Andrei Chikatilo Mugshot

ANDREI CHIKATILO: Sadistic KILLER X with 53 Counts Murder

Andrei Chikatilo, also known as The Rostov Ripper, was a malevolent force of nature. This article delves into his twisted psyche and barbaric crimes, shedding light on one of the world's most notorious serial killers.
13 mins read

Andrei Romanovich Chikatilo, a.k.a. The Rostov Ripper, was a prolific Soviet “vampirist”-type cannibalistic, pedophilic, ephebophilic, necrophilic, and hebephilic serial killer, brief spree killer, and enucleator responsible for at least 52 murders that occurred between 1978 to 1990.


Andrei Chikatilo was born on October 16, 1936, in Ukraine during Stalin’s totalitarian regime. Amidst widespread famine and reports of cannibalism, Chikatilo’s mother, Anna, recounted a chilling tale of his elder brother, Stepan, being kidnapped, murdered, and consumed by starving neighbors. However, this story remains unverified, as is the existence of Stepan.

Living in cramped quarters with his parents, Chikatilo shared a bed with them and was frequently subjected to beatings for involuntary bedwetting. Later in life, it was discovered that Chikatilo had congenital brain damage affecting his bodily functions.

As World War II erupted, Chikatilo’s father, Roman, was conscripted into the Red Army, leaving the family exposed to the horrors of the German Blitzkrieg. In 1943, Anna gave birth to a daughter, whose conception during Roman’s absence raised questions about infidelity (some speculate that she was raped by a German soldier in Chikatilo’s presence).

After the war, Roman was imprisoned in a Russian camp for surrendering, and Chikatilo was forced to publicly denounce his father as a traitor.

Chikatilo, Wife And Son

Chikatilo with his wife and son.

Andrei Chikatilo’s social awkwardness and self-hatred became worse during his adolescence years when he turned out to suffer from chronic impotence. His condition affected his romantic life and ruined his first attempt at a relationship when he was 23. Awkward and withdrawn, he was generally a good student, though he failed his entrance exam to the Moscow State University.

After finishing his compulsory military service, he became a telephone engineer in 1960. In 1963, he married a woman to whom he was introduced by his sister. Though they had a minimal sex life, they conceived a son and a daughter together.

In 1971, Chikatilo earned a degree in Russian literature through a correspondence course and got a teaching position at a local school. Though he was often accused of child molestation, he managed to hold onto the job for almost ten years. In 1978, he accepted a new position in Shakty and moved there. While he lived alone there, waiting for his family to arrive, he began having pedophilic fantasies and would spy on children from a hut by the street.

On December 21 the same year (shortly after his mother died), he committed his first known murder, abducting nine-year-old Yelena Zabotnova and stabbing her to death in the woods, ejaculating in the process. He had intended to rape her, but couldn’t achieve an erection due to his impotence.


Chikatilo Trial

Entering the iron cage during his trial.


Over a span of 12 years, Andrei Chikatilo committed at least 50 gruesome murders. The Soviet authorities’ suppression of crime reports, including serial murder and rape, allowed rumors to proliferate. Among these rumors was the chilling suggestion that a werewolf was responsible for the victims’ deaths and mutilations.

The killings remained largely unreported until August 1984, when Chikatilo had already claimed at least 30 lives. Although he was suspected of murdering Yelena Zabotnova, another man was falsely confessed to the crime and executed under torture. This allowed Chikatilo to continue his heinous acts.

In September 1984, Chikatilo was apprehended for soliciting a prostitute after being observed approaching multiple women at the Rostov bus station. A search of his briefcase revealed a kitchen knife, towel, rope, and petroleum jelly. However, his blood type did not match the semen found on the victims’ bodies, leading to his release. This discrepancy remains unexplained, with theories ranging from a clerical error to Chikatilo’s non-secretor status, meaning his blood type was not discernible from his semen.

Weeks after his arrest, Chikatilo was expelled from the Communist Party for stealing from his workplace and sentenced to three months in jail.


