Why USSR Had No Serial Killers

Why USSR Had No Serial Killers


If you think about serial killers it’s likely
that names like Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, and David Berkowitz aka Son of Sam pop into
your mind. Yet why is it that we always think about American
serial killers? Surely despite the media blackout, on the
other side of the Iron Curtain the Soviet Union must have had its own string of brutal
serial killers? Why then haven’t we heard about these Soviet
killers? Well, as mentioned the iron curtain is a big
reason for a lack of publicity around Soviet serial killers. By the time the USSR dissolved and Russia
opened up to the outside world, the names of American serial killers were already famous
around the globe. Russia on the other hand had basically been
living in a total media blackout for decades, and the world knew little about what life
was like behind the Iron Curtain- let alone how many serial killers the USSR really had. It’s not just the world that was in the dark
about Soviet killers though, with its own population largely ignorant to the whole serial
killer phenomenon. As the state had a tight grip on all media,
the government would routinely censor out any stories involving murder, as it was deemed
inappropriate for public consumption. People shouldn’t have to live in fear for
their lives, and sometimes ignorance really is bliss. Unfortunately though, this ignorance spread
to the Soviet Union’s own police forces. Thanks to a general clamp down on any news
about mass murders, the entire serial killer phenomenon was largely unknown to Soviet law
enforcement. Outside of a few major police departments,
most police investigators did not even know that this phenomenon existed. Ignorance was so great about serial killers
and their methods, that murder sprees were typically chalked up to being the work of
cults or perhaps terrorists. A lack of knowledge of the serial killer phenomenon
also helped to ensure that many serial killers were never discovered, which itself added
to a relatively lack of publicly known Soviet serial killers. When the work of a serial killer was explained
away as cult activity or terrorism, then nobody would suspect that a serial killer- an otherwise
normal individual and literal wolf in sheep’s clothing hiding in their midst- was actually
the culprit. This not only allowed serial killers to continue
killing or simply move across the country to kill elsewhere, but to never be caught. While the United States was carefully studying
the serial killer phenomenon, everything from developing the abilities to profile killers,
to serial killer methodology, and even serial killer psychology, the Soviet Union made little
if any effort to study a phenomenon that most of its law enforcement did not even know existed. Thus, even when a serial killer was suspected,
he or she stood a great chance of not being caught, as Soviet police did not understand
serial killers or their methods as well as their American counterparts. But the Soviet Union did in fact have some
pretty prolific serial killers, and some of them were truly monstrous, rivaling anything
that American killers may have done. In late summer of 1982, Soviet police in the
city of Rostov discovered the body of a 13-year old girl left in the woods. She had been assaulted, stabbed, had been
mutilated either before or after death, and then had her eyes gouged out. Within days, two more young women were discovered
in similar condition. Immediately Soviet authorities suspected that
this was the work of the same person or group of people, but where American investigators
would have started profiling this killer and predicting future victims, the Soviets were
all but helpless to discover the killer’s identity due to their lack of knowledge on
the serial killer phenomenon. The killings continued, and by 1984 there
were a total of 23 victims. The victims included prostitutes, young children-
both boys and girls- and local women aged up to 45. All of the victims had been assaulted and
mutilated, and in some instances the killer had clearly chewed on the victim’s body either
before or after death. The police realized that they were dealing
with a serial killer, but kept a lid on any news out of a desire to not alert the killer
but also because Soviet authorities did not want to admit to the crime spree. At this point American investigators would
have long ago built a profile of the serial killer, predicting where and when he would
strike next and narrowing down a list of suspects. Based off the people he killed and the time
he killed them, they would even be able to geographically narrow down an area where the
killer may live. Soviet authorities however had no knowledge
of profiling techniques, and thus did the next best thing. Soviet police rounded up and questioned anyone
that they deemed suspicious. This included foreigners, former criminals,
and anyone seen as stereotypically undesirable. These roundups drew up little in hard evidence,
and nobody could be pinned for the crimes. Yet as the years progressed, the soviet authorities
began to increase their knowledge of serial killers, and started building a profile of
their killer- though sadly their inexperience led them to look for the wrong suspect. At one point a middle-aged man was observed
by police as he approached several young prostitutes and then entered an abandoned building with
one in tow. The police quickly confronted the man, discovering
him to be a local Communist Party member named Andrei Chikatilo. He did not fit the profile of the killer they
were looking for- young, anti-social, and with a history of violence- and thus let Chikatilo
go. Another six years would pass and the bodies
continued to pile up. Victims were being discovered in wooded areas
that were located near bus and train stations, and this led police to finally realize that
the killer was using public transportation to move around. Soviet police then put a cunning plan into
action: they stationed police in most of the train and bus stations around Rostov, making
sure they were clearly visible to all visitors, but left a few stations on the city’s outskirts
unwatched. These however were bait, as Soviet officers
wearing normal civilian clothes would watch these stations. It was hoped that the killer would thus avoid
