The Soviet worst serial killer was probably also one of the sickest in the world. For 13 years, he could live his fantasies before justice deprived him of his life. This is the story of Andrei Chikatilo – a monster created by sexual frustration.
One evening in December 1978 a man with gray hair went down one of the streets of the small mine town of Shakhty. He wears a shopping bag when he meets a girl at the age of nine. The girl thinks the man seems nice. He appeals to her and asks if she wants a chewing gum.
He guides the girl down the river while telling her about special chewing gum imported from the United States.
Down by the river, they went into an abandoned house. In the same second, the man pushed the girl down the floor and pulled her clothes off. The girl shouted so the man pushed his forearm toward her neck. In the end, the girl fell silent and lay completely still. Her eyes were open. The man put on a blindfold and tried to start a rape, but he had no erection.
From the shopping bag, he took a knife and cut three times over the victim’s stomach. At this moment his impotence was blown away. It was the first time in the man’s 42-year-old life. The man, Andrei Chikatilo, had received an “awakening” he could not ignore. He would do everything to experience the same feeling, over and over again.
At the time of the crime, he wore a dark coat, had glasses and was relatively tall. Just as the witnesses described the man with the girl. Therefore, he was logically questioned, but his wife gave him an alibi. Thereafter, Andrei was dismissed from the investigation and, instead, a formerly convicted rapist was arrested.
Because of a brutal interrogation confessed the innocent rapist and was then executed.
A frightened killer with a taste for more
Andrei was shaken when he realized how close it was that he got caught. He did not commit crimes for the next three years, but in his memory the desired feelings he felt when he killed the little girl still lived on. It was only a matter of time before he had to kill brutally again.
It has now become September in 1981. It’s night and Andrei Chakatilo is outside the library in the big city of Rostov. At the bus stop, he meets Larisa Tkachenko. She is 17 and playing truant from the boarding school.
Andrei and Larisa begin to chat and then decide to go to a nearby forest grove. He rips off her clothes. Larisa has panic. Andrei pushes her down to the ground, squeezes soil into her mouth and strings her. Andrei reaches its climax when he bites off one of her nipples.
The murder orgy begins
Andrei’s last victim was the start of a murder spree that would put him in first place of the Soviet worst serial killer.
The murders followed the same template. Andrei looked for easy victims. Often it was a bit alienated people he approached. After a short conversation, he tricked them into the woods. In the woods, he always started a rape attempt. However, he never managed to get an erection, so instead, he started using a knife.
Andrei had a fascination for cutting body parts such as nipples and tongues. The genitals, he used to eat.
This wicked murderer carved heavily in the victims and between the year 1982-1983, they found 15 bodies who were mutilated in the same way.
A huge police operation starts
Large numbers of police officers were allocated to arrest the murderer. Due to extreme violence with sexual elements, they began to search among the mentally handicapped.
Soon a 19-year-old man named Yuri Kalenik was arrested. He had grown up on an accommodation for mentally handicapped children. He was interrogated for several days to finally admit seven murders.
They realized, however, that the murders had been admitted under compulsion. Meanwhile Yuri’s arrest, another murder was committed, which meant that he was deprived of suspicion.
One more person from the resident was arrested, but bodies continued to appear.
First evidence found in the rectum
In a male victim, semen was found in the rectum, which meant that they could determine the murders blood group.
It was now summer and year 1984. Nearly 200 police officers and specialists hunted murderer.
One day a civilian police noticed a middle-aged man who spoke to a young girl. The police went to the man who turned out to be Andrei. The police asked some general questions and Andrei explained that he was a retired teacher who simply missed to talk with younger people. The police officer was pleased with the answer and let him go.
The murderer is arrested – and released
Later the same police saw that Andrei was in the process of buying sex from a prostitute. Andrei was arrested for indecent behavior. In his bag, they found a jar of petrol, a long kitchen knife, rope and a dirty towel.
The police were now convinced that the murderer was arrested, but when Andrei’s blood group was investigated, it was not consistent with previously presented test results. The murderer was simply released in the absence of evidence.
The year goes by and the murders in Rostov continue
The year was now 1988 and science constantly revived new successes. As a lightning from a clear sky, it was found out that blood groups found in sperm do not necessarily have to match the person’s “true” blood group.
The police simply had to change their strategy when they no longer knew which blood group the killer had. The number of perpetrated murder victims had risen to 40 in number.
It was known that many victims were attracted from bus and train stations. Therefore, in 1990, the largest stations were marked in a visible way and undercover police officers guarded the smaller ones. It was hoped that the killer would deliberately seek victims in places that were easier to monitor.
On November 6th, a police suddenly saw how a bloody man came out of a forest grove. The man had blood on his cheek and a cut injury in his finger. Police took the man’s information and put it into a report.
The confession and the judgment
When a more seasoned police inspector read the report, he found a clue. The police inspector recognized the man’s name from previous notes from the bus stop where he presented himself as a retired teacher.
An arrest warrant was sent at the highest speed and on November 20, 1990, Andrei was interrogated.
Andrei made no concessions. Therefore, the police tried to place him in a cell with a secret police who tried different techniques to attract information.
The attempts were fruitless. Instead, they tried to convince Andrei that he would be classified as insane if he only acknowledged. Being judged as insanely would give a milder punishment that would certainly be spent in a mental hospital. Nothing helped on Andrei.
In the Soviet Union, the police could arrest a person for 10 days without reason. It had been 9 days and the demands for recognition were enormous. Otherwise, they would have to let him go again.
It was decided that a highly experienced psychiatrist, Alexandr Bukhanovsky, would hold a final interrogation with Andrei. The psychiatrist approached Andrei in a soft way instead of the brutal and intimidating techniques used by former interrogators.
The psychiatrist began to explain to Andrei how his mental problems were related, which made Andrei calm. He started shaking and told what he owed. After some processing, Andrei agreed to formally acknowledge.
Andrei told in detail about 36 murders. When the confession was complete, he could be tied to 53 murders.
He was sentenced to 52. Thirteen years had taken to catch Soviet’s worst serial killers. The trial was dramatic. The audience tried to reach him and screamed: “give him to us”.
Waving his penis in the courtroom
There was only one possible punishment. Unless the state killed him, citizens would do it.
Andrei’s defender had a tough job in front of him in a trial that would be circus-like. The trial took six months. All while time went Andrei became more and more labile.
He often heard mumbling. He banged his head against the wall behind the bench as he laughed frantically.
During a day in the courtroom, he managed to rush out of his place, pull off his pants and waved his penis against the audience. At the same time he shouted; “Look at this useless thing, what could you do with it?”. Many believe that he only played insanely. When it came to Andrei’s advantage, he could feel calm and rational.
On October 15, 1992, the verdict fell. Andrei Chikatilo was found guilty of 5 molestation and 52 murders. The sentence was death.
In 1994, he was moved away from his secluded cell in Rostov prison. Behind the ear, they put a gun barrel and a shot was fired. The worst serial killer in Soviet history now was dead.