Andrei Chikatilo, Part 4: Under Arrest

1989

After the July murder of Yevgeny Muratov, Chikatilo did not kill for the remainder of 1988. He took his next life at some point between March 1st-8th, 1989; his victim was sixteen-year-old Tatyana Ryzhova.

Chikatilo later told authorities that he dismembered Tatyana in his own daughter’s apartment while she was away. He dismembered Tatyana’s body and dumped her in a nearby sewer. This action led authorities to believe that she was not a victim of the Butcher of Rostov until Chikatilo’s confession.

Between May and August Chikatilo killed an additional four victims:

  • Alexander Dyakonov, Male, 8 – May 11, 1989
    • Chikatilo killed him in a cluster of bushes near the center of Rostov on the day after he turned eight years old.
  • Alexey Moiseyev, Male, 10 – June 20, 1989
    • Chikatilo took him from a local beach into the forest, Chikatilo confessed to this murder after his arrest. Alexey’s death was not originally associated with the Butcher of Rostov’s crimes.
  • Helena Varga, Female, 19 – August 19, 1989
    • He lured her off of a bus and killed in a village near Rostov; she had a small child who, luckily, was not traveling with her.
  • Alexey Khobotov, Male, 10 – August 28, 1989
    • Chikatilo led investigators to his burial site in a nearby cemetery after his arrest; if he hadn’t, authorities might have never found Alexey’s body.

After the discovery of the most recent victims of the Butcher of Rostov, the taskforce assigned dozens of plainclothes officers to each nearby train station and bus stop. They were tasked with taking discreet photos of people on the platforms. The government also installed hidden cameras on some of the trains, to try and capture footage or images of the killer.

January – October 17th, 1990

In 1990, between January and October, Andrei Chikatilo took seven more lives. He lured his victims from movie theaters and train stations and killed them in various locations, including Rostov’s Botanical Gardens and woodlands near to the abduction sites.

  • Andrei Kravchenko, Male, 11 – January 14, 1990
    • Chikatilo lured him from a local movie theater; authorities found his body a month later, Chikatilo removed his genitals.
  • Yaroslav Makarov, Male, 10 – March 7, 1990
    • He disappeared from a train station while truant from school; someone found his body the next day, Chikatilo removed his tongue and genitals.
  • Lyubov Zuyeva, Female, 31 – April 4, 1990
    • She met Chikatilo while traveling toward Shakhty. Her body was in the final stage of decomposition when authorities found her in August.
  • Viktor Petrov, Male, 13 – July 28, 1990
    • Chikatilo killed Viktor only a few yards away from the spot where he murdered Yaroslav Makarov four months previously.
  • Ivan Fomin, Male, 11 – August 14, 1990
    • He went into the bushes at a local beach to change his clothes and never came out. His mutilated body was found three days later, emasculated, and stabbed more than forty times.
  • Vadim Gromov, Male, 16 – October 17, 1990
    • He was a mentally disabled student who Chikatilo abducted while they were traveling on the same train.

The Trap

Ten days after the murder of Vadim Gromov, on October 27th, 1990, the task force implemented a plan to saturate every train station and bus stop with both uniformed and plainclothes police officers to deter further murders.

Investigators stationed a total of three-hundred and sixty officers at different abduction sites around Rostov. They decided to place only undercover officers at the three stations where the Butcher of Rostov had taken the majority of his victims: Kirpichnaya, Donleskhoz, and Lesostep.

Authorities discovered Vadim Gromov’s body on October 30th, three days after they placed the officers at the stations. That same day, Andrei Chikatilo killed one of his last two victims, Viktor Tishchenko.

The Final Murders

The last two murders that Chikatilo committed were of the utmost importance to the investigation. Without the evidence that their bodies yielded, he may have never been caught.

Viktor

On October 30th, Chikatilo murdered a sixteen-year-old boy named Viktor Tishchenko. Chikatilo did not overpower and kill Viktor quickly; the boy was physically strong and fought extremely hard for his life.

When they found his body on November 3rd, officers noted signs of a massive struggle, unlike most of the other crime scenes. Viktor had been stabbed forty times and had many defensive wounds.

Svetlana

Andrei Chikatilo, the Butcher of Rostov, stole the life of his last victim, twenty-two-year-old Svetlana Korostik, on November 6th, 1990. She was the 36th victim authorities linked to the same killer.

When he returned to the train platform after the murder, an undercover officer named Igor Rybakov noticed him. Igor saw Chikatilo washing his face and hands at a nearby well, and as he approached the platform, the officer saw grass and mud stains on his coat, as well as a red smear on one cheek, and a severe wound to one of his hands.

Igor stopped Chikatilo and had a conversation with him, but had no reason to take him into custody. When he returned to the station, he filed a report containing his observations. Seven days later, authorities found Svetlana’s body and came across Chikatilo’s name while reading the reports filed by the undercover officers.

Surveillance

Some of the officers involved in the task force recognized Chikatilo’s name because they had been involved in the investigation when they considered him to be a suspect in 1984.

The investigators in-charge talked to Chikatilo’s former employers and coworkers. Former colleagues made police aware of both the complaints about his conduct with students and the fact that administrators forced him to resign.

On November 14th, police placed Andrei Chikatilo under 24-hour surveillance. The watching officers saw him approach and talk to multiple women and children every day for six days. When each target ended the conversation, he would wait a few minutes and approach someone else.

Police arrested Andrei Chikatilo on November 20th, 1990. They hadn’t found any concrete evidence that he was the Butcher but, under Soviet law, they could hold him for ten days without filing charges.

Read More about The Butcher of Rostov:

1: Early Life
2: The Butcher of Rostov
3: The Investigation
4: Under Arrest
5: The End

Sources:

https://www.biography.com/crime-figure/andrei-chikatilo
https://www.britannica.com/biography/Andrei-Romanovich-Chikatilo
https://www.nytimes.com/1992/10/15/world/russian-court-finds-ex-teacher-guilty-in-the-killing-of-52.html
https://murderpedia.org/male.C/c/chikatilo.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrei_Chikatilo