Andrei Chikatilo, also known as the Butcher of Rostov, the Red Ripper, and the Rostov Ripper, as he was also known, was a serial killer from the Soviet Union who sexually assaulted, murdered, and mutilated between 53 and 56 women and children.
Chikatilo was actually rather educated with a good track record, from completing courses in engineering, studying Russian literature and philology, to being drafted by the Soviet army where he completed three years of military training. He served in Asia then was moved to a KGB communications unit in Berlin.
Chikatilo completed his military service in 1960 and started to date a young woman, but after three months of unsuccessful attempts at romance, it was clear he was having trouble with impotence.
Word spread about his private issues and it affected him greatly. So much so he hung himself, but was rescued from the noose by neighbors.
In May 1973, while he was teaching, one of his students would be the first to be victimized by him through sexual assault, this was later followed by another sexual assault on a student he locked in the classroom.
After being offered to voluntarily leave or be fired from the sexual allegations, he resigned and bounced from school to school until his career came to an end in 1981 due to several child molestation complaints and both male and female students.
Chikatilo murdered his first victim on December 22, 1978. He lured 9-year-old Yelena Zakotnova to an abandoned house, but failed to rape her due to impotent issues. Though, it is said he ejaculated while he strangled her and stabbed her three times in the stomach. He disposed of her body in the nearby Grushevka River which was found two days later.
His second victim, 17-year-old Larisa Tkachenko, was lured to a secluded part of the forest, but he was unable to rape her. He forced mud into her mouth to muffle her screams and beat her to beat before using his teeth to mutilate her body. She was found the next day.
More bodies started to pile up from his vicious crimes. He would attempt to sexually assault young boys and girls which usually resulted in failure, leading to them being beaten, slashed or stabbed to death. Some victims were stabbed as many as 50 times, had eyes gauged out and he even removed organs, bowels and uteri.
Chikatilo was eventually arrested. Authorities discovered a knife with an 8-inch blade, rope and Vaseline in his possession. However, the semen on the victim had been classified as blood group type AB and after undergoing a blood test, Chikatilo was blood group type A, preventing them from linking him to the murders.
He was sentenced to a year in prison for unrelated theft crimes, but was released on December 12, 1984 after serving three months. A few months after his release, he killed again. But his crimes only got more violent and sinister.
He murdered both male and female youngsters, mutilating their bodies. He slit bodies open from the throat to the waist, removed nipples, and eyeballs.
He was charged for 52 murders in October 1992 and sentenced to death. Around the same time as his trial with Chikatilo’s crimes said to be the inspiration, another serial killer of nearly equal death toll began their killing spree in Russia, named Alexander Pichushkin, the Chessboard Killer.
His final appeal to the Russian Supreme Courts was rejected on 4 January 1994. In February, Chikatilo was executed, though he didn’t meet his demise by way of electric chair. He was executed with a single gun shot to the back of the ear. His bodies now lays in an unmarked grave at the prison cemetery.
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