Andrei Chikatilo, also known as the “Red Killer”, was one of the most brutal serial killers in Russian history. During the period from 1978 to 1990, he killed more than 50 people, mostly women and children.
Andrei Chikatilo was born on February 16, 1936 in Ukraine. His parents were poor peasants and he grew up under severe deprivation. Since childhood, he suffered from erectile dysfunction, which led to serious problems in communicating with women.
In 1962, sister Tanya introduced Andrei Chikatilo to her friend Feodosia Odnacheva. A year later, Andrei and Fenya got married. In 1965, the couple had a daughter, Lyudmila, and in 1969, a son, Yuri.
In relation to his wife, Andrei Chikatilo was not a sexual giant. Theodosia recalls during one interrogation:
From the very first wedding night, I felt sexual weakness in him. Then I perceived it as shyness or modesty on his part,
In 1963, Chikatilo graduated from the Pedagogical Institute in Rostov-on-Don and began working as a teacher of physics and mathematics. At that time, he already showed strange inclinations towards violence and rape, but had not yet begun to kill.
Chikatilo committed the first murders in 1978 in Rostov-on-Don. In just three years, he killed more than 30 women and children. He attracted the attention of the police, but due to the fact that the murders were distributed over different regions, and the police could not link them together, Chikatilo continued to kill.
What Chikatilo did with his victims can be judged from this fragment:
On July 19, 1984, he killed nineteen-year-old Anna Lemesheva, who was coming from a dentist and was lured into a forest belt under the pretext of going for a swim in a pond. In the subsequent attack, Lemesheva offered strong resistance to Chikatilo, who was only able to cope by using his knife. Numerous stab wounds were found on Lemesheva’s body, which Chikatilo inflicted in both eye sockets and in the left temple, as well as at least ten blows in the left thigh, in the region of the mammary glands and pubis. The blood and convulsions of the dying Lemesheva brought Chikatilo sexual satisfaction. He completely removed the clothes from the murdered woman, cutting and tearing her. The nipples of the mammary glands were bitten off and swallowed. cut out the genitals, then threw them away, and gnawed the cut out uterus with his teeth.
In 1984, Chikatilo was first arrested in the Central Market of Rostov. The day before, he attracted attention with his suspicious behavior at the bus station of police captain Zanosonovsky.
Alexander Zanosovsky and his partner set up surveillance of Chikatilo, who haphazardly moved around the city, changing from one mode of transport to another, trying to meet girls, molesting them on public transport.
Chikatilo spent the night at the bus station where a prostitute performed oral sex on him. In the morning he went to the central market where he was detained.
In his briefcase was found a dirty towel, a kitchen knife, two coils of rope and a jar of Vaseline.
He explained the presence of these things by his work as a supplier: a rope is used to tie a falling apart box, a knife to cut off the excess end of the rope, and Vaseline was used by him for shaving during business trips.
Chikatilo’s blood was taken for analysis, his blood type turned out to be the second, while the sperm group that was found on the corpses of the victims was the fourth.
Later, criminologists tried to explain this fact by ‘paradoxical excretion’, supposedly Chikatilo’s blood was of the second group, and the secreted fluids were of the fourth.
In fact, the examination was wrong, the analysis of semen taken from the corpse of the victim gave an incorrect result due to the microbial contamination of the material.
However, this fact provided Chikatilo with an alibi and he was released. Chikatilo continued to kill.
Operation “Forest belt”
Operation ‘Forest belt’ was carried out in February 1990 in the vicinity of the city of Novocherkassk in the Rostov region, where Chikatilo was seen by eyewitnesses along with the last victim. The operation included a search for evidence at the crime scene, extensive police and military security, as well as large-scale raids on the places where the killer might be.
Of course, this operation was not the only departmental measure to capture Chikatilo. He was kept under surveillance by law enforcement agencies, searches of his home were carried out, traces of him were found, etc. As a result, Chikatilo was detained and convicted of a series of murders.
In 1990, he was finally arrested in Moscow when he tried to attack a 16-year-old girl. During interrogation, he confessed to the murders of more than 50 people.
The logical finale of Chikatilo
In 1994, Chikatilo was sentenced to death and executed on February 14, 1994. He left behind many questions that are still impossible to answer. How did he manage to kill so many people without arousing suspicion? Why did he choose women and children as victims? How did he manage to avoid arrest and continue his crimes for so long?
These questions still remain unanswered, but researchers and forensic scientists continue to study the life and crimes of Chikatilo to understand what could have led to such cruelty and ruthlessness.
Despite the fact that Chikatilo was one of the most dangerous killers in Russian history, his case also brought world attention to the problem of serial killers and mental disorders. His bloody history has become an object of study for criminal psychologists and forensic scientists who seek to understand what factors can lead to such cruelty and violence.
As a result, Chikatilo remains one of the worst criminals in the history of Russia, whose deeds cause horror and disgust in people around the world. His crimes are a reminder of how vulnerable people are to the power of evil and violence, and highlight the importance of fighting violence in our society.
Andrei Chikatilo’s wife Feodosia
Formally, the Chikatilo couple divorced in 1989, but only formally in order to get a separate apartment. In fact, their marital relationship continued until the arrest of Chikatilo in 1990.
Feodosia Chikatilo took her maiden name Odnacheva and moved with her son to Kharkov, Ukraine. In recent years, Theodosius was engaged in trade in the clothing roar. She passed away in 2005.
Son Yuri went into trade, he went to Turkey where he bought goods, and his mother sold things in the market.
Soon he was engaged in scams with the sale of mining equipment and was forced to flee Ukraine for fear of criminal prosecution.
Yuri Odnachev (Chikatilo) rented an apartment in Rostov and took up petty theft and racketeering. Soon he was detained by the Russian police and sentenced to 4 years in prison for extortion.
In the police, he flaunted that his father was the famous maniac Andrei Chikatilo.
After serving his sentence, he was released from prison, but did not quit the criminal business. Soon he was again arrested for theft. After serving his sentence in a Russian prison, Yuri Onachev-Chikatilo returned to Ukraine, got married and started a farm.
In 2014, he supported the Maidan Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine. Sometimes he appears on Ukrainian TV presenting his father as a victim of the Soviet justice system.
Lyudmila married early and gave birth to a child. Soon she brought her son to visit her grandfather. Andrei Chikatilo began to pester his own grandson, about which the child told his mother. A scandal erupted.
After this incident, Lyudmila stopped communicating with her family and moved to Kharkov. She resumed communication with her mother after the arrest of her father.
She soon remarried and had a daughter. Lyudmila categorically refuses to be interviewed.
It is interesting to note that it was Chikatilo who became the first serial killer caught in Russia through the use of profiling, a technique for analyzing the behavior of a criminal. This technique was first used in the United States in the 1970s, and then began to be used in other countries, including Russia.
In 1984, when Chikatilo was still at large, profilers from Moscow University created the first profile describing a typical killer who could commit such heinous crimes. Their analyzes showed that the killer was probably a man in his 45s and 50s, a teacher or doctor who gets sexually aroused when he kills women and children. This information was passed to the criminal police, who began to actively search for the killer in accordance with this profile.
However, as it turned out later, the profile was not completely accurate – Chikatilo did not meet all the criteria, but thanks to him some conclusions were made that helped solve the case. In the end, Chikatilo was caught thanks to testimonies from people who saw him with the victims, as well as due to the careful work of the investigation.
Today, Chikatilo’s story continues to garner attention, both as one of history’s most brutal serial killers and how the use of profiling and scientific methods helped investigate and capture the killer.
His crimes are a reminder of how important the work of the criminal police and criminal psychologists is to protect society from violence and murder.