Andrei Chikatilo: Soviet Union Serial Killer murdered 52 women

Andrei Chikatilo

Andrei Chikatilo: Soviet Union Serial Killer murdered 52 women

Andrei Chikatilo, popular as the “Butcher of Rostov” or “Red Ripper” horrified the Soviet Union with his terrible crimes. His reign of terror lasted for more than a decade when he targeted young women and children.

Andrei’s victims were mostly young boys and girls whom he sexually assaulted, mutilated, and murdered them. His horrible deeds stunned the nation and had long-term consequences for criminal psychology and law enforcement operations in the Soviet Union (today’s Russia).

Early Life

Andrei Romanovich Chikatilo was born on October 16, 1936, in Yablochnoye, a village in rural Ukraine, Soviet Union. When Andrei came into life, the Soviet Union (USSR) suffered from poverty and poor economic conditions particularly when the USSR entered World War II against Germany.

Andrei Chikatilo was born to Roman Chikatilo (father) and Anna Chikatilo (mother) in 1936

In addition to external hardships, Andrei is believed to have struggled with internal physiological problems. Likewise, he was born with hydrocephalus (water on the brain).

It caused him genital-urinary tract problems later in life, including bed-wetting into late adolescence. Furthermore, Andrei’s disease caused his inability to sustain a erection despite the fact he could ejaculate.

His father’s recruitment into the war against Germany disturbed his family life as his father was held prisoner. His father’s fellow soldiers mocked him for allowing himself to be captured when he eventually came home. Andrei also became the target of school bullying as a result of his father’s cowardice.

Andrei was bullied due to his father Roman Chikatilo’s cowardice during World War II

Marriage and Children

Andrei Chikatilo married a woman named Feodosia Odnacheva in 1963. The younger sister of Andrei introduced Feodosia to him and after two weeks of their meeting, they married.

Andrei claimed his marital sex life was minimal and his wife understood he was unable to maintain an erection. Despite this, Feodosia gave birth to a daughter, Lyudmila in 1965 and four years later to a son named Yuri in 1969.

Feodosia and Andrei had one daughter and a son

Teaching Career of Andrei Chikatilo

Andrei enrolled as a communication student at Rostov University in 1964, studying Russian literature and philology. After six years, he earned a degree in these disciplines in 1970. Meanwhile, he acquired a job overseeing area sports activities shortly before receiving his degree.

Andrei held this employment for a year before starting his career as a Russian language and literature teacher at Vocational School No.32 in Novoshakhtinsk in 1971. He was mainly unproductive as a teacher despite his mastery of the subjects.

Andrei was rarely able to maintain classroom discipline and students usually mocked him. He blamed students for taking advantage of his modesty.

Andrei began his teaching career in 1971

One of Andrei’s responsibilities at this school was to ensure that students were present in hostel rooms at night after attending school. He spotted invading the bedrooms of young female students in the hope of seeing them undressed on several occasions.

Andrei also used to look for adolescent students who stayed at school having sex. He later remarked:

Seeing adolescents engaged in intercourse disturbed him since he was presented with the sight of children doing things he had not done even when he was thirty years old.

Andrei Chikatilo

Sexual Assaults by Andrei Chikatilo

Andrei committed his first documented sexual assault on one of his students in May 1973. In this case, he went towards a 13-year-old teenage girl and sexually abused her while she struggled against him.

Some months later, Andrei sexually attacked and abused another teenage girl he had trapped in his classroom. Despite parental complaints and reports that he routinely masturbated in front of students, he was never charged with these offenses.

However, after a few months, the school director ultimately asked him; either to leave or be fired. Hence, Andrei chose a voluntary departure.

Andrei sexually exploited young girls and boys for a decade

Murders by Andrei Chikatilo

Andrei kidnapped and attempted to rape nine-year-old Yelena Zakotnova in 1978. He choked and stabbed her before throwing her body into the Grushevka River. It was his first murder.

Later, Police investigators discovered many pieces of evidence linking Andrei to Yelena. It included blood in the snow outside his home and a witness who saw a man matching his description speaking to Yelena at the bus stop.

Nine-years-old Yelena Zakotnova fell victim to Andrei in 1978

However, police arrested a neighboring laborer mistakenly and found him guilty of Yelena’s death while Andrei remained free. Andrei moved from school to school for several years before his career came to an end in March 1981 when he was again accused of assaulting kids of both genders.

Despite this, no charges were brought against him and he began working as a traveling supply clerk for a construction company.

Victims of Andrei Chikatilo

The chosen tactic of Andrei was to approach runaways and homeless youngsters, lure them to a distant place, and then kill them by stabbing or strangling them.

Andrei severely disfigured the bodies after death and some claim he even ate the organs of dead bodies. He targeted adult women working as prostitutes and youth of both sexes.

Andrei Chikatilo
Andrei sexually abused and murdered most of the young female children


Andrei continued to kill for several years until Moscow Police initiated their investigation at rail lines in 1990. This was because they discovered several of the victims’ bones near train stations.

Investigator Kostoyev started using undercover and uniformed officers along miles of rail lines in October 1990. Andrei murdered Svetlana Korostik in November when a plainclothes cop watched him approaching the railway station and washing his hands in a nearby well.

Moreover, Andrei had grass and dirt on his clothes and a little wound on his face. However, the officer spoke with Andrei but could not find evidence to arrest him. A week later, they found the dead body of Svetlana nearby.

Andrei Chikatilo
Andrei murdered Svetlana Korostik in 1990

Click here to read the thrilling story of Jack The Ripper: a British Serial Killer who brutally murdered women

Custody, Conviction & Death

Andrei was placed under monitoring after police noticed him attempting to talk with children and single women at railway stations. Police got more suspicious of him and later arrested him on November 20, 1990. Investigator Kostoyev began questioning him.

However, Andrei constantly denied any involvement in murders-but police were convinced that he was the murderer because he fits perfectly the personality description defined by Russian psychiatrist Dr. Alexander Bukhanovsky.

Dr. Alexander provided a psychological profile of criminals committing all the horrible murders after sexually assaulting victims five years ago. But as Kostoyev could not get Andrei’s confession the police eventually called Dr. Alexander to speak with Andrei.

Andrei Chikatilo
Andrei confessed to the murder of 56 young women and children

Surprisingly, Andrei confessed to the murders within just two hours while talking to Dr. Alexander. Over the next few days, he confessed to thirty-four killings in graphic detail. He eventually confessed to a further twenty-two murders which investigators had no idea were connected to him.

The reason Andrei gave for murdering all his victims was the only way he could have an orgasm and feel pleasure.

Andrei Chikatilo

Andrei was accused of 53 charges of murder in 1992 and convicted on 52 of them. Later, Andrei Chikatilo was executed for his crimes in Feb 1994 with a single gunshot to the head.

Andrei Chikatilo
Andrei was executed in 1994 for sexually abusing and murdering women, young girls, and boys


The story of Andrei Chikatilo is a disturbing reminder of the depths of depravity. His decade-long reign of terror left behind a path of unspeakable tragedy and ruined lives.

The crimes of Andrei shocked and outraged the Soviet Union beginning with a struggling childhood and ending with his obsessive pursuit of victims. His capture and subsequent confession provided closure for many families, but the scars of his crimes remain alive until today.

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