Andrei Chikatilo (Андре́й Рома́нович Чикати́ло) is better known of as the Butcher of Rostov, The Red Ripper, and The Rostov Ripper, due to his brutal method of killing his victims.
Lena Zakotnova, age 9, was walking home from school on a freezing December evening in 1978 when she came upon a middle age man.
Although Lena was on her way home, she told the man that she really had to go to the public toilet and that it was too cold to go outside.
The nicely older gentleman told Zakotnova that she could use his toilet in his apartment just a few blocks away.
As soon as the door shut behind Lena, the “kindly grandfather transformed into an animal.”
The man, Andrei Chikatilo, then 42 years old, flung his body on his victim, pushing her tiny frame to the hard living room floor. At this point Lena Zakotonova was as good as dead as she was, way too weak to stand a chance against the muscular older man.
Although this was Chikatilo’s first murder victim, he knew he was a sexual sadist, however; it was this experience that would set the absolute tone for all of the future kills.
Chikatilo’s penis was limp, although he desperately tried to insert it inside the child by using his fingers.
Insertion was unsuccessful, although Chikatilo ruptured the child’s hymen.
The few blood drops that trickled out of her “caused him deep pleasure and he immediately had an orgasm which was the best and the most vivid and the strongest that he had ever had.”
Andrei Chikatilo would use knives to prick his victims in specific places so that not to kill the victim, but to trickle out small amounts of blood to keep his orgasm strong.
Author Peter Comradi describes Andrei’s transformation:
He said afterwards he felt that he had at last been freed from the shackles which had bound him. As he thrust the blade into her again and again, he lost himself in the pleasure, exploring her body with his hands. He had a terrible desire to touch everything, even if it meant tearing her apart. Then he put his hands around her thin throat and started to squeeze.
Police acted quickly once Lena's remains were discovered in the wilderness, but even after interviewing Chikatilo 8 or 9 times, they could not prove he was their murderer.
Aleksandr Kravchenko, a 25-year-old sex offender, was tried, convicted, and executed by gunshot in 1984 for Lena's murder. Kravchenko lived a few doors down from Chikatilo.
After a two-year break, the Red Ripper killed again, and this time there could be no stopping his intense lust for human blood.
History has seen other sexual deviants, Bundy, Gacy, Bernardo, on and on, but the Chikatilo stands apart due to his unique 'signature'.
Similar to the serial killer Charles Albright, Chikatilo also had a fascination with his victim's eyes.
There's an old wives' tale that claims a dead person's retinas will keep the last image seen. Perhaps this monster was superstitious.
Many of the victims, including 11-year-old Sasha Chepel, were found with their eyes gouged out. Chepel's father was so convinced that his son's brutal demise couldn't have been the work of a mere human, so much so that he consulted several zoologists to ask wherever Sasha's eyes had been removed by crows.
In May of 1984, Andrei Chikatilo committed another unspeakable act brutally destroying a mother and her 11-year-old daughter.
Chikatilo killed Tatyana Petrosyan, 32, and her daughter Svetlana, 11, in May 1984.
Although the bodies weren't discovered until weeks later, the severity of the murder was clear from the very sight.
Both Tatyana and her daughter met Chikatilo at the train station, although it is widely believed that he had once had an affair with Tatyana years past.
Since such a long time had passed, Chikatilo was probably not worried about being linked by police, or perhaps no longer cared.
Like a Jekyll and Hyde, the kindly grandfather turned into an animal during his attempt to have sex with the mother.
Andrei's impotency had once again presented itself, and Tatyana began taunting him.
"You call yourself a real man?", she quipped.
Chikatilo quickly produced a sharp knife from his satchel and "plunged it into the side of her head."
The sight of her blood quickly aroused him and he grabbed his hammer and "began pounding her with it."
The daughter was next to die.
Running naked through the bush like a wild animal, Chikatilo chased down the little girl and used the knife (still dripping her mother's blood) to butcher the 11-year-old.
He then took his hammer and finished the job.