A serial killer who allegedly raped his victims before and after slaughtering them is claimed to have paused his "sadistic" murder spree to start a family.
Prosecutors claim David Sarabashyan’s "reign of terror" began in 2000 when he allegedly raped and strangled two women while working in the army.
The 38-year-old has been charged with five rapes and murders spanning a 20 year period but police say his true toll “may never be known”.
According to a video confession obtained by Russian police, Sarabashyan said he raped and killed a 16-year-old girl in 2001, and two years later murdered and assaulted a 41-year-old woman.
Police believe the murderous dad-of-three stopped the attacks to lead a "normal life" and over 12 years, went on to marry and start a family.
In 2015, a witness claims to have seen Sarabashyan attempting to rape a 29-year-old woman who fled.
He was released without charge due lack of evidence but was picked up again in 2018 for the murder of banker Margarita Kuzminova.
Sarabashyan allegedly chose his final victim while sat on a park bench drinking alcohol in he Suvorovsky suburb of Rostov-on-Don city, Russia.
Police claim he confessed to raping Kuzminova before and after killing her and used his jacket to to throttle the young woman.
Between each rape he told cops he returned to the park bench to swig more alcohol.
He allegedly told investigators: "I just saw her and wanted to have sex with her."
Sarabashyan was detained in October 2018 for Kuzminova's murder and is being investigated for other unsolved crimes.
Police say he committed a number of earlier sex attacks but due to the statute of limitations he cannot be charged.
Reports claim Sarabashyan’s wife was pregnant with the couple's third child when he killed Margarita Kuzminova.
If convicted of the slayings, he will face a life sentence without the possibility of release.