the obviously monitored stations and use the stations that seemed to be clear of police. The trap worked perfectly, and in November
of that year an undercover officer approached a 54 year old man walking out of the woods
near one of these remote stations. The man had a cut on his finger and a smear
of blood on his cheek, but he explained that he had cut himself on some thorns while walking
through the woods. The policeman had no good reason to hold the
man and let him go, but not before identifying him- as Andrei Chikatilo, the same man who
had been discovered leading a prostitute into an abandoned building in 1984. The next day Soviet authorities decided to
search the woods where Chikatilo had been found, and discovered the body of a young
girl there. Chikatilo was immediately placed under investigation,
and a few weeks later, police secretly watched as he approached a young boy offering him
a bottle of beer. The police believed that Chikatilo was trying
to lure the boy away to kill him, and immediately sprung their trap, arresting Chikatilo. According to Soviet criminal code though,
the police could only hold Chikatilo for 10 days if they had no physical evidence or witnesses
linking him to the crime. The soviet cops knew they had their man, but
frustratingly could do nothing to jail him. Due to their inexperience with serial killers
and the government brushing their existence under the rug, the Soviet police force had
little experience gathering forensic evidence, and thus would need to rely on a confession
to jail Chikatilo. What Soviet police lacked in forensic techniques
though, they more than made up for with cleverness. Soviet authorities decided they would try
the old good cop/bad cop trick, and sent detectives to aggressively grill Chikatilo for hours,
threatening him with everything from the death penalty to life in prison. Chikatilo however would not confess to anything,
and remained quiet the entire time. Next, after allowing Chikatilo a small break,
they sent in a psychiatrist named Alexander Bukhanovsky. Bukhanovsky brought Chikatilo food and offered
him coffee. He was kind and sociable, explaining that
he was a doctor and not a police officer, and thus had no interest in gathering evidence. He was only there to help Chikatilo. Bukhanovsky and Chikatilo spent the day together,
chatting about Chikatilo’s life, and gradually Chikatilo grew to trust the doctor. Then, one of the Soviet Union’s most horrific
serial killers began to spill his secrets. Chikatilo spoke about growing up in the 1930s,
in a farm in the Ukraine during Stalin’s collectivization campaign, which saw the death of millions
of Soviet peasants to famine. When the Nazis invaded, his father was captured
as a POW, and after his release was treated as a traitor and potential spy Stalin’s regime. Chikatilo’s young life was one of hardship
and sacrifice, and things only got worse as he got older. He was plagued by an attraction to much younger
girls and boys, but was frustrated by impotence. In 1955 Chikatilo applied to law school in
Moscow, and despite being above-average intelligent, was denied because he performed so poorly
on his entrance exam. He instead got a degree in a vocational school
and married one of his sister’s friends, moving to Rostov and having two children with
his wife. He eventually took a job as a teacher in a
secondary school and became a member of the Communist Party, living by Soviet standards
a pretty good life for a Soviet citizen. Despite this though, he was plagued by his
impotence and coupled with an inability to perform with his wife, and felt like a failure. He vented these frustrations out by molesting
the children that he taught, and wanting to keep the incidents a secret from state authorities,
he was quietly fired from his job by the school’s director in 1974. He and his family moved to the outskirts of
Rostov and he took another teaching job, though unknown to his wife he rented a small three-room
cottage outside of town. In 1978 he lured his first victim there, a
nine year old girl that he assaulted and then stabbed to death. Tragically, blood was discovered on the street
near his cottage, and he was questioned by Soviet police- but because Chikatilo was a
married family man and Communist Party member, he was viewed as “respectable” and out
of suspicion. Instead a local man with a previous history
of violence was arrested and charged for the murder, and then executed. The close brush with police scared Chikatilo,
and he laid low for a few years. He left his teaching job to become a low-level
government employee at a distribution center, which let him freely travel in the area and
be away from home and work for days at a time. This would make the perfect cover and grant
him the opportunity needed to kill as he wished. In September of 1981, he lured a 17 year old
girl from a library and assaulted, then killed her. His killing would continue for nine more years,
with a total count of at least 56 victims. After the stunning confession, Chikatilo would
go on to show to the police how he committed his murders, using mannequins in the basement
of a local KGB office. His trial took place after the fall of the
Soviet Union, and would be Russia’s first major media circus. Two years after his arrest, Chikatilo was
led from his death row cell to a soundproofed room in the Novocherkassk prison and executed
with a single gunshot behind the right ear. The Soviet Union did in fact have many serial
killers, though the true number will tragically remain unknown. A lack of forensic evidence gathering techniques
and a general ignorance of the serial killer phenomenon means that many of the Soviet Union’s
most brutal killers remain undiscovered. Even today though Russian authorities are
combing over cold case files from the Soviet era, and it’s hoped that some justice may
be found as new investigative techniques and DNA evidence are brought to bear on decades
old evidence. If there was a serial killer on the loose
in your area, do you think it would be safer for people to know or is ignorance really
bliss? Were the Soviets right in censoring out news
of serial killers? Does western media glamorize serial killers
too much by giving them so much attention? Let us know in the comments! And as always if you enjoyed this video don’t
forget to Like, Share, and Subscribe for more great content!

