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Russian Court Denies Early Release To 'Last Maniac Of The U.S.S.R.'

A court in Russia's northwestern region of Vologda has denied the early release of a man known as 'the last maniac of the U.S.S.R." who has been serving a life term for killing and dismembering three young women in 1989.

The press service of the regional court in Vologda said the Belozyorsk district court ruled on March 9 that Dmitry Gridin could not be released because he violated internal orders in detention centers and penitentiaries 24 times over the course of his prison time.

Gridin was arrested in 1989 and sentenced to death in 1990 after a court found him guilty of killing and dismembering three young women in residential buildings' elevators in the city of Magnitogorsk. He was also found guilty of the attempted murder of four other women. His death sentence was later changed to life in prison.

The case, the last serial killing brought to trial in the Soviet Union before it disintegrated in 1991, sparked a furious public reaction with many in Magnitogorsk demanding that Gridin be publicly executed.

In his request for early release, the 53-year-old Gridin wrote that he had spent 31 years in prison and did not commit any major violations while in custody. He also wrote that he was not guilty and was forced to testify against himself during the investigation.

He said he planned to live with his parents if his request for early release was approved by the court.

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