Residents of an apartment building in Russia’s Yekaterinburg have just learned they’re living next door to a serial killer who was locked up in a mental hospital after he was convicted of electrocuting his victims to death.
Yegor Khabarov gained notoriety in 2009, when he was first detained on suspicion of up to six murders. Ultimately, he was found guilty in only two killings, with investigators citing a lack of evidence in the others, but he avoided prison time by being declared insane and sent for treatment at a psychiatric facility.
Now, however, Khabarov has been released—and no one was reportedly aware of it until a retired police officer working as a mall security guard realized the killer who’d been dubbed “The Electrician” was now his co-worker.
“We were sitting there, I looked at him from all sides and I knew that this was him! But I thought he must have been imprisoned. And I say to him: ‘Are you The Electrician?’ This shocked him greatly, he was visibly frightened. He says no, I have a different profession. I said: ‘But your nickname is The Electrician, isn’t it?’ I told him I recognized him. He confirmed it. He said that he had undergone the required treatment and that it was all in the past,” Alexander, the former cop, told local outlet E1.ru.
“He talked about his inventions, how it is possible to make a shocker from a battery for a scooter. That you can electrocute a person during a thunderstorm and attribute everything to lightning,” Alexander was quoted saying, adding that Khabarov’s “interests are specific: weapons, poisons, electricity.”
Investigators reportedly found a homemade electric chair in Khabarov’s garage when he was nabbed for the murder of a 23-year-old student in 2009.
“I’m afraid of the relatives of the people I killed.”
“It turned out that the deceased had accidentally stumbled upon the criminal’s ad for the sale of computer components,” a senior investigator in the case said at the time. “They had agreed to meet in the garage of Khabarov, who by this time had already prepared everything for the murder,” he said, adding that Khabarov had pounced on his victim before tying him up and electrocuting him.
The student’s charred body was later found dumped on the side of a road. Investigators soon charged Khabarov with another murder a year before the first one; he had burned a 27-year-old computer tech alive.
Witnesses in the case against him testified that Khabarov seemed euphoric as he watched victims writhe in pain.
Neighbors only discovered they were living next to the electricity-obsessed madman after local news reports covered his return to society.
“Everyone is terribly afraid. We didn’t know this person had such a past. It’s scary to let the kids go out now, you never know what’s in his head,” one neighbor told E1.ru.
“I have often run into him in the elevator. His appearance is memorable, he looks frightening,” another neighbor said.
A friend of Khabarov, who spoke to the outlet on the condition of anonymity, said Khabarov was worried about running into the loved ones of his victims.
“He was afraid to drive around the city, paying 3-4,000 rubles for a taxi ride. He said: ‘I’m afraid of the relatives of the people I killed,’” the friend recalled.
“Yegor says that he has changed his views and is not planning new murders. But I stopped communicating with him because he was a little weird. But at the same time he is a very cultured person! I’ve never heard him swear,” he said.