A female serial killer in Russia has been sentenced to 20 years in jail for robbing and murdering 17 elderly women with a hammer.
Irina Gaidamachuk was convicted in the west Russian town of Yekaterinburg after confessing to duping and killing her victims -- who were aged between 61 and 89 -- over a seven-year period, Ria Novosti reported.
Investigators say the 40-year-old worked to win the trust of the pensioners, offering to assist them in their apartments. Once ingratiated, she stole their money and killed them.
Gaidamachuk began her murderous spree in 2003, but was only arrested in the remote town of Krasnoufimsk in June, 2010.
Psychiatric experts involved in the case deemed her sane.
On top of her sentence, which equates to little more than a year's imprisonment for each victim, she will pay 30,000 rubles (US$910) in legal expenses.
A mother of two, Gaidamachuk has been dubbed "Raskolnikov in a skirt" after a character who kills for money in famous Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky's novel "Crime and Punishment."