"I am a mistake of nature, a mad beast."

-Andre Romanovich Chikatilo, during his trial for 52 murders

Russia would never have a serial killer. Such a thing was a "decadent Western phenomenon". Communism and all its so-called glory could never breed such an animal.

In 1978, in the city of Rostov-a-don, it spewed forth such offspring.

Andrei Romanovich Chikatilo was born shortly after the Ukrainian famine. His mother filled his head with bedtime stories of an ill-fated older brother, Stepan, who was cannibalized at the hands of starving Ukranians. Such atrocities, Andrei's mother conceded, were not unusual in those times.

The story of a brother, then a child, being snatched up and used for food haunted the young boy. Still, he finished school, went to colleg, and married. Inside, however, something was deadly wrong.

Andrei's wife, Fayina, and two children were perhaps the only people who saw his calm, gentle side. He was a good husband and father, and never blew a gasket or flew into abusive tirades. He saved that for his fifty-plus victims.

Chikatilo was, to say the very least, seriously troubled. He was impotent, except for when he killed. Cunning, wily, and completely sociopathic, he eluded capture for almost fifteen years. The Russian government at the time the killings began was still Communist, and sadly, Andrei' reign of terror went unchecked for this reason. Despite the accumulation of brutally killed bodies, the government denied the work of a serial killer.

The Ripper of Rostov, a former teacher, preyed on adolescent boys and girls, and maimed them in unspeakable ways, often violating and cannibalizing the bodies. Since the male victims were raped also, many homosexuals were 'weeded out' by the government. A man innocent of the murders, though a known sex offender, was executed for Chikatilo's crimes. Finally, the body count and the grotesqueness of the crimes had escalated to such a point that something had to be done.

Andrei Chikatilo was arrested and questioned about the murders. He was realesed following interregation, only to be set free for several more years.

Why was he hauled in in the first place? Police found a butcher knife and rope in his bag. He was also arrested in very close proximity to where bodies had been dumped, yet the police let him slip through their fingers.

In Chikatilo's mind he was simply thinning out the population of 'undesirables'. He picked up runaways, prostitutes. Disgusted by their 'lower class' status, he became aroused when in the act of killing them. He also cut out their tongues, disemboweled them with a knife and by hand, bit off body parts, and a plethora of other monstrosities. He almost always experienced great sexual pleasure from his actions, which classifies him as sadistic.

Eventually, Andrei was apprhended and confessed at the eleventh hour. He snapped totally, playing the part of a rabid lunatic with an enormous bloodlust. Throughout the trial he was transported to and from court in a large metal cage, to keep both the public out and Chikatilo in. He was also locked inside the cage during court sessions, and lived up to the image it must have projected. He rattled the bars, beat himself against them, screamed insults and obscentities, and raved like a madman. His wife Fayina was understandably shocked and horrified.

Andrei was convicted on all counts and sentenced to death. In 1994 he was led into a bare concrete room with a drain in the center of the floor. Instructed to stare at the wall and not turn, he was shot in the back of the head, Russian-style, and executed.

Crime Scene Photos

Victim's Body (Crime Scene, black and white)

Victim's Severed Head As Evidence (Courtroom, black and white)

Chikatilo Reenacting One of the Murders (Evidence, black and white)