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Andrei Chikatilo (1936-1994), also known as “The Butcher of Rostof” and “The Red Ripper”: Soviet serial killer, pathological sex offender, and deluded pedophile.

Born in 1936 in what is now considered Ukraine, Andrei Chikatilo’s rough upbringing set the tone for the rest of his degenerate existence.  He suffered quite a bit of trauma during his formative years: he was beaten by his mother for his chronic bedwetting, his father was branded a traitor after surrendering to the Germans in World War II, and mass starvation was a serious problem in the region around his home due to the war. To make matters worse, Andrei’s mother told him that his older brother had been kidnapped and cannibalized by starving neighbors (the veracity of this story has never been confirmed).

Chikatilo’s teenage life was no less harrowing. Despite being an excellent student, Andrei failed to get into his university of choice. Furthermore, during his adolescence Andrei discovered that he suffered from chronic impotence, a condition that worsened his already-potent social awkwardness and self-hatred. His only sexual experience in adolescence occurred when he (rather pathetically) jumped on a much younger girl and wrestled her to the ground, reaching climax quickly when she struggled in his grasp. His sense of failure in this arena was compounded by the fact that when he managed to find a woman to marry, he was only able to enjoy a minimal sex life with her. He claimed that instead of having conventional intercourse, he would ejaculate on his wife and push the semen inside her vagina with his fingers.

Outside the home, Chikatilo worked as a teacher. His career ended after several complaints of child molestation, so he was forced to take a dead-end job as a clerk for a factory. Andrei quickly progressed from acts of molestation to full-out murder. He scored his first documented kill in September 1978, when he lured a nine-year-old girl to an old house that he had secretly purchased in a small coal-mining town. He attempted to rape her but failed to achieve an erection. When the girl struggled, he choked her to death and stabbed her corpse, ejaculating in the process. From that point on, Andrei was only able to become aroused and orgasm through stabbing women and children to death. Over the next twelve years, he established a pattern of luring vagrant children and adult prostitutes to secluded areas with promises of candy or money, attempting to have intercourse with them once they were alone, and proceeding to kill them (at which point he would finally be turned on enough to come).

During  Andrei’s most prolific year as a serial killer, 1984, he was finally caught luring one of his victims away from a bus station. The undercover detective who observed him in this act promptly arrested him and brought him to the police station, where investigators uncovered his dubious background. Although the evidence was stacked against him—a search of his personal belongings turned up a knife and a rope and his physical description matched that of a suspected killer in an earlier case—it wasn’t enough to convict him. Andrei was freed from prison after having served only three months.

Although Andrei kept his desires in check for the next few months, he resumed his deadly spree in August 1985 and killed nearly twenty more individuals in the span of five years. He tried to keep his activities far from the area of his previous murders so as to avoid recapture, but when eight more women and children fell prey to his knife in 1990, the police finally grasped the seriousness of the situation and organized a massive patrolling operation.

The operation reached its peak on November 6, 1990 when Chikatilo was observed leaving the scene of one of his murders. Although the undercover policeman was convinced that Andrei had been up to no good—he had emerged from the woods with smeared blood stains on his cheeks and a nylon sports bag that was wholly unsuitable for a typical forest hiker—he had no solid reason to arrest him (chillingly enough, had this policeman thought to check the bag, he would’ve uncovered the amputated breasts of Chikatilo’s victim). However, Chikatilo was put on round-the-clock watch for the next two weeks. On November 20, his attempts to solicit young children on the streets of his hometown provided just cause for his arrest, and the police who had been following him put him in handcuffs.

After nine long days of providing evasive responses to the investigators’ probes, Chikatilo confessed to 56 murders. The police were taken aback at this number, as it was 20 more than they themselves had calculated! Once Andrei confessed, he provided his captors with hard evidence of his crimes, leading them to buried bodies that they had not yet discovered and reenacting the specifics of a few of the cases. He spent the next year and a half in prison, during which time he was monitored particularly carefully since his horrific sexual crimes against children made him an “untouchable” in the Russian underworld (these types of prisoners were “cast down”, sexually abused and sometimes killed by their fellow inmates).

Just before Chikatilo was set to go on trial, the Soviet Union collapsed. His April 1992 trial was considered the first major event of post-Soviet Russia. During his questioning, he was kept in an iron cage in the center of the courtroom. This was not constructed because he was considered so dangerous to courtroom observers, but rather to protect him from those observers’ attacks. Relatives of victims insulted him vehemently throughout the trial, asking to be permitted to execute him themselves and fainting when they heard the names of their loved ones recited aloud. Chikatilo exhibited bizarre behavior during his time in the cage, exposing his genitals to the courtroom and declaring that he was pregnant, lactating, and most decidedly not a homosexual. On the last day of the trial, he broke into song and had to be removed from the courtroom.

On October 15, 1990, Andrei was found guilty of 52 murders and sentenced to death for each offense. After hearing the sentence, Chikatilo defended himself haphazardly, blaming everything from political leaders to his childhood experiences during World War II for his wrongdoing. At one point he claimed that he had in fact done a favor to society by ridding it of “worthless people”. After sitting on death row in Novocherkassk prison for three more years,  Andrei Chikatilo finally met his fate. On February 14, 1994, he was taken to a soundproofed room in Novocherkassk and executed by a single gunshot behind the right ear. His final words were as follows: “Don’t blow my brains out! The Japanese want to buy them!”

The trial of Bruce Mendenhall,  I-40 serial killer accused of killing a growing list of women from all walks of life including prostitutes, students, hitchhikers and young mothers, reached a new verdict today when the killer was found guilty of three counts of trying to have a witness killed. Mendenhall pleaded not guilty to this new accusation.

Fox News Video: http://tristatehomepage.com/content/video/?cid=124241

Mendenhall was arrested in 2007, along interstate I-40 in Nashville, Tennessee. During his initial trial, he implicated himself in the killing of Sara Nicole Hulbert, whose body was found at a truck stop he frequented, and her bloody clothing found in Mendenhall’s vehicle. To date, Mendenhall has also been charged with the murder of prostitute Symantha Winters, whose body was found in a truck stop trash can and Lucille Carter, who was found naked, a plastic bag wrapped around her head, stuffed into another trash bin.

Gilles de Rais (1404-1440): wealthy, nationalist nobleman, comrade at arms to Joan of Arc, liberator of Orléans and depraved pedophile, responsible for the death of more than one hundred eight- to thirteen-year-old boys.

Born in France in the midst of the bestial Hundred Years War, at a time when the country was being torn apart by invasion under the poor leadership of King Charles the Mad, de Rais’ education in violence began in the cradle. A member of one of France’s wealthiest families, he was groomed for his military prowess and began intensive military training at the age of seven. By the time Gilles was ready to begin his career, France