We'll be profiling 13 serial killers over the course of the 13 days leading up to Halloween. Today, we take a trip to the Soviet Union. Have any suggestions for our list? Send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Soviet Union was notorious for being closed off to the outside world. After the walls came down and relations returned to normal, stories of life there began creeping beyond the country's borders. One of the darkest stories to come out of this harsh time is that of serial killer Andrei Romanovich Chikatilo.
Chikatilo was one of the most prolific and successful serial killers in Soviet history. His killing spree lasted from 1978 until his arrest in 1990. He left over 50 victims in his wake.
Growing up, Chikatilo had a normal life for a young Soviet in the aftermath of World War II. Though some people described him as being odd, his behavior didn't raise any red flags. Eventually, Chikatilo got married, started a family, and began working as a high school teacher in the town of Novoshakhtinsk.
As a teacher, Chikatilo used his position of power to sexually assault young female students.
He began assaulting his students around 1973, a few years before the murders began. It started out with Chikatilo inappropriately touching his students, and progressed to groping and rape. In one incident, he trapped a girl inside the classroom and ejaculated on her.
In response to a rising number of complaints, administrators asked Chikatilo to leave without causing a scene in 1978.
Oddly enough, Chikatilo found another teaching job rather quickly in the neighboring city of Shakhty. While he was waiting for his family to arrive in the new city, Chikatilo indulged his twisted fantasies. He made a habit of spying on young girls. It was during this time that Chikatilo committed his first murder.
The victim was nine-year-old Yelena Zabotnova. He kidnapped her and took her to the woods, where he intended to rape her. However, Chikatilo was unable to get an erection, so he stabbed her to death. He orgasmed in the process.
This murder stirred something in Chikatilo. Over the next 12 years, he would go on to murder more than 50 people.
Because it was the policy of the Soviet Union to suppress reports of murder, rape, and sexual assault, Chikatilo was almost able to continue killing with impunity. Incredibly enough, multiple witnesses reported seeing Chikatilo abduct his first victim and take her into the woods.
However, another man had already confessed to the murder after being tortured by police. Chikatilo used the criminal justice system's faults in his favor.
Chikatilo often found his victims at train or bus stations.
He approached potential victims and enticed them with offers of drugs or alcohol. If they were children, he offered them toys and candy. Then, he lured them to a nearby forest, tied them up, and stabbed them to death. After they were dead, Chikatilo often mutilated their corpses. He cut the eyes out of many of his victims because he believed that they contained a snapshot of the last thing they saw.
In November of 1990, Chikatilo walked right into a trap that was set up by the police.
Police caught Chikatilo coming out of the forest and questioned him extensively. After placing him under surveillance, they determined that he was the killer. Under pressure, Chikatilo confessed to committing 56 murders. In a swift trial, Chikatilo was convicted on all counts and sentenced to death. The sentence was carried out in 1994.
(via Criminal Minds)
You can just tell by looking at certain people that there's something terribly wrong with them. That's exactly the feeling I get when I look at Chikatilo. He was truly a monster.