Andrei Chikatilo, known as the Rostov Ripper, was a notorious serial killer who operated in the USSR for over a decade. He is known to have killed at least 52 women and children on his horrific spree.
Chikatilo started his deranged life of crime with sexual assaults of his students in the early 1970s. His murders started with a female victim in December 1978. Chikatilo lured a 9-year-old girl named Yelena Zakotnova to an old, dilapidated hut which he had secretly purchased. He attempted to rape her but when the girl struggled, he choked her and stabbed her three times in the abdomen. He then strangled her into unconsciousness before throwing her body into the nearby Grushevka River.
His murders continued regularly through the 1980’s. Police responded with a task force to attempt to identify the gruesome killer. In 1984 he was arrested on a petty theft charge and suspected of being the serial killer, but due to an error in analyzing his blood type, he was discounted as the perp responsible for the murders.
It was not until 1990 that the police were able to stop the terrible killings. On November 6, 1990 Chikatilo killed and mutilated a 22-year-old woman, Svetlana Korostik, in woodland area in Donleskhoz, a suburb of Rostov-on-Don. Plainclothes police officer, Igor Rybakov, spotted Chikatilo washing his hands and face in a well shortly after the killing. Rybakov stopped Chikatilo due to his behavior and the formal clothing he was wearing. He questioned him about a cut on his hand and what appeared to be blood on his cheek. He then frisked Chikatilo, but did not find any weapons. The officer filed a report on the stop, which was entered into a database. Investigators saw the report after Korostik’s body was found seven days later. They set up a surveillance on Chikatilo and observed him engaging numerous women and children in conversation. They grabbed him before he could strike again. He later confessed to his crimes and was sentenced to death. He was executed in a most Soviet manner. He was taken to a soundproofed room in Novocherkassk prison and dispatched with a single gunshot behind the right ear.
photo By Rostov Police Department - Rostov Police Department photographic records., https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2454134