Andrei Chikatilo

Nickname: The Red Ripper; Rostov Ripper

Reign of terror: 22/12/78 - 20/11/90

Motive: Sex

Crimes: When arrested Chikatilo confessed to 55 murders, the victims being young women, girls or boys, including:

Date Victim Age Place
22 / 12 / 78 Lena Zakotnova 9 Shakhti
03 / 09 / 81 Larissa Tkachenko 17 Rostov
June 1982 Lyuba Biryuk 13 Rostov
27 / 10 / 83 Vera Shevkyn 19 Shakhti
25 / 05 / 84 Tanya Petrosan 32 Shakhti
25 / 05 / 84 Sveta Petrosan a child Shakhti
May 1988 Zhenya Muratov 15 Donleshkhoz
March 1989 Tanya Ryshova 16 His daughter's flat
17 / 10 / 90 Vadim Gromov 16 Donleshkhoz
October 1990 Victor Tishchenko 16 Shakhti
6 / 11 / 90 Sveta Korostik 22 Donleshkhoz

He also killed 6 more times in 1982, including 2 boys; 8 times in 1983 and 15 more times by September 1984, including 8 times in August alone. On 1st August 1985, a body was found at an airport in Moscow, and another was found in Shakhti later in the month. After that there was a break from killing for 2 years. Chikatilo killed 3 boys in 1987 while away from home. In April 1988 he killed a woman in Krasny Sulin, near Rostov. In May, he killed a girl in the Ukraine. In the summer of 1989, four more were killed.

Method: Chikatilo picked up his victims at railway stations or bus stops and offered to show them short cuts, a video or to give them food or drink. They then went to a nearby wooded area, where he stabbed them 30 - 50 times. Some were beaten to death or strangled. The bodies were then mutilated. He always stabbed their eyes and abdomen, which he sometimes slit open; he sliced or bit off the nipples of the female victims; he took out the uterus which he claimed he would then chew on; he took the penis and testicles of his male victims which he claimed he threw away; he bit or cut off the tips of their tongues; he removed the upper lips and noses of his later victims and put them somewhere else in the bodies. At first these mutilations were done post mortem, but later they were done before the victims died. Finally he would clean up and cover the bodies with leaves or newspapers. He took their clothes and dumped them elsewhere.

Sentence: Chikatilo was executed with a single pistol shot to the back of the head on 15th February 1994.

Interesting facts: Chikatilo was one of the suspects in his first murder. However the police beat a confession from Alexander Kravchenko, who was executed for the crime. He was posthumously pardoned after Chikatilo was found guilty.

On 13th September 1984 a police officer saw Chikatilo acting suspiciously in the city bus station. The police followed him for the whole day, watching him have conversations with lone women on buses, at the park and at the train station. The police arrested him and searched his bag, in which they found a kitchen knife with an 8 inch blade, some rope and a jar of Vaseline. However, the police were unable to charge him with the murders. He was wanted for theft though, so did not go free but spent 3 months in prison.

Semen samples were taken from some of the victims and it was revealed that the murderer's blood group was group AB. Chikatilo's was group A, showing that he wasn't the murderer. This was the reason why he was eliminated from the enquiry. However it was discovered that a small minority of men are paradoxical secretors. A paradoxical secretor has semen of a different type to their blood group. When Chikatilo was finally arrested, it was found he was a paradoxical secretor.

On the day Sveta Korostik was murdered, there was a police officer present at Donleshkhoz station as Chikatilo had murdered there only a fortnight before. The police officer saw Chikatilo and Korostik leave the station together, but only Chikatilo return, with a red smear on his face and clothing in his bag. The police officer took his details but did not arrest him. A few days later when they found Korostik's body, Chikatilo's name was raised, and the police investigated further. They followed him for days as he moved from single person to single person chatting to them, looking for his next victim. They spoke to his employers and discovered that business trips and job changes put him in the vicinity of all the murder scenes. Eight days after he was arrested, Chikatilo confessed to 34 of the murders.

Before his trial, Chikatilo travelled around the Soviet Union showing the police where he killed his victims, and used a mannequin to show them how he killed them. He was also psychologically examined and declared sane. At the actual trial, Chikatilo attempted to show that he was in fact insane, acting inappropriately, shouting at witnesses, ignoring the judge and exposing himself. He was continually taken below by the guards.