Pub. Date: 2/15/1993
Publisher: Barricade Books, Incorporated
Type: Non-Fiction, True Crime
The Psychopathology of Russia’s Notorious Serial Killer
It was understood that there were no serial killers under a Communist regime. Apparently Andrei Chikatilo didn’t get the memo. That is a grave oversight considering he was a member of the Communist party for years, which is the reason he is called Comrade Chikatilo.
His first murder was committed on December 22, 1978, his last kill was on November 6, 1990. He raped, mutilated, and killed 53 young women, girls, and boy. In some cases he swallowed parts of their body. As a former teacher, he knew how to entice boys and girls. Sometimes all it took was chewing gum.
“The day before, she had told her friends about this man she knew who gave her chewing gum. She showed them a piece of gum in its pretty foreign wrapper. …. Her friends wanted it: you’d have to be crazy to turn down such pretty chewing gum!”
The book was compiled by two Russian writers. When something was reported by the murderer, that was unable to be proved, they were able to say if it was possible. This inside look at the country was fascinating, they tried to explain the reasons for some of the mistakes made by police, why some things may have been covered over. Besides giving an account of the criminal case, this book is also a look inside the country and the Russian criminal justice system.
The authors were able to interview many of the victim’s family members and others involved in the case. While not able to interview Chikatilo face to face, they were able to pass him written questions and receive his answers. Also included in this book are excerpts from his “autobiography” with comments on whether anything backed up what he claimed or according to their knowledge of the history of Russia, if it was possible.
The authors state they started the book in June and finished in October. They did an incredible job in such a short time. The book was finished after he was convicted but before any appeals were filed, if you are interested in what happened after the trial you can find this account in the Tru Crime Library site.
I found this account very readable, it had enough detail, there were no ‘gaps’ while not taking you through every little thing that happened. It covers the crimes, the investigations, mistakes made by investigators and the trial.