Andrei Chikatilo Essay, Research Paper
One of the most gruesome serial killers of all time was Andrei Chikatilo. He was born on October 16, 1936 in Yablochnoye, a Ukrainian farming village. One of his clearest memories of his youth was that of his mother telling him his older brother had been stolen and eaten by neighbors during a great famine. This thought remained with him always and he later disclosed he often imagined the torturous ending his brother must have had. At the start of World War II, his father was sent away, captured by Germans, and didn’t return until the war’s end.
As a child, Chikatilo spent most of his time reading books about the Russian partisans fighting Germans. He particularly enjoyed books about Russians who dragged Germans into the woods and tortured them. He was a chronic bed wetter and his somewhat effeminate demeanor made him a constant target of teasing. He was extremely near sighted but refused to wear glasses for the fear of being teased further.
As a teen, he grew tall and strong and most of the teasing stopped. He became the editor of the school newspaper and had a prestigious role as the political information officer. He was known as an ardent reader with a great memory. He became very involved in politics but had no social skills and no friends. He had an especially hard time trying to relate to girls.
As he matured, he became more confident with women. However, his inability to achieve an erection foiled several early attempts at sex. He discovered that fear and violence excited him more than sex itself when he was eighteen years old. He was attempting to have sex with a woman who was uninterested. When she struggled, Chikatilo overpowered her but released her when he discovered he had ejaculated in his pants.
In 1963, Chikatilo was married to Fayina, a friend of his sister’s. Although his wife realized her new husband was not interested in sex, she did manage to get two kids out of him, Lyudmilla, born in 1965 and Yuri in 1969.
After graduating from the Liberal Arts University in Russian Literature, Engineering and Marxism-Leninism in 1971, he accepted a teaching job and Vocational school No. 32 in Novovshakhtinsk. He was very bad at his job, but stayed there because he found the company of young children arousing. He started off just peeping at the children in the restrooms but that eventually escalated to indecent assaults on both male and female students. When parents complained, he was moved to other schools. He had many such incidents at each school he taught at but was never reported to the proper authorities. Under the Soviet regime of the time, any indiscretion by a faculty member would reflect on the entire staff.
In 1978, Chikatilo moved to Shakhty where he built a shack near the river. This was where he frequently took his victims. His first victim was a nine-year-old by the name of Lena Zakotnova. He lured her with promises of imported chewing gum to his shack. There he tried to rape her, but unable to achieve an erection, pressed on her throat with his forearm while repeatedly violating her with his fingers. He discovered that this made him orgasm like never before. When he noticed the girl was still alive he became afraid she would tell on him and stabbed her three times in the stomach. He then picked her and her belongings up and dragged them to the river where he through everything in. The freezing water carried everything away. The little girl was found the following day. She had frozen to death.
Chikatilo was questioned about the murder but another man, Alexsandr Kravchenko was convicted and executed for the crime. In the time it took them to try, convict and execute the wrong man, the real killer, Chikatilo killed 14 more victims.
His victims were young boys and girls. He had a new job that required him to travel a lot. As he traveled he picked up his victims at railway and bus stations. His victims were mostly vagrants to whom he promised food or sweets that lured them to isolated trails in forests bordering Russian towns.
By September of 1983, an official investigation was under way. Originally, the authorities had been looking for separate killers for each of their victims. The regime of the Soviet Union at that time refused to believe that these were the act of a serial killer. Serial killings were considered a “western phenomenon.” However, a concern over the amount of murdered children being found brought forth a new, clearer investigation. Deciding that the killer must be abnormal, the investigators began looking in mental hospital for anyone who had an inclination towards sexual violence. They also checked for known sex offenders. One of the people they questioned was Andrei Chikatilo. The investigators had determined, from crime scenes, that the killer’s blood type was “AB.” When Andrei Chikatilo was tested, his blood type did not match and he was released once again.
By September of 1984, fifteen more victims had been found. Investigators decided to start patrolling the bus and railway stations especially around Rostov where several of the victims had been seen last. One police inspector noticed a middle-aged man wearing glasses walking through the crowd showing particular attention to young girls. He asked the man to identify himself. It was Chikatilo. However, all of his papers were in order and being that all the inspector had were suspicions, he was allowed to board the train and leave.
A few days later, when the same investigator saw Chikatilo again, he followed him. He noticed that he spent his entire day wandering around town trying to strike up conversation with young boys and girls. The investigator finally approached Chikatilo and asked to see what he had in his bag. He found a rope, a jar of Vaseline, and a long bladed knife.
As they took him into custody and began looking at his history, they uncovered his various classroom incidences. His neighbors told police that he frequently took prostitutes to his “secret shack.” The police thought they definitely had their man. However, upon performing a blood test to determine his blood type, they found that Chikatilo had Type “A” blood. They had determined from semen found on the victims’ bodies that the killer’s blood type was “AB.” What they did not realize was that Chikatilo’s blood type was “AB,” however the “B” antigens are not sufficiently present in blood to appear in testing. If they had retrieved a semen or hair sample they would have seen that Chikatilo blood type was in fact “AB”. The only evidence they had left was the contents of Chikatilo’s bag the day he was arrested. Amazingly enough, that evidence was lost. Chikatilo was released for a third time.
After this release, Chikatilo was back with a vengeance. He continued his murderous attacks on innocent victims racking up his total to 52 killings. He was brought into custody one final time when suspicious investigators checked his whereabouts on a day of a killing in the city of Ilovaisk. He had been there on business.
The trial was slow and tedious. Chikatilo was placed in a cage, not to keep him from escaping, but to keep him safe from his victim’s family members. He was disruptive and maniacal for the entirety of the trial. He even had to be removed during the reading of the verdict because he continued to interrupt. He made absurd comments throughout the trial including that he was pregnant and the guards were hitting him in the stomach to make him lose the baby. On October 15, 1992, Andrei Chikatilo was found guilty of fifty-two counts of murder and was handed fifty-two separate death sentences. On February 14, 1994, he was executed by a single shot to the back of the neck.