Andrei Romanovich Chikatilo (also known as the Rostov Ripper, the Forest Strip Killer, the Butcher of Rostov, and the Red Ripper) was a serial killer active in the former Soviet Union who killed 56 people between 1978 and 1990. He is one of several well-known Soviet serial killers, and inspired the Chessboard Killer. His 12-year killing spree was one of the longest in history.
Upon his final arrest, Chikatilo confessed to his crimes, showing little remorse for his victims. In fact, he seemed proud of his crimes. As he put it while on the stand, "I was like a crazed wolf. I just turned into a beast, into a wild animal."
Chikatilo was born in the Ukraine (then part of the Soviet Union) in 1936. He was sentenced to death in 1992, and killed in a death chamber by a single gunshot wound in 1994.
Every serial killer starts off with a first victim that usually sets the tone for the rest of the murders that follow. In the case of Andrei Chikatilo, that first victim was Yelena Zakotnova. She was only nine years old when Chikatilo managed to lure her into his house. There, he tried to rape her but failed, so he began to stab her in the abdomen. As he did so, he ejaculated onto her body. After this, he strangled her to death and then tossed her body into the Grushevka River. Chikatilo only became more gruesome and violent after this.
Larisa Tkachenko was a 17-year-old student when she was approached by Andrei Chikatilo at a bus stop. She became his second victim. He talked her into going with him to a secluded area for some quiet time talking and drinking alcohol. However, once the two reached a forested area near the Don River, Chikatilo attempted to rape Tkachenko. He was physically unable to follow through with his plans, so he beat her to death with his fists, strangled her, stuffed mud into her mouth, and then mutilated her dead body with a stick and his teeth. In the process, he bit off one of her nipples. Then, rather than bury her body, he covered her with leaves and the pages of newspapers he was carrying on him at the time.
Lyubov Biryuk, Andrei Chikatilo's third victim, was only 13 years old. She was walking home past a secluded bus station when he attacked her, dragging her into a heavily wooded area along the path. There he ripped off her clothing and proceeded to stab her to death. She was stabbed at least 22 times in her neck, head, chest, and pelvic area. The coroner found wounds in her eye sockets as well, proof that Chikatilo had gouged out her eyes. Apparently, the first stab wounds - those to her neck - were done from the back. Chikatilo didn't waste any time in killing her once he had her alone.
Witnesses claimed to have last seen Olga Stalmachenok walking off of a bus with a middle-aged man. He was "innocently" leading her by the hand, and the two looked like your typical father and daughter, except that she was actually on her way to her parents' house, and he was a serial killer. Chikatilo led Stalmachenok to the isolated farming area of Novoshakhtinsk, where he killed her. He stabbed her over 50 times, disemboweled her, and ripped open her chest before abandoning her body where it lay. She was his ninth victim.