In November 1990, Chikatilo was apprehended and questioned as he exited the vicinity where his final victim, Svetlana Korostik, was discovered. The following day, November 14, he was formally arrested and subjected to interrogation. Within the subsequent fortnight, he admitted to up to 57 murders, although authorities had linked only 36 to him.

The trial commenced on April 14, 1992, with Chikatilo confined in an iron cage for protection from the victims’ families. His conduct throughout the proceedings was peculiar; he engaged in erratic actions such as exposing himself, vehemently denying homosexuality, and even claiming pregnancy and lactation. He displayed a mix of boredom and anger, contradicting his confessions by denying some murders while admitting to others unknown to investigators.

During the prosecutor’s final argument, Chikatilo unexpectedly burst into song, leading to his removal from the courtroom. Despite opportunities to speak, he remained silent. Despite claims of insanity by the defense, a panel of court-appointed psychiatrists refuted this assertion. On October 14, 1992, Chikatilo was convicted of 52 murders (21 males and 31 females).

His execution on February 14, 1994, involved a single shot to the head, with his reported last words being a plea not to damage his brain as he believed there was interest from the Japanese in purchasing it.


“What I did was not for sexual pleasure. Rather, it brought me some peace of mind.”

Andrei Chikatilo, a notorious figure, preyed upon a diverse group of individuals, including both male and female children and teenagers, as well as women in their youth to middle age. His method of ensnaring his victims involved deceitful tactics, often executed at bustling locations such as train and bus stations. By offering false promises of money, narcotics, alcohol, or, in the case of younger victims, enticing toys and sweets, he lured them into secluded woodland areas. There, he would bind them with ropes before committing the act of murder through knife stabbings, a grim means to achieve sexual gratification.

Chikatilo’s brutality extended beyond the act of killing, as he engaged in gruesome mutilations of his victims’ bodies. Driven by a misguided belief that the eyes of his victims captured and retained his image, he initially gouged them out, a practice he abandoned upon realizing its fallacy. His savagery also manifested in the disembowelment of victims, the biting off of noses, and the severing of tongues and genitals.

In his twisted fantasy, he imagined his male victims as captives, with his dominance over them elevating him to a delusional state of heroism. In a particularly horrifying act, he bit off a young female victim’s nipple and ingested it, an act that led to his sexual climax. To suppress their cries, he sometimes filled the mouths of his victims with mud and leaves, a method reminiscent of another serial killer, Arthur Shawcross. A dark turn towards cannibalism marked some of his killings, as he consumed parts of his victims’ bodies and, on occasion, drank their blood.


The psychological profile of Andrei Chikatilo is complex, encompassing various aspects of his personality, behaviors, and the underlying psychological disorders that contributed to his criminal actions. Several key elements emerge from the analysis of his psychological makeup.

A profile of Chikatilo made by psychiatrist Aleksandr Bukhanovsky said that he was a sexual deviant of average intelligence who was approximately 5’10” and around 25-50 years old, with a shoe size of 10 or more and a common blood type. He probably suffered from some form of sexual inadequacy and brutalized his victims in order to compensate for it.

He is/was likely married, but was a sadist who could only achieve sexual arousal by seeing his victims suffer. Because many of the killings occurred on weekdays near mass transportation areas and across the entire Rostov Oblast, his work required him to travel regularly. Based upon the days of the week when the killings occurred, he was most likely tied to a production schedule.

1. Early Life Traumas and Environmental Influences: Chikatilo’s unstable childhood, marked by trauma, abuse, and the aftermath of World War II, played a significant role in shaping his psyche. He was continually traumatized by his mother and the harsh living conditions, which negatively impacted him in his later years. These early experiences contributed to his unstable emotional state and were linked to his later violent and sexual behaviors.

2. Sexual Dysfunction and Associations: Chikatilo suffered from erectile dysfunction, which significantly affected his self-esteem and sexual relationships. His first sexual arousal, experienced during an act of violence in his teenage years, led him to associate sexual pleasure with violence and the overpowering of others. This association became a driving force behind his murders, as the struggle and suffering of his victims provided him with sexual gratification.

