Who was Andrei Chikatilo?
Andrei Chikatilo was born on October 16, 1936, in Yablochnoye, located in the Ukraine state of the USSR. Based on the things known, he had a difficult childhood, being marked by deprivation because of the famine that hit Ukraine, during the agricultural collectivization imposed by Stalin. He is believed to had suffered of hydrocephalus as a young child, which later lead to genital-urinary tract problems and inability to maintain an erection.
His first sexual encounter at 15 year old with a girl, which he had cornered. During the struggle, he prematurely ejaculated, for which he was even more ridiculed.
In 1960 Andrei Chikatilo moved to a town near Rostov, in 1960, where he became a telephone engineer. Soon after, his younger sister moved in with him and she arranged a meeting with a local girl, Fayina, whom he went on to marry in 1963. They went on having a settled and normal marriage producing two children. In 1971 Chikatilo became a schoolteacher. Numerous complaints about assaults on children led to his move from one school to another school, finally settling at a mining school in Shakhty, near Rostov.
How did the killings start?
His first known victim was killed on 22nd December 1978. The victim was 9 year old Lena Zakotnova. It is believed that he lured her into an abandoned shed, where he attempted to rape her. While trying to stop the girl from struggling, Andrei Chikatilo slashed her with a knife, ejaculating whilst doing so.
There was an eyewitness that had seen him with the victim, shortly before her disappearance, but his wife provided him with an alibi so solid, that he managed to elude police attention. For the murder of his first victim , a 25-year old, Alexsandr Kravchenko, with a previous rape conviction, was arrested. It is believed that his confession of killing the victim was done under duress. In 1984, Alexsandr Kravchenko was executed.
On September 3, 1981, he struck his second victim. Larisa Tkachenko, 17 years old became his victim. Chikatilo strangled, stabbed and gagged her with earth and leaves to prevent her crying out.
A pattern emerged
He started following a pattern in choosing his victims. Mostly young runaways, not being missed by their families. He used to target them at train or bus stations, luring them in abandoned sheds or forest areas. He then proceeded to viciously attack them, rape them and mutilate them. Investigations showed that in some cases he ate the sexual organs of his victims, or removed body parts such as the tips of their noses or tongues. In the beginning of his killing spree he used to damage the eyes of his victims, believing that the eyes hold an imprint of his face even after death.
The Killing Spree
During the time period of these murders, in The Soviet Union, the idea of a serial killer was often suppressed by the media. However, the damage to the eyes in many victims led law enforcement to investigate the killings in connection to one another.
In 1983 detective Major Mikhail Fetisov, located in Moscow, took control of the investigation. He assigned a specialist forensic analyst, Victor Burakov, to head the investigation in the Shakhty area. At that moment, many victims were not yet discovered, making it harder for the police to have any progress. Acknowledging they have a serial killer on the loose made them believe there are more victims to be discovered. Each body discovered helped put together more and more forensic evidence. Police managed to get a blood type of the killer. It was AB blood type, obtained from semen left at the crime scenes.
Andrei Chikatilo’s first arrest
During the year of 1984, 15 more bodies were added to the count. By this time, police efforts intensified, most train and bus stations being under surveillance leading authorities to arrest Chikatilo for behaving suspiciously at a bus station, to be more exact for molesting a young girl.
As you may already be aware, at the time of the investigation, forensic techniques were not that sophisticated, therefore no one realized that Chikatilo’s actual blood type, A, was different from the type found in his other bodily fluids, AB, leading investigators to eliminate him from the suspect list. It was a crucial mistake in the investigation even though he was carrying a suitcase with him at the moment of his arrest, containing a knife, the dots were never connected. He was sentenced of unrelated charged to 1 year in prison. He was released after 3 months.
Chikatilo is released
Following his release, Chikatilo maintained a low profile. This until August 1985, when he murdered two women in separate occasions.
Forensic analyst, Victor Burakov, even managed to create a new psychological profile of the serial killer placing him somewhere at the age of 40-50 and being sexually aroused during the killings. This did not help much, given the fact that the body count slowed down. It was believed that maybe the killer was sentenced and imprisoned for other offences, or that he might have stopped killing. These believes got shaken off when Chikatilor started killing again in 1988.
