This episode of the Sofa King Podcast explores the grisly killing spree of the most famous Soviet serial killer, Andrei Chikatilo, aka “The Butcher of Rostov.” Between 1978 and 1990, he was thought to have killed a total of 56 people throughout the USSR, and he was responsible for one wrongful execution and several suicides. This was an especially interesting case because the investigation was hampered by the Soviet government who publicly claimed there was no such thing as a Russian serial killer and that this was a sickness only the decadent West could catch.
Andrei Chikatilo fits many of the key ingredients of serial killers—he had a major illness as a child, an oppressive mother, sexual dysfunction, high intelligence, and of course a cold cunning. He grew up in Stalin’s Ukraine during the massive food shortages and famines that his regime caused, and Chikatilo also lived with the shame of a father who was captured by the Germans during WWI (it was a major taboo for them). The worst part was that his childhood hydrocephalic condition caused him to wet his bed well into his later years and kept him from being able to get an erection. The sexual frustration and humiliation of his childhood years twisted him into a monster and killer.
So who were his targest? He mostly liked underage girls, but he would take anyone. He wasn’t that picky. All of his targets met the same horrible end. He would stab them at least 20 times, using the knife as a surrogate penis. He would tie them up, stuff leaves and dirt in their mouths, and ejaculate on them as their death struggle sexually excited him. He would also cut off body parts and even bite off nipples. Yes, he was really crazy and horrible.
So, how did he eventually get caught if the government didn’t publicly admit he existed? What lead to him being called the “Forest Strip Killer?” How did he father children if he could never get an erection? Why would Andrei Chikatilo gouge out the eyes of his victims? What body parts would he nibble on? Listen, laugh, learn.