Thursday, September 1, 2011

Serial Killer Bedtime Stories: Andrei Chikatilo

Tonight's serial killer bedtime story about Andrei Chikatilo comes to us all the way from Russia (without love).

The Soviet Hannibal Lecter. As a kid Andrei's brother was taken by the villagers and eaten during times of famine. Or so he said. As an adult, while he living a double life as a married man, Communist Party member and a teacher, Andrei, enjoyed killing children with impunity.

Chikatilo -- a sexually impotent dirty old man from hell -- lived in Rostov, 500 miles from Moscow, where he preyed mostly on children. He stalked many of his victims in train and bus stations, and had a penchant for disembowelment and mutilation. He was also a cannibal and a sadist. His macabre twelve-year killing spree was finally uncovered in 1992. Chikatilo wasn't exceptionally crafty hiding his crimes. Investigators were hindered by the fact that he was a Party member. Also, the investigation of his crimes was used to flush out many known homosexuals in a Soviet-style attempt at moral cleansing. Many blame the incompetence of Soviet authorities and their refusal to admit the existence of a serial killer in their socialist utopia for his 10-year reign of terror.

Years before his arrest he was brought in for questioning and let go when police found that his blood did not match the semen found in one victim. It is a little known fact that in some rare cases -- Chikatilo being one -- the blood and semen of a person does not necessarily have to match. Free again, Andrei continued on his path of destruction with reckless abandon. Eventually he was arrested because of the determination of two investigators involved in his previous arrest who remembered his name after he was seen coming out of a forest near a train station.

While he was on trial, his gory descriptions, psychotic behavior and litany of horrors gave the Soviet public their first taste of serial mayhem. "I am a mistake of nature, a mad beast," he said at his 1994 trial where people fainted when they heard how he boiled and ate the sawn-off testicles or nipples of his victims. Andrei was executed by firing squad in prison on February 14, 1994. Chikatilo -- like many others in the Archives -- was the subject of his own delightfully gruesome movie, "Citizen X" starring Donald Surtherland and Stephen Rhea.

Sweat dreams, and may you forever remain Crazy 4 Crazies.

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