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Andrei Chikatilo, The Rostoev Ripper

Updated on January 8, 2013

Does This Sound Like Someone That You Know?

The Ukrainian, Andrei Romanovich Chikatilo was a quiet man with modest tastes. He loved his newspapers, a good game of chess, and herring. He was a steady wage earner, served in the military, working for a KGB communications unit. He had three degrees in engineering, Marxism-Leninism, and Russian literature and the language. He was a loyal party member, was married, had children, and he dressed in brown and gray.


As a Youngster

During the Ukrainian famine of the 30’s, his older brother, Stepan, was abducted and cannibalized, which his mother related to him quite often, weeping bitterly. His protector was gone, and he could not rise to an insult any better than he could rise to a woman. As a child in school, he had difficulty seeing the blackboard, and he was teased mercilessly by his peers. He was tormented by his peers in later years, too.

The Modus Operandi

Fifty-three horrendous murders that began in 1982 promulgated his fear of eyes and hatred of genitals. He preyed on women and children of both sexes. He favored bus stops, train stations, and forest strips to seek out victims, and enticed them to go into the woods with him. His job took him to both Rostov and Shakhty, which is where most of these unspeakable crimes occurred.

Issa Kostoev
Issa Kostoev | Source

The Hero in this Case

Chikatilo was actually interrogated in 1984 for some of these murders and let go by the Rostov police, who claimed that they had arrested a group of mentally retarded youths that were responsible for the crimes.

In 1990, an astute investigator, Chief of the Department for Crimes of Special Importance, Issa Kostoev, was instrumental in capturing and convicting Chikatilo for the crimes that he committed against so many women and children.

Chikatilo was conniving and cunning, but he had met his match with Chief Inspector Kostoev. He had force and great caliber, yet he knew precisely how to question suspects. In the case of Chikatilo, an intelligent man, he used respect, but he was no fool in dealing with such a dastardly suspect that had honed his ways with depravity in a twelve year period. There was never any evidence left at the scene of the crimes. At first, Chikatilo was a bit stunned and confused, but hardly in fear for his secrets. By law, he could only be held for ten days, and the Chief Inspector’s spirit was at home in the KGB Headquarters interrogation room.

Lawn and Order Prevails

During this frenzied time, Issa Kostoev, charged a few other murderers in unrelated incidents, as well as officials of the State in crimes that were uncovered as a result of the Chikatilo investigation.

On October 14, 1992, Chikatilo was sentenced to death. If nothing else, everything that the man said or did was clearly a move to save his own life or prolong it. His most basic instinct was survival. Shockingly enough, it mattered not to him with his victims. It goes to show that the serial killer wants to control everyone else’s life to the death, yet his own life must never be threatened. If they shed any tears, it is strictly for themselves.

They are sometimes seen for who they really are, and in the case of Andrei Chikatilo, beneath the mask of grandfather, the mask of Communist, the mask of the injured and insulted, and the final mask of deranged killer at the core.


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    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      That is the true definition of a sociopath, Peg. No regard for anyone other than himself.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      5 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      This was truly fascinating. It is difficult to understand how someone could have such little regard for his fellow humankind. Worse, that he was a predator of children as well. Truly someone with no conscience.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Exactly. It appears many times that the family is the last to know, unless they are trained in psychology, sociology and criminology. And even then, the clues can slide through the cracks.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      6 years ago from England

      Fascinating read about Andrei Chikatilo, the people around him on a day to day basis probably had no idea how evil he was, and that's the scary thing, how many people have we met that could be just as evil? great read, and voted up! nell

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Yes, Eddy, it is maddening. The more info that I gather, it goes to show how impressionable that a child's mind is.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, tigerbaby. There are so many of these people around, plus the ones that haven't even be captured yet, as you know.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      6 years ago from Wales

      You are so right the worst part is that there are so many others out there that haven't been brought to our attention yest.

      Many also look perfectly normal.

      The despicable vile creatures are also very psychologically ..

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Bumpsysmum! It is amazing how many people like this are out there. The sociopathic mind that kills is so angry.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      The innocent folks were finally allowed to go on as free citizens with records expunged. Kostoev was a go-getter, that is for sure. He retired as a general. The ironic thing, is that he told his wife when they were first wed, that he was going to be a general. Unfortunately, that took 17 years, as he was Ingush. If he was Russian, it would have happened a lot sooner.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Martin! As usual, it is good to see you.

    • Bumpsysmum profile image


      6 years ago from Cambridgeshire

      Brrrrr! Made me shiver. To think there are people like this still free, we just haven't heard of them yet. Interesting Hub.

    • tigerbaby777 profile image


      6 years ago from Nampa

      Scary! Great hub!

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 

      6 years ago from Upstate, New York

      What a monster. What happened to the mentally impaired youths who were originally blamed?

      I commend investigator Issa Kostoev, not only for getting the monster, but for ensuring others in power were held accountable for their disregard.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      Really fascinating. Thank you for this.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You are so right, Billy. This guy could pass from reality to fantasy several times a day.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I have never heard of him, but even if I didn't know what he had done, one look in those eyes would scare the hell out of me....dead eyes....nobody is home behind those eyes.

      Good job Deb!


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