Maxim Vladimirovich Petrov (Russian: Максим Владимирович Петров; born 1965) is a Russian doctor and serial killer. He is currently serving a life sentence for killing 12 patients. The Russian media nicknamed him "Doctor Killer" and "Doctor Death".
Between 1997 and 2000 Petrov, who lived on Vasilievsky Island in St Petersburg, committed 47 robberies. He would visit a patient at their home, unannounced, and usually in the morning when relatives would be at work. He would then measure their blood pressure and suggest they needed an injection. He anaesthetised them and while they were then unconscious, stole their possessions, even taking rings and earrings from the victims' bodies. The first few victims did not die, waking up later after he had left. The first murder took place on 2 February 1999, during his thirtieth robbery. He was interrupted when the daughter of an anaesthetised patient returned home while he was stealing possessions. He stabbed her with a screwdriver and then strangled the patient with a stocking. After this, his modus operandi changed; he began to inject his victims with a lethal mix of a variety of different drugs, so that the police would think that the killer had little medical knowledge. He then set fire to their homes to destroy any evidence. Various possessions were later found in his flat, though he had already sold others at the market.
The police did not release a photofit of the suspect, thinking he would soon be caught. However, it took until 2000 for them to realise how the victims were being selected. All were included in the same list of lung patients who had undergone a fluorography, which he found in a local health centre. Using this list, they identified 72 possible future victims in an operation called "Medbrat" ("Male Nurse"), involving 700 police officers. They arrested Petrov when he visited one of the patients on 17 January 2000.
On his arrest, Petrov admitted to the murders, but recanted his confession a few months later, blaming it on the intense psychological pressure he had endured while in custody.
Petrov was suspected of 19 murders but tried for just 17 in 2002. He was found guilty of 12. Six patients were also seriously injured. He was sentenced by judge Valentina Kudriashova to life in prison.
At the time of his arrest, Petrov was married and had three children: one from a first marriage and two from his second.
- Dr John Bodkin Adams - Irish doctor suspected of killing patients
- Harold Shipman - British doctor and serial killer
Notes and references
- Gridneva, Marina (March 5, 2003). Палача вызывали?. Moskovskij Komsomolets (in Russian). Archived from the original on 2009-12-06.
- Врачу "скорой" дали пожизненное заключение за убийство 12 пациентов (in Russian). Podrobnosti. 2003-11-23. Retrieved 2009-08-03.
- Walsh, Nick Paton (2002-12-03). "Russian Dr Death 'killed 17'". guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-08-03.
- Yurchenko, Maria (24–26 November 2003). Доктор Смерть закончит жизнь в неволе. Novaya Gazeta (in Russian) № 88. Retrieved 2009-08-03.
- Semyonova, Lyubov (2004-04-24). Криминальный почерк. Molodezh Estonii (in Russian). Retrieved 2009-08-03.