Andrei Chikatilo was identified as a serial killer who was responsible for sexually assaulting, murdering and mutilating numerous people in the Soviet Union or Russia. Most of the crimes took place around the Rostov Oblast.
Nicknames given to this killer include The Butcher of Rostov, The Rostov Ripper, The Red Ripper, and The Forest Strip Killer. He is also often referred to as The Maniac or The Cannibal, due to the brutality and nature of his crimes.
The murders that were accounted to him occurred over a period of twelve years, between 1978 and 1990. In 1992, Chikatilo was convicted of over fifty murders. He was sentenced to death for the crimes. In 1994, he was executed.
Chikatilo started out with lengthy pauses between his
attacks, indicating that at one time he fought the urge to engage in homicidal
acts. Several years went by from the
first documented murder to the suspicions that a single individual was
responsible for multiple murders. This
was before the term "serial killer" was commonly used.
Chikatilo was not particularly picky when he chose his victims. The ages of the people he murdered ranged from age 7 to 45. They consisted of children, both male and female, and women. He frequented public transportation where he met potential victims. He is known to lure them to an isolated place where he would conduct the murders.
The details of the crimes are grotesque, to say the least. He was very brutal. Many of the victims were stabbed or slashed and eyes were gouged. Some were disemboweled. He is known for mutilating his murder victims, castrating boys and cutting the uterus out of females. Some accounts of the story suggest he chewed on or ate sexual organs.
Something extremely disturbing about this case, other than the details of the murders, is that Chikatilo was questioned after the first murder back in 1978. He could have been stopped early in the game if he would have been pursued as a suspect. Instead, a man who was innocent of this crime ended up taking the wrap and was executed for the murder.
At the beginning of Chikatilo's murder spree the analysis of forensic evidence could be considered in its infancy. Blood types and semen samples were being used at the time; however, sophistic use of DNA profiles was not yet developed.
Public transit stations were patrolled in the search for this vicious killer. Chikatilo was arrested on suspicion. Failure to match his blood type to semen samples resulted in his release.
Finally, in 1990 Andrei Chikatilo was captured due to a body
being found near a place where a detective had seen and identified him. Chikatilo confessed to the murders, more than
what he was convicted for. Justice
prevailed and Chikatilo was executed.