3. Psychological Disorders: Chikatilo was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and schizophrenia. His borderline personality disorder was suggested by his unstable relationships, erratic emotions, and unpredictable aggressive behaviors. Schizophrenia contributed to his hallucinations and a broken sense of reality, fueling his urge to kill under the delusion of rectifying injustices and alleviating personal afflictions.

4. Sadism and Dehumanization: Chikatilo exhibited sadistic behaviors, deriving pleasure from the suffering and death of his victims. His ability to dehumanize his victims allowed him to commit his crimes without empathy or remorse. This aspect of his personality is highlighted by his method of killing, which involved sexual assault followed invariably by murder, suggesting a deep-seated link between his violent acts and twisted sexual desires.

5. Impulsivity and Disorganization: The selection of his victims and the disorganization in his killing process indicated an erratic emotional state and a loss of control. This behavior aligns with that of a disorganized killer, driven more by psychopathology than by cold calculation.

6. Influence of Military and Hyper-Masculine Environments: Exposure to military organizations and other extreme hyper-masculine environments likely contributed to Chikatilo’s development of internalized dehumanization and reinforced his violent behaviors. This, combined with his individual psychology, led him to commit murder.

In summary, Andrei Chikatilo’s psychological profile is characterized by a combination of early life traumas, sexual dysfunction and associations, psychological disorders (borderline personality disorder and schizophrenia), sadism, impulsivity, and the influence of military and hyper-masculine environments. These factors together provide a comprehensive understanding of the psychological underpinnings of his criminal behavior.


Chikatilo Victims

Several of Chikatilo’s victims.

