amount of Popkov. A few hours before my departure to Irkutsk I received a TEXT from Maslova: Popkov agreed on five thousand rubles, only asked to buy him a few crossword puzzles Sudoku.
From the editor. In accordance with the rules of “Medusa”, the editors cannot pay interlocutors for the information, because this creates a distorted relationship between journalists and their sources and heroes. We regret that in this case the circumstances were such that this principle was violated. Observing another important principle is transparency — we believe it is necessary to tell the readers what were the circumstances. “Medusa” will reimburse Sulima Sasha spent her money. The background in the Angarsk spent 20 years trying to catch the worst serial killer in Russian history. The Story Of “Medusa”.
— You asked me to bring you a Sudoku. Like to solve?
— Yes, at me just the other day they ended. Had to be charted on paper squares, came up with a combination. Prison is prison, where you can sit and not think about their actions, and something to try to escape. I Khodorkovsky read in the book. In General, he did not invent anything new.
— Except for the Sudoku you still distracted?
Now I have one unread book, so I already know what next weekend will hold her — we’ll look for an opportunity to have something to read.
— Where do you get books?
— Here is the problem. When the administration of the [prison] asks to fill out paperwork about whether I am happy living conditions — I always put a plus sign except the item “library”. I some of their books twice already read.
What do you like to read?
— I’m not particularly fussy, I can “Stalker” to read, can and Valentin Pikul, can and some historical books. It is particularly interesting to read about recent events — then we can draw an analogy with today. Do you know why the Americans did not go to the signing of a trade agreement with the Russian Empire after the Russo-Japanese war? Because of the Jewish question. 80% of the Bolsheviks, the organizers of the October revolution were Jews. Stalin then destroyed them all. The Jewish question was not closed in the Soviet Union until the late 1970-ies. If Nicholas II among University students was five percent of the Jews, during the Brezhnev era, this figure was reduced to one and a half percent.
— Why are you so worried about the Jewish question, you have Jewish roots?
— And where I know have roots or not? Year in 2004, I wanted to go to Israel — out of interest. I learned then how to obtain a visa with the right to work. My friends live there — they told me the invitation was made. I was wondering where I can get a job there — as a worker, and what amount in six months to earn.
— What the wife let you go?
— For this question. She joked with me, saying, “You go and stay there?” And I said, “And who’ll leave me there? The Jewish Ministry of foreign Affairs, the exploration of them?” They alert people, they would let me in only on the condition there that I’ll be back.
— What’s your dream?
— Wanted a car more expensive to buy. I would still eventually resold — not to stagnate in one place. You understand, when you buying a car, usually do not take something to dream about, and what have enough money.
You know how some cars to buy? Not understanding. Goes to market the pair, the girl saw that the visor above the passenger seat there is a mirror, and her boyfriend yells: “Take this!” And nearby is a man and thinks: “If I had known, I would have a whole dressing table brought.” This friend told me, when I’m standing on the market.
— What was the year?
— The year 2007 or 2008. I then retired from the petrochemical plant “Rosneft” and became involved in stage machinery. The process: to arrive, to buy, to choose — I liked it, but then it is necessary in the market to stand, to do intelligent face. Okay, if you bought a car that is like 100%, shaken up everything, double-checked — then could say to the buyer: “Bargaining is inappropriate. Yesterday I had a call from Japan, asked, “Michael-San, don’t want back to us to sell a car?”” This is when I was sure nothing to complain about.
But it was impossible to earn big money, for me it was kind of like a hobby. I wanted to find a job where you can sit in the office, in the heat, to get a decent salary, and while my boss isn’t here, choose on the Internet a car. Went once a year, bought — and skate until someone will buy it.
What you felt most comfortable?
— To be honest, nowhere, and I don’t prevaricate.
Is not yours it was?
— How can I shrink the question asked: “If you discard the material side, who would you like to work?” And I, without hesitation, replied: children’s coach. Would like to lead the sports section with the young kids. It is with the little — ten-year-old when they are still with open mouth listening to you, it is possible for the bar to come up, to do something, to surprise, and they’ll be even more attentive will listen and repeat. I remember as a teenager went to the sports section.
— What did you do?
— Skis. My coach had a daughter, also an athlete, she is often with us went somewhere, and of the son, we knew it all summer with us at camp spent. But in the end they have the family broke up — the reason I do not know. I thought it was a perfect family: his wife is also a trainer worked, they had both taught at the school, were together constantly. It’s the perfect combination, then when their children grow up, and then walk in the footsteps of their parents.
