Andrei Romanovich Chikatilo (Андре́й Рома́нович Чикати́ло) (October 16, 1936–February 14, 1994) was a Soviet serial killer. Although at the time the Soviet government never admitted he existed. He was convicted of the murder of fifty-two women and children between 1978 and 1990.
Chikatilo was born in the Ukrainian
Chikatilo's mother was a brutal woman. With his father at war, the young Andrei had to share a bed with his mother. He frequently wet the bed, for which he was badly beaten and humiliated. He did well at school but failed the entrance exam for
He married in 1963, the marriage virtually arranged by Andrei's younger sister who set him up with one of her friends when she took pity on her brother's inability to obtain a girlfriend. Although he suffered from impotence, and had a barely existent sex-life, Chikatilo did father a son and daughter. In 1971, he completed a degree in Russian literature by a correspondence course and tried a career as a teacher in Novoshakhtinsk. He was a poor teacher, unable to command any respect from his pupils, but he remained in that profession, moving from school to school as complaints of indecent assaults dogged him. He eventually took a job as a clerk for a factory, and he used the many business trips around the
In 1978, he moved to
He did not murder again until 1982, but in that year he killed seven times. He established a pattern of approaching runaways and young vagrants at bus or railway stations and enticing them to leave. A quick trip into a nearby forest was the scene for the victim's death. In 1983, he did not kill until June, but then he murdered four victims before September. The victims were all women and children. In the case of adult females, they were often prostitutes or homeless tramps who could be lured away with promises of alcohol or money. Chikatilo would usually attempt (consensual) intercourse with these victims, but would usually be unable to perform which would send him into a murderous fury, especially if the woman mocked his inability to achieve orgasm. This he would only do when he stabbed the victim to death. The child victims were of both genders, and Chikatilo would lure them away with his friendly, talkative manner and promising them treats, such as toys or candy. In the
Six bodies (out of fourteen) had been uncovered. This brought a response from the oscow police. A team headed by Major Mikhail Fetisov was sent to
When boys began to make up a majority of the later victims, a frequent (and ineffective) ploy was to round up and interrogate homosexuals, the gay community being particularly clandestine in the USSR with homosexuality being illegal at the time. The police spread their search wider and wider. Over 150,000 people were interviewed and filed before this approach was abandoned. In 1984 another fifteen murders took place. The police took to additional patrols and sited plain-clothes men at many public transport stops.
Chikatilo was identified behaving suspiciously at a
It was later revealed that Chikatilo had been originally ruled out as a suspect in the murders because his blood group was tested as different from semen samples left by the killer. The forensic scientists later claimed that Chikatilo must be a unique individual whose blood group showed up as different when it was taken from a blood sample than when it was taken by a semen sample. No other scientists take this theory seriously and it is generally regarded that the samples were mixed up or the tests simply botched.
Chikatilo found new work in
The faltering police investigation was revived in mid-1985 when Issa Kostoyev was appointed to take over the case. The known murders around
In 1988 Chikatilo resumed his killing, generally keeping his activities far from the
The discovery of one of the bodies near Leskhoz station led to increased police patrols. On November 6 Chikatilo killed and mutilated Sveta Korostik. He was stopped by police returning from the woodland crime but allowed to go. But the report of the suspicious character returned Chikatilo's name to the investigation. On
He went to trial on
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