100 Comments on "Why USSR Had No Serial Killers"


  1. There were no "serial killers" because as soon as they were caught they were hired to be secret police

    Reply

  2. At 0:18 seconds Estonia for some reason isnt apart of the USSR including Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, I see many mistakes as a history nerd, don't you?

    Reply

  3. Theres this tv show on russian television that explains crimes from the 30's to I think the 80s in the soviet union my parents watch it all the time but I cant remember the name

    Reply

  4. Soviet officers: If we don't talk about problems and classify them, they don't even exist. Right…? RIGHT??? USSR collapses

    Reply

  5. I think it's better to know, so you can be more careful.
    If the parent tell their child that there is a dangerous person in the area, they are less likely to follow a strange old man to his barn for example.

    Reply

  6. Wait whoa! there was a serial killer named Yuri Chikatilo who was one in Russia who was then executed by gunshot

    Reply

  7. Google the story a out the two Russian boys who went around beating elderly people to death and filmed it all while laughing…
    It's some brutal stuff…they would sneak up on weak people and smash them with bats then crush the people's heads in with huge rocks and stuff…

    The cops couldn't figure it out because they was like 13 and 14.

    They got caught bc they was torturing a dog and got busted when the police found the recordings of all the people they killed…

    Reply

  8. Nothing any of us has to say will stop serial killers. So let's collectively learn to stop bad behavior then shut up about it. Just enforce th stopping there of.

    Reply

  9. so annoying most of the commenters obviously didnt watch the video at all, only read the title and then commented…..

    Reply

  10. Triggered Americans are commenting horseshit about Russia meanwhile Middle Eastern kids and women are crying in the corner.

    Reply

  11. "A literal wolf in sheep's clothing"? Wow, I didn't know sheep have clothes. How did the wolf put on the sheeps clothes without hands?

    Reply

  12. Random citizen : I think i wanna be jack the ripper

    Communism : U mean gulag blyat?

    Reply

  13. USSR: our country is better than westeren spy countries because we have no serial killers.

    Andrei Chikatilo: I'm about to end this mans whole carrer😎.

    Reply

  14. The soviets were bad at police work. They probably had serial killers but they were just never caught.

    Reply

  15. Maybe they were all sent to gulag. Papa Stalin knows. But still Papa Stalin was the serial killer. Wait what did i say? DaesarulPlays got sent to Gulag because of saying Papa Stalin was the Serial Killer

    Reply

  16. 4:00 how do you know if the U.S's police would already capture the killer. I not trying to defend the USSR, but you are really trying to make USSR look the worst country ever and the U.S.A the best

    Reply

  17. Police: Its work of a terrorist organisation
    Police officer: no it's a serial killer
    Police : Execution
    Police officer: What did I do
    Police: you said a western word!

    Reply

  18. 2019: no new serial killer discovery, very worrying despite statistically probability a few currently exist roaming the streets searching for next victim

    Reply

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