15 Horrible Facts About Andrei Chikatilo

This monster committed over 50 murders in Russia, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.

In this post, you’ll discover the ultimate list of interesting facts about Andrei Chikatilo, one of the most demented serial killers in history!

1. Chikatilo was born into a farmers family in Soviet Ukraine

Andrei Romanovich Chikatilo was born on October 16, 1936, in a small town called Yabluchne. This village is located in the Sumy Oblast region in the northeast of Ukraine, which was Soviet Ukraine back then.

The Ukrainian SSR was undergoing a famine and World War II broke out just a few years after he was born. Between 1941 and 1944, Ukraine was occupied by the Nazis and he witnessed extreme violence growing up as a consequence.

Ukraine famine
Poverty in Ukraine / Wiki Commons

2. He grew up in extreme poverty

The conditions in which he was born can be described as extremely poor. His family lived in a one-room hut and were forced to collectively farm under the Stalin Regime. This means they could barely feed themselves while having to work all day long.

When the Soviet Union was drawn into World War II, his father Roman was recruited for the Red Army. Things went even further downhill from then on as his mother Anna wasn’t able to take care of her children.

One of the most remarkable facts about Andrei Chikatilo is that he claimed that he only ate bread for the first time at the age of 12. This clearly indicates that constant hunger was a part of his life growing up.

3. A tragic incidence probably resulted in the birth of his sister

World War II was a terrible period in the world and the region he lived in was an important battlefield. Ukraine is a country rich in agriculture which made it important for both Germany and the Soviet Union.

He described that he witnessed the war firsthand, which means shootings, bombings, and fires. To make things even worse, it’s very likely that his mother was repeatedly raped by Nazi soldiers.

She gave birth to a baby girl named Tatyana in 1943 while her husband was fighting in the war since 1941. This means that he couldn’t have been the father of Andrei’s sister.

Because they lived in a one-room hut, he might have witnessed his mother being raped by the intruders as well.

Andrei Chikatilo mugshot
Mugshot of Chikatilo / Wiki Commons

4. Despite his tragic youth, he was a rather intelligent student

During his adolescent years, Andrei Chikatilo was extremely shy and was frequently bullied because he was physically weak. He was withdrawn and focused on his studies.

He wasn’t the most intelligent student but because of his perseverance, he managed to graduate with excellent grades in 1954, the only student with a farming background to achieve this.

His ultimate goal was to enroll at Moscow State University, but unfortunately, his scores were too average to be accepted. He instead enrolled in vocational college and got a degree as well.

5. He became a teacher who took advantage of some of his students

Between 1957 and 1960 he enrolled in his mandatory military service. He completed his duty without any incidents in both Central Asia and East Berlin, after which he enrolled in the Communist Party in the year 1960.

He was impotent ever since puberty and when he moved back to his hometown and got into a serious relationship after his military service, his secret came out.

This shameful event would forever change Andrei and he decided to move away from his home country and settled in Rostov-on-Don, a port city in southern Russia.

He decided to enroll at the University of Rostov and studied Russian literature and philology, obtaining his degree in 1970. Shortly afterward, he managed to get a job as a teacher and started committing his first crimes.

He was a teacher for 8 years between 1973 and 1981 but had to quit this job because of numerous complaints of child molestation. Remarkably, during this entire period, he wasn’t arrested once and managed to get another job easily after being fired as a teacher.

6. His younger sister Tatyana introduced him to his wife

One of the most interesting facts about Andrei Chikatilo is that he was married this entire period because of his sister Tatyana. He was introduced to a woman named Feodosia Odnacheva in 1963 and married her just 2 weeks after.

This means that the marriage was strictly business and was arranged by his sister and her husband, mainly because they felt sorry for Andrei and his condition after they found out about it.

The couple even had 2 children, a girl named Lyudmila who was born in 1965, and a boy named Yuri who was born in 1969.

Andrei Chikatilo and wife
Andrei and his wife / Wiki Commons

7. His first murder was that of a 9-year-old girl

The fact that he had children himself makes it all the most horrific that his first murder victim was a 9-year-old girl named Yelena Zakotnova. He had lured the girl into an old house that he owned and attempted to rape her. This incident happened on December 22, 1978.

When that didn’t work because of his impotence, he decided to strangle her and eventually stabbed her multiple times.

One of the most shocking facts about Andrei Chikatilo is that the stabbing motion with the knife somehow allowed him to ejaculate. This discovery would prove to be crucial in the events that followed the next 12 years.

8. Another man was executed for Chikatilo’s first murder

There was a mountain of evidence against Chikatilo, but somehow, the police managed to arrest the wrong guy. If the police had acted upon the endless clues, he would have never become a serial killer in the first place!

  • There were spots of blood near his house.
  • Neighbors had seen Chikatilo in the house on the day of the murder.
  • The girl’s backpack was found on the opposite end of the street.
  • He had been seen talking to the girl at her bus stop.
  • A witness gave a perfect description of the murdered which resembled Chikatilo.