19 more victims were added to the body count during the next 2 years. The killer was taking far more risks as it was determined that some of the killings happened in public areas with a huge chance of being seen or caught. During these 2 years, Chikatilo was praying more on young boys, as his preferred victim type.
|Number||Name||Sex||Age||Date of Murder|
|1||Yelena Zakotnova||F||9||December 22, 1978|
|2||Larisa Tkachenko||F||17||September 3, 1981|
|3||Lyubov Biryuk||F||13||June 12, 1982|
|4||Lyubov Volobuyeva||F||14||July 25, 1982|
|5||Oleg Pozhidayev||M||9||August 13, 1982|
|6||Olga Kuprina||F||16||August 16, 1982|
|7||Irina Karabelnikova||F||18||September 8, 1982|
|8||Sergey Kuzmin||M||15||September 15, 1982|
|9||Olga Stalmachenok||F||10||December 11, 1982|
|10||Laura Sarkisyan||F||15||After 18 June 1983|
|11||Irina Dunenkova||F||13||July 1, 1983|
|12||Lyudmila Kutsyuba||F||24||July 1, 1983|
|13||Igor Gudkov||M||7||August 9, 1983|
|14||Unknown woman||F||18–25||July–August 1983|
|15||Valentina Chuchulina||F||22||After 19 September 1983|
|16||Vera Shevkun||F||19||October 27, 1983|
|17||Sergey Markov||M||14||December 27, 1983|
|18||Natalya Shalapinina||F||17||January 9, 1984|
|19||Marta Ryabenko||F||44||February 21, 1984|
|20||Dmitriy Ptashnikov||M||10||March 24, 1984|
|21||Tatyana Petrosyan||F||29||May 25, 1984|
|22||Svetlana Petrosyan||F||10||May 25, 1984|
|23||Yelena Bakulina||F||21||June 22, 1984|
|24||Dmitriy Illarionov||M||13||July 10, 1984|
|25||Anna Lemesheva||F||19||July 19, 1984|
|26||Sarmite Tsana||F||20||c. 28 July 1984|
|27||Natalya Golosovskaya||F||16||August 2, 1984|
|28||Lyudmila Alekseyeva||F||17||August 7, 1984|
|29||Unknown woman||F||20–25||8–11 August 1984|
|30||Akmaral Seydaliyeva||F||10||August 13, 1984|
|31||Aleksandr Chepel||M||11||August 28, 1984|
|32||Irina Luchinskaya||F||24||September 6, 1984|
|33||Natalya Pokhlistova||F||18||August 1, 1985|
|34||Irina Gulyayeva||F||18||August 27, 1985|
|35||Oleg Makarenkov||M||12||May 16, 1987|
|36||Ivan Bilovetsky||M||12||July 29, 1987|
|37||Yuri Tereshonok||M||16||September 15, 1987|
|38||Unknown woman||F||22–28||1–4 April 1988|
|39||Aleksey Voronko||M||9||May 15, 1988|
|40||Yevgeniy Muratov||M||15||July 14, 1988|
|41||Tatyana Ryzhova||F||16||March 1, 1989|
|42||Aleksandr Dyakonov||M||8||May 11, 1989|
|43||Aleksey Moiseyev||M||10||June 20, 1989|
|44||Yelena Varga||F||19||August 19, 1989|
|45||Aleksey Khobotov||M||10||August 28, 1989|
|46||Andrei Kravchenko||M||11||January 14, 1990|
|47||Yaroslav Makarov||M||10||March 7, 1990|
|48||Lyubov Zuyeva||F||31||April 4, 1990|
|49||Viktor Petrov||M||13||July 28, 1990|
|50||Ivan Fomin||M||11||August 14, 1990|
|51||Vadim Gromov||M||16||October 17, 1990|
|52||Viktor Tishchenko||M||16||October 30, 1990|
|53||Svetlana Korostik||F||22||November 6, 1990|
On November 6, 1990, he murdered his final victim, Sveta Korostik and while leaving the scene his behavior became suspicious to the police officers monitoring the station nearby and his details were taken. By suspicious we mean that he just came out of the woods washing his bloody hands., if that is suspicious enough.
On November 13, Korostik’s body was found and Police interviewed the officer in charge of monitoring that train station. At the mention of the name Chikatilo, several officers involved in the case recognized it and soon after, he was traced down to the cities he had traveled and where victims were found. Former colleagues also told police of his previous behavior and why he had to leave his job. His name was connected to his previous arrest and was put under surveillance.
Andrei Chikatilo was arrested on November 20, 1990 but refused to confess to anything. Burakov decided to allow the psychiatrist, Bukhanovski, who had prepared the original profile, to talk to Chikatilo, under the guise of trying to understand the mind of a killer for scientific purposes.. Chikatilo, clearly flattered by this, opened up, providing extensive details of all of his murders and leading police to body sites, which were never discovered by the police.
He claimed to have killed a total of 56 victims. Not all names were confirmed. The number of victims was far greater than what initially the police thought
Chikatilo went to court on April 14, 1992. “The Maniac” as the media called him, was held in an iron cage for the purpose of keeping him apart from the relatives of his many victims.
His behavior in court baffled many. From singing to talking nonsense. At one point during his trial he dropped his trousers, showing off and waving his genitals at the crowd gathered in the court. On October 15, 1992, 2 months after the trial, he was found guilty of 52 murders and sentenced to death.
His defense tried to overrule his psychiatric evaluation, looking for an appeal, but failed.
On February 14, 1994, Andrei Chikatilo was executed with a gun shot in the back of his head.