Russia’s most notorious killer – The Red Ripper – The Story of Andrei Chikatilo

The most notorious serial killer in modern Russian history, Andrei Chikatilo was born on the 16th October, 1936. As a child the “Butcher of Rostov” (as he would later be known) grew up believing an apparently fictitious story told by his mother that his older brother was kidnapped and cannibalized, during the great Ukrainian famine. Despite their never being any record of this child’s existence the story had a great impact on Chiatilo’s life, which coupled with the facts that he was nearsighted to the point of near blindness and was also periodically impotent helped shape the killer he would later become – a man responsible for the rapes and murders of 53 women and children.

During his early life Chikatilo was able to control his urges. He served his compulsory military duty between 1957-60 and despite not exceeding in school obtained a university degree in Russian literature. Chikatilo went on to marry and shortly after despite an alleged lack of marital sex (Chikatilo would insert seaman into his wife via his fingers) he went on to father two children. He got his first job working as a teacher in a local boys mining school.

Despite his age and strength Chikatilo was intimidated by the children at the school to the point of carrying a knife. They referred to him as goose due to his uncharacteristically long neck and later openly assaulted him and called him a faggot to his face as he began molesting the boys in their dorm rooms. At the age of 42 Chilkatilo attempted to rape and later murdered a nine year old girl in an empty house, allegedly ejaculating as he stabbed her. The young girl’s body turned up in a river under a bridge and despite arousing police suspicion over the crime a recently paroled murderer was held accountable and later sentenced to death for the crime.

After the first murder Chikatilo would wait a further three years before he killed again. In the mean time he lost his position at the school after a forced admission of molestation of students. He found work as a travelling procurement officer, a role that would allow him to facilitate the search for new victims and avoid suspicion over the upcoming years.

In 1982 Chikatilo began killing again after meeting a 17 year old girl by a rail station and convincing her to have sex with him. When he was unable to perform due to his impotence the girl laughed – an error that made Chikatilo burst into a murderous rage that saw him bite off and swallow one of her nipples while choking her to death. This started Chikatilo’s killing spree which saw him go on to rape and murder 53 women and children with a grotesque set of signature techniques that included mutilation of the eyes and the dismemberment of the genital regions.

In 1984 Chikatilo was picked up for licentious behaviour after attempting to lead young women away from a train station. The arresting officer discovered a knife and rope on his person and due to the fact Chickatilo had been picked up for stealing from a previous employer he was held in prison for three months. However, despite being interviewed for his potential involvement in the murders Chikatilo was freed due to a lack of sufficient evidence and due to a string of mentally handicapped men who confessed to the crimes.

For 12 years the red ripper continued his brutal reign of terror over Russia garnering world headlines in the process. Under supreme pressure from the Russian government plain clothed police officers began patrolling train and bus stations where Chikatilo was spotted once again, immediately after committing a murder, for suspicious behaviour. An officer took his details and a few days later when the body of a 22 year old woman turned up on November 13th in the nearby vicinity he was brought in for further questioning. Despite denying involvement originally Chikatilo eventually confessed to all of his grizzly murders in detail even re-enacting them in their locations, leading officers to undiscovered bodies On January 4th 1994 the Butcher of Rostov was executed for 52 murders by a single gun shot to the head.