- NAME: Andrei Chikatilo
- OCCUPATION: Serial Killer
- BIRTH DATE: October 16, 1936
- DEATH DATE: February 14, 1994
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Yablochnoye, Ukraine
- PLACE OF DEATH: Rostov-on-Don, Russia
- Full Name: Andrei Romanovich Chikatilo
- AKA: Andrei Chikatilo
- Nickname: "The Butcher of Rostov"
- Nickname: "The Red Ripper"
- Nickname: "The Rostov Ripper"
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Andrei Chikatilo was a former school teacher who murdered more than 50 young people in the Soviet Union.
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He was tried for the killing of Lena Zakotnova, and executed in 1984.
Perhaps as a result of his close brush with the law, there were no more documented victims for the next three years. Still dogged by claims of child abuse, Chikatilo found it impossible to find another teaching post, when he was made redundant from his mining school post, in early 1981. He took a job as a clerk for a raw materials factory in Rostov,
where the travel involved with the position gave him unlimited access to a wide range of young victims over the next nine years.
Larisa Tkachenko, 17, became his next victim. On September 3, 1981, Chikatilo strangled, stabbed and gagged her with earth and leaves to prevent her crying out. The brutal force afforded Chikatilo his sexual release, and he began to develop a pattern of attack that saw him focusing on young runaways of both sexes. He befriended them at train stations and bus stops, before luring them into nearby forest areas, where he would attack them, attempt rape and use his knife, to mutilate them. In a number of cases he ate the sexual organs, or removed other body parts such as the tips of their noses or tongues. In the earliest cases, the common pattern was to inflict damage to the eye area, slashing across the sockets and removing the eyeballs in many cases, an act which Chikatilo later attributed to a belief that his victims kept an imprint of his face in their eyes, even after death.
At this time serial killers were a virtually unknown phenomenon in the Soviet Union. Evidence of serial killing, or child abuse, was sometimes suppressed by state-controlled media, in the interests of public order. The eye mutilation was a modus operandi distinct enough to allow for other cases to be linked, when the Soviet authorities finally admitted that they had a serial killer to contend with. As the body count mounted, rumors of foreign inspired plots, and werewolf attacks, became more prevalent, and public fear and interest grew, despite the lack of any media coverage.
In 1983 Moscow detective Major Mikhail Fetisov assumed control of the investigation. He recognized that a serial killer might be on the loose, and assigned a specialist forensic analyst, Victor Burakov, to head the investigation in the Shakhty area. The investigation centered on known sex offenders, and the mentally ill, but such were the interrogation methods of the local police that they regularly solicited false confessions from prisoners, leaving Burakov skeptical of the majority of these "confessions". Progress was slow, especially as, at that stage, not all of the victim's bodies had been discovered, so the true body count was unknown to the police. With each body, the forensic evidence mounted, and police were convinced that the killer had the blood type AB, as evidenced by the semen samples collected from a number of crime scenes. Samples of identical grey hair were also retrieved.
When a further 15 victims were added during the course of 1984, police efforts were increased drastically, and they mounted massive surveillance operations that canvassed most local transport hubs.
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Many of the most horrifying acts of violence are committed by serial killers. Always looking for next victim, these murderers kill again and again, never fully satisfied by their bloody deeds. Their twisted motivations—and even more twisted techniques—land the people in this group among the most frightening criminals in history.
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