Andrei Chikatilo, The Rostoev Ripper
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.
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.