  • Unspecified date in 1954: Unnamed girl, 11 (assaulted by tackling and wrestling her)
  • Unspecified dates in 1964:
    • Unnamed girl, 16 (groped only)
    • Unnamed girl (sexually assaulted)
  • December 22, 1978: Yelena Zakotnova, 9 (intended to rape, but stabbed her three times in the abdomen instead when he couldn’t get an erection)
  • September 3, 1981: Larisa Tkachenko, 17 (strangled; her mouth was filled with dirt to muffle her, eviscerated with a stick, her genitals were removed and one of her nipples was bitten off and swallowed)
  • 1982:
    • June 12: Lyubov Biryuk, 12 (was stabbed and slashed 22 times in the head, neck, chest, and genitals; engaged in necrophilia with her corpse and removed her eyes post-mortem)
    • July 25: Lyubov Volobuyeva, 14 (her body was found on August 1982)
    • August 13: Oleg Pozhidayev, 9 (removed his genitals post-mortem and took them; the body was never found)
    • August 16: Olga Kuprina, 16 (removed her heart post-mortem and took it; her body was found on October 25, 1982)
    • September 8: Irina Karabelnikova, 18 (her body was found twelve days later)
    • September 15: Sergey Kuzmin, 15
    • December 11: Olga Stalmachenok, 10 (stabbed over 50 times, ripped her chest open, and removed her lower bowel and uterus post-mortem)
  • 1983:
    • After June 18: Laura Sarkisyan, 15 (possibly; her body was never found)
    • July:
      • Irina Dunenkova, 12 (found on August 8, 1983)
      • Lyudmila Kutsyuba, 24 (found on March 12, 1984)
    • August 9: Igor Gudkov, 7
    • Around summer: An unidentified woman, aged 18-25 (her body was found on October 28)
    • After September 19: Valentina Chuchulina, 22 (her body was found on November 27)
    • October 27: Vera Shevkun, 19 (removed her breasts post-mortem; her body was found three days later)
    • December 27: Sergey Markov, 14 (stabbed over 70 times, removed his genitals, and eviscerated post-mortem; his body was found eight days later)
  • 1984:
    • January 9: Natalya Shalapinina, 17 (stabbed 28 times; her nose, upper lip, and a finger on her left hand were cut off post-mortem)
    • February 21: Marta Ryabenko, 44
    • March 24: Dmitriy Ptashnikov, 10 (stabbed 54 times; also bit off his tongue and penis)
    • May 25:
      • Tatyana Petrosyan, 29 (killed with a knife and a hammer)
      • Svetlana Petrosyan, 10 (incidental; Tatyana’s daughter; killed with a knife and a hammer when she saw Chikatilo kill her mother; was decapitated post-mortem)
    • June 22: Yelena Bakulina, 21 (her body was found on August 27, 1984)
    • July 19: Anna Lemesheva, 19 (stabbed and removed her uterus post-mortem)
    • July: Svetlana Tsana, 20 (stabbed; her body was found on September 9, 1984)
    • August 2: Natalya Golosovskaya, 16 (stabbed)
    • August 7: Lyudmila Alekseyeva, 17 (slashed 39 times)
    • August 8-11: An unidentified woman, 20-25 (decapitated post-mortem)
    • August 13: Akmaral Seydaliyeva, 10 (stabbed)
    • August 28: Aleksandr Chepel, 11 (strangled, castrated, and removed his eyes post-mortem)
    • September 6: Irina Luchinskaya, 24 (stabbed)
  • 1985:
    • August 1: Natalya Pokhlistova, 18 (stabbed 38 times and strangled; her body was found three days later)
    • August 27: Irina Gulyayeva, 18 (sliced her open from her neck to her genitals; removed one of her breasts and both of her eyes post-mortem)
  • 1987:
    • May 16: Oleg Makarenkov, 12
    • July 29: Ivan Bilovetsky, 12 (stomach was ripped open and his mouth stuffed with mud to muffle him; his body was found the next day)
    • September 15: Yuri Tereshonok, 16
  • 1988:
    • April 1-4: An unidentified woman, 22-28 (her body was found on April 6, 1988)
    • May 15: Aleksey Voronko, 9 (sodomized, stabbed, castrated, eviscerated, and stuffed his orifices with dirt)
    • July 14: Yevgeniy Muratov, 15 (cut off his genitals post-mortem; also stole his pocket watch; his body was found on April 10, 1989)
  • 1989:
    • March 1: Tatyana Ryzhova, 16 (stabbed in the mouth and dismembered post-mortem)
    • May 11: Aleksandr Dyakonov, 8 (his body was found on July 14, 1989)
    • June 20: Aleksey Moiseyev, 10
    • August 19: Yelena Varga, 19 (cut off her breasts and uterus and slashed her face post-mortem)
    • August 28: Aleksey Khobotov, 10 (bit off his tongue, cut off his genitals, buried him alive and left for dead)
  • 1990:
    • January 14: Andrei Kravchenko, 11 (stabbed to death and castrated post-mortem; his body was found February 14, 1990)
    • March 7: Yaroslav Makarov, 10 (cut off the tip of his tongue, fatally stabbed, eviscerated, and castrated post-mortem)
    • April 4: Lyubov Zuyeva, 31 (her body was found on August 24, 1990)
    • July 28: Viktor Petrov, 13
    • August 14: Ivan Fomin, 11 (stabbed 42 times and castrated while alive; his body was found on August 1990)
    • October 17: Vadim Gromov, 16 (cut off the tip of his tongue, fatally stabbed, and castrated post-mortem)
    • October 30: Viktor Tishchenko, 16
    • November 6: Svetlana Korostik, 22 (stabbed in the stomach; her tongue and genitals were cut off post-mortem and eaten; her body was found a week later)
  • Notes: Chikatilo also confessed to four additional killings, including the murder of Irina Pogoryelova, whom he remains the prime suspect of (though he initially denied killing her). He was also accused of child molestation several times when he was a schoolteacher.


Andrei Chikatilo employed a consistent and gruesome method of killing his victims, which involved several brutal steps. His typical modus operandi included:

1. **Luring Victims**: Chikatilo would approach his potential victims, often runaways and homeless children, at rail stations, bus depots, and other public places. He used various ruses to entice them, such as offering money, drugs, alcohol, or promises of food and work.

2. **Isolation**: Once he had gained the trust of his victims, he would lead them to secluded areas, usually forests near the cities he visited. This isolation ensured that their screams could not be heard, and their bodies could be hidden.

