Real Russian Maniacs! Part 1



Photo: Alexander Pogotov

Name: Andrei Chikatilo

Mentions in the media: 13,906

Date of arrest: November 20, 1990.

Victims: 43

Sentence: Death penalty


Prior to the trial, Chikatilo's name was barely mentioned in the press. In April 1992 Rossiyskaya Gazeta began a series of reports from the court sessions at the same time as it covered the events of the 5th Congress of People's Deputies of the Russian Federation.


The publication called the maniac "subhuman" and even quoted him. The court sessions were also followed by Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Trud, and Kommersant-Daily.


Immediately after the verdict, the story became interesting in the United States: the United Artists film company announced the shooting of a film about "the heinous crimes of Russian Jack the Ripper.


While the media was considering the maniac's appeal against the conviction, they wrote about his life behind bars. Thus, "Kommersant" reported that Chikatilo, who is in prison, "diligently writes a story about his difficult journey through life.


After the shooting on February 14, 1994, interest in Chikatilo himself faded, but his name kept appearing in the media. New serial killers were compared to Chikatilo almost every time, often adding his last name to their nicknames ("Furmanovich Chikatilo," "Voronezh Chikatilo" and others). Caught murderers often explained their motives by the desire to "surpass Chikatilo.


The biggest increase in mentions came in 2018-2020, when the media began releasing stories on the 40th anniversary of Chikatilo's first murder and, later, on the 30th anniversary of his arrest. In 2020, it became known about the creation of a Russian TV series about Chikatilo for the online cinema Okko.


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