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.

Andrei Chikatilo

Andrei Chikatilo and his wife

Chikatilo’s Marriage

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?

Andrei Chikatilo's first victim

Lena Zakotnova

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

Andrei Chikatilo victims

Andrei Chikatilo victims

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.


Victim List

NumberNameSexAgeDate of Murder
1Yelena ZakotnovaF9December 22, 1978
2Larisa TkachenkoF17September 3, 1981
3Lyubov BiryukF13June 12, 1982
4Lyubov VolobuyevaF14July 25, 1982
5Oleg PozhidayevM9August 13, 1982
6Olga KuprinaF16August 16, 1982
7Irina KarabelnikovaF18September 8, 1982
8Sergey KuzminM15September 15, 1982
9Olga StalmachenokF10December 11, 1982
10Laura SarkisyanF15After 18 June 1983
11Irina DunenkovaF13July 1, 1983
12Lyudmila KutsyubaF24July 1, 1983
13Igor GudkovM7August 9, 1983
14Unknown womanF18–25July–August 1983
15Valentina ChuchulinaF22After 19 September 1983
16Vera ShevkunF19October 27, 1983
17Sergey MarkovM14December 27, 1983
18Natalya ShalapininaF17January 9, 1984
19Marta RyabenkoF44February 21, 1984
20Dmitriy PtashnikovM10March 24, 1984
21Tatyana PetrosyanF29May 25, 1984
22Svetlana PetrosyanF10May 25, 1984
23Yelena BakulinaF21June 22, 1984
24Dmitriy IllarionovM13July 10, 1984
25Anna LemeshevaF19July 19, 1984
26Sarmite TsanaF20c. 28 July 1984
27Natalya GolosovskayaF16August 2, 1984
28Lyudmila AlekseyevaF17August 7, 1984
29Unknown womanF20–258–11 August 1984
30Akmaral SeydaliyevaF10August 13, 1984
31Aleksandr ChepelM11August 28, 1984
32Irina LuchinskayaF24September 6, 1984
33Natalya PokhlistovaF18August 1, 1985
34Irina GulyayevaF18August 27, 1985
35Oleg MakarenkovM12May 16, 1987
36Ivan BilovetskyM12July 29, 1987
37Yuri TereshonokM16September 15, 1987
38Unknown womanF22–281–4 April 1988
39Aleksey VoronkoM9May 15, 1988
40Yevgeniy MuratovM15July 14, 1988
41Tatyana RyzhovaF16March 1, 1989
42Aleksandr DyakonovM8May 11, 1989
43Aleksey MoiseyevM10June 20, 1989
44Yelena VargaF19August 19, 1989
45Aleksey KhobotovM10August 28, 1989
46Andrei KravchenkoM11January 14, 1990
47Yaroslav MakarovM10March 7, 1990
48Lyubov ZuyevaF31April 4, 1990
49Viktor PetrovM13July 28, 1990
50Ivan FominM11August 14, 1990
51Vadim GromovM16October 17, 1990
52Viktor TishchenkoM16October 30, 1990
53Svetlana KorostikF22November 6, 1990

His Arrest

Andrei Chikatilo in prison

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

His Trial

Andrei Chikatilo on trial

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.

His Death

On February 14, 1994, Andrei Chikatilo was executed with a gun shot in the back of his head.


Andrei Chikatilo – Serial Killer Documentary