This man was named Aleksandr Kravchenko, a 25-year-old construction worker who had been convicted of a similar crime before. He was initially convicted of the murder and sentenced to death but saw his sentence commuted to 15 years by the Supreme Court in December 1980.

Because the family members of the little girl contested this decision, he was retried, sentenced to death, and eventually executed by firing squad in July 1983.

Aleksandr Kravchenko
Aleksandr Kravchenko / Wiki Commons

9. Chikatilo could have been stopped in 1984 but was released

One of the most incredible facts about Andrei Chikatilo is that he was only arrested for the first time on September 13, 1984. Two Moscow police officers had spotted him while he was trying to approach girls and young women. They subsequently arrested him in the city center of Rostov.

Even though they found a huge knife, rope, and a bottle of vaseline on him, they somehow let him go after a blood test revealed that his blood type didn’t match that of the serial killer.

He was, however, convicted of minor theft at his work and spent 3 months in prison between September 1984 and December 1984 for this crime.

At this time, he had already committed over 2 dozen murders!

10. The first psychological report about the killer was stunningly accurate

About a year later in November 1985, a special team was assigned to the case. By then it was clear that a deranged serial killer was on the loose and they wanted the murder spree to stop asap.

One of the first things they did was make a psychological profile of the killer. They originally thought the killer(s) was either part of a group that collects organs to sell on the black market, a member of a Satanic group, or a mentally ill individual.

It quickly became clear that only a mental case could be capable of these horrific crimes and the psychological report they received from Dr. Alexandr Bukhanovsky was amazingly precise. According to him, the killer was:

  • A reclusive man between 45 and 50 years old.
  • A person who had a troubled childhood.
  • Shy around women.
  • Of average intelligence.
  • Married with children.
  • A sadistic predator.
  • A man who suffered from impotence.
  • A man with a schedule who traveled a lot for his work (Chikatilo did).
  • A man who uses his knife to be sexually aroused.

This pretty much sums up Andrei Chikatilo at the time!

Andrei Chikatilo interesting facts
After his arrest / Wiki Commons

11. He was finally arrested in November of 1990

This initial accurate report didn’t result in an arrest. It would take 5 more years and multiple more murders before he was finally arrested, which happened in November of 1990.

The main mistake he made was that he approached his final victims from train stations on one particular route in the Rostov Oblast region. This allowed investigators to set up a sting operation in multiple train stations to catch the killer red-handed.

This eventually happened as an investigator noticed dirt on his clothes as he arrived at the train station. His name was written down and he was put under surveillance on November 14, 1990.

When he started approaching women and girls on November 20, 1990, he was arrested and the murder spree finally stopped.

12. He ended up confessing to 56 murders

He didn’t confess initially and simply denied he was involved in any of the murders. His blood type also revealed again that he had blood type A as opposed to blood type AB of the killer.

The police had enough circumstantial evidence, however, to assume he was the killer. He had a broken finger from a struggle with one of his victims and items which linked him to the murder such as a knife and rope.

On the final day of the 10-day period that they could legally keep him, he finally broke down. It didn’t happen until the psychological report of the killer, which accurately describes his life and mental condition, was read to him.

He finally broke out in tears and confessed to 56 murders, describing each murder in full detail in the process.

Andrei Chikatilo confession
In prison / Wiki Commons

13. He gouged out the eyes of his victims for a particular reason

The details of his crimes were horrific. One of the most disturbing facts about Andrei Chilatilo is that he initially cut out all the eyes of his victims, but later simply stabbed and slashed them without removing them.

The police asked about this peculiar behavior and he simply mentioned that he originally believed that the image of the killer was imprinted on the victim’s eyes. So that’s why he removed the eyes completely.

Later on, he stopped believing this and dismissed it as a simple superstition, which is why he stopped doing that.

14. The psychological report of his trial revealed he suffered from brain damage

In the year 1991, another psychological evaluation was made which would determine whether or not he was fit to stand trial or not. while it became clear that the man suffered from severe mental issues that were reportedly caused by prenatal brain damage, he was declared fit to stand trial on October 18, 1991.

The main condition he suffered from was a borderline personality disorder in combination with a sadistic personality disorder. It’s also fair to conclude that he lacked any sense of remorse for his victims and committed his crimes for the sole reason of personal pleasure.

15. He was executed with a single gunshot in February of 1994

His trial started on April 14, 1992, in Rostov. he was eventually sentenced to death for a total of 52 murders. Equally remarkable is that he was finally sentenced for the 5 counts of sexual assault which he committed as a teacher.

He launched a series of appeals, including one to then-president of Russia Boris Yeltsin, but all were rejected.

Andrei Chikatilo, who had earned the nicknames “The Butcher of Rostov,” “The Red Ripper,” and “The Rostov Ripper,” was taken from his prison cell to a soundproof room at the Novocherkassk prison on February 14, 1994, and was killed with one shot behind the ear.

Andrei Chikatilo's trial
The serial killer / Wiki Commons