14 February 1994 – Andrei Chikatilo

Andrei ChikatiloKilling spree doesn’t come close to describing the butcher of Rostov’s rampage through Russia. Andrei Chikatilo devoted 12 years of his life to murdering a whopping 53 women and children, but there unconfirmed reports that it could be as many as 56.

Born in the Ukraine Andrei Romanovich Chikatilo was a Russian serial killer who earned nicknames such as the ‘Red Ripper’ or the ‘Rostov Ripper’. He was convicted of killing 53 women and children in the USSR between 1978 and 1990.

Bullied boy

His childhood was hard. Chikatilo was born in to a famine ridden family with water on the brain, which affected him in later life leading to bed wetting and an inability to remain sexually aroused. His bed wetting meant that his mother beat him. And when his father returned from the war having been captured, the humiliation led to him being bullied mercilessly at school.

In later years he was to have little luck with women – he tried to lose his virginity as a teenager. Jumping some young girl’s bones, he forced the little 13-year-old to have sex. But he failed and prematurely ejaculated as she struggled. That set the tone for his life.

Schools for scandal

He married and had one child, but sexual frustration was to form a part of his motivation to kill. He became a teacher and started off sexually abusing students. But rather than call in the police the schools would move him on.

Black-hearted Russian

Chikatilo finally ended up in the mining town of Rostov in 1978 where the sex pest morphed into a murderous maniac. He started working at a school where his first victim was a nine-year-old. When she struggled he slashed her with a knife while coming simultaneously. And from that point he was hooked – associating acute violence with his need for sexual release.

Flesh eating factory worker

His reputation as a sexual deviant prevented him from getting posted to any more schools, so he started working for a factory and the job took him all over the country. The serial killing spread with his travels and he started targeting runaways at bus stops or train stations. His crimes became more violent and he’d often eat his victims’ genitals or remove parts of their bodies.

The eyes have it

To avoid being caught in the early days, he used to gouge out his victims’ eyeballs as he believed that the eye kept a snapshot of its last sight. But then he moved onto other body parts, removing the tips of victims’ noses or their tongues.

Chikatilo went on to kill a total of 15 in the space of a year in 1984. But his suspicious behaviour finally led to his arrest in November 1990.

He was found resoundingly guilty of murder and sentenced to death without hesitation. Chikatilo was shot in the back of the head today in 1994, despite his last ditch appeal to Russian President Boris Yeltsin, who point blank refused to grant him clemency.

Also on this day

14 February 2004 – Yang Xinhai

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