3. **Physical Assault and Attempted Rape**: Chikatilo would attempt to rape his victims. In many cases, due to his impotence, he was unable to complete the act of rape, which would lead to increased violence and aggression towards the victim.

4. **Stabbing and Mutilation**: He inflicted a multitude of knife wounds on his victims, starting with shallow cuts to the chest area before delivering deeper stab and slash wounds. The number of wounds could be extensive, often numbering in the dozens. Chikatilo derived sexual pleasure from the act of stabbing and mutilating his victims.

5. **Gouging Eyes and Other Specific Mutilations**: In many cases, Chikatilo gouged out the eyes of his victims. He initially believed in an old Russian superstition that the image of a murderer is left imprinted in the eyes of the victim. Although he later dismissed this belief, the mutilation of eyes and other body parts, such as genitalia, lips, nipples, and tongues, remained a hallmark of his killings. He also admitted to tasting the blood of his victims and, in some instances, chewing on or biting off parts of their bodies.

6. **Post-Mortem Mutilation**: After the death of his victims, Chikatilo would often continue to mutilate their bodies. This included evisceration and the removal of internal organs. He also engaged in acts of necrophilia with some of the corpses.

7. **Concealment of the Bodies**: Finally, Chikatilo would attempt to hide the bodies of his victims under leaves, soil, or snow, often in the secluded areas where he had committed the murders. This was done in an effort to delay the discovery of the bodies and, consequently, the investigation into their deaths.

Chikatilo’s method of killing was characterized by extreme brutality, sexual violence, and sadism. His crimes were not only acts of murder but also involved significant torture and mutilation of his victims, reflecting his deeply disturbed psyche.



  • Chikatilo is remarkably similar to American serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer – Both were prolific, ephebophilic, hebephilic, and cannibalistic serial killers who had distant-yet-loving fathers and problematic mothers (Dahmer’s father was often away with his studies and his mother was a depressed hypochondriac;)
  • Chikatilo’s father was captured during war and his mother was abusive, they had a younger sibling (half in Chikatilo’s case), were introverted-yet-academically achieving in school, they had failed college experiences (Dahmer dropped out, while Chikatilo failed to get in), they served in their country’s Army, were in at least one unsuccessful relationship, and had sexual problems which propelled them into killing (Dahmer was homosexual and had a need for dominance, while Chikatilo could only be aroused through violence).
  • They committed their first murders in 1978 with the crime going unsolved for many years and them becoming dormant afterwards until the 80s, they were arrested for minor offences and released (with police being unaware that they were killers), and their crimes would carry on into the early 1990s.
  • They primarily targeted male minors with both high and low-risk lifestyles (though they also killed older victims, and Chikatilo also killed females), lured them to their murder sites with ruses, killed with primarily one method but utilized others too (stabbing in Chikatilo’s case, drugging and strangulation in Dahmer’s), would mutilate their bodies post-mortem and sometimes consume parts from them, two of their victims were related in some way (Chikatilo killed a mother and her daughter, while Dahmer tried to sexually assault a boy and murdered the boy’s brother many years later), and they were both given nicknames for their crimes.
  • They were evaluated prior to their trials (with both being found to have borderline personality disorder and having sadistic features), they unsuccessfully tried to plea insanity, were ultimately found guilty of all but one of the murder charges brought upon them, they both died while incarcerated in 1994 (Chikatilo was executed, while Dahmer was murdered), and their crimes would generate long-lasting infamy for decades after their deaths.


  • Wikipedia’s article about Chikatilo
  • A Biography Channel documentary about Chikatilo – Part 1
  • Evil Beyond Belief’s article about Chikatilo
  • 101 Crimes of the Century by Alan J. Whitaker (2008)
  • TruTV’s Crime Library articles
  • The Killer Book of Serial Killers (2009)
  • Radford University’s summary of Chikatilo’s life
  • Twisted Minds article about Chikatilo’s murders
  • Murderpedia’s article about Chikatilo
  •’s article on Chikatilo
  • Weebly’s article about Chikatilo’s victims

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