— Do you like sports?
— I have everything went down the drain when one season I was injured and I was snake bit is just before the army was. Like a trifle, so snake bit? But in the days of the Soviet Union, in Angarsk — the city, born victory, serum or antidote was not. Treated fleece with green paint, two weeks in hospital. All. My sport was over.
— In the childhood you dreamt of a certain career?
— In childhood, all have dreamt of. A spy can. I can, of course, any profession can be, but once in a head did not come. Can’t remember I’m your child, because these children’s dreams depend on where mom and dad work, where the neighbors work.
— Whether in your neighborhood people you wanted to be like?
— In my environment of such people was not.
— At least someone you liked?
— I had a friend, he was a close friend of my classmate, we studied together in College, but I after graduation went into the army, and he began to study further, he received his medical education. His family I’m always the example set. I thought that our wife and family friendly, we were together constantly. I kind of blame put. I read in the transcript of the interrogation of one witness, who described our family: “it was Strange to look at them, they always were together and held hands”. What’s strange about that? Maybe this is strange, since he has this idea come from? Or is it not quite normal that for him it seemed strange.
— If to speak about your family — mom, dad, sister, — what was the atmosphere?
— Normal atmosphere were an ordinary family. Dad working, mom, employee, sister five years younger. In childhood it’s a big difference, so we did not have much common interests. As the older brother I could only go to someone that my sister did not climb. What I have to share with her was? The love of parents? Kind of like something serious. I was helping her and learning, course drawing helped her. Then another was indignant that the teacher low grade set, error some found. I said to her: “Tell your moron that he cum in installments bought. This is not a bug, and the way it should be. Let him read right.”
— You said: “to Share the love of parents”. You felt that parents have less loved? Or less you had paid attention?
— And what is the evaluation criteria?
— Your feelings.
Usually it was — I came from school, I asked: “How was school?” I: “the Five got I on the street”. Me: “No, sit and have some lunch, you first go wash your hands”. Sat down, had lunch. “When lessons are you going to do?” And I’m normally studying, I all the lessons on the changes made to me in this respect, no questions asked. And all I was missing on the site or somewhere in the garage all day, there is something burned, blew up, someone got hurt or he’s injured. But in my childhood I never got, not lit up, has managed then to the police station to get to work.
Maybe a sister parents are extruded?
— No. It is also normal studied. Maybe something I didn’t like some decisions of their parents, but that’s completely different. This is when you’re older and you want independence, want to escape from parental care.
— And they were against it?
— And how could they be against it? I got the specialty, got a job in a petrochemical distribution company to work, went to the army, he returned to the army, settled there, where I was assigned, and then suddenly told his parents that I will marry and go to live with his wife. Parents, may, in the soul and was against it, but I myself did not feel. And maybe they were glad that the senior shake off. When I got married, my sister 17 years old. The parents of a single stone with shoulders sleeping.
They now live together?
— Sister lives in Moscow — to work there. Not a good life in Moscow, she went to work. The mother lives alone.
— And the father?
— Father died.
— There have been occasions when you received them?
— From a child what is required? Learns well in the entrance does not smoke, is not going home on time — what more parents need?
I’m the same way with their child communicated. Daughter said to me: “Dad, we’re going for two weeks with classmates in a night club”. I said, “No problem, how much money is necessary? I have the day off, call comes, you will take”. If I was working that day, we would have it discussed in advance options where she was going to sleep or how to get home. She called me in three nights, “Daddy, everything. We’re ready.” I arrived, took all the children home delivered.
— You wanted to quickly get married, to start an independent life?
Independence all you want, but it largely depends on the material side. In the choice of the couple, and in maintaining family ties. Some of us are afraid to lose their established way of life, therefore, turn a blind eye, and soothe themselves that receive compensation. But this is wrong.
— You quickly after meeting did you get married?
— Met in February, married in June. There are psychologically pushed that its a guy — they studied together — must have been from the army to return.
— You wanted to get ahead of him?
— Yes, it can. Or not ahead of, and location to ensure that her choice fell on me. Why I had to back off, I’m a man bad? I was so formulated: we do not give up — I’m better.
— Did you have the feeling that you are more interested in her than she in you?
— No. Difficult to understand what people really thinks that it’s eating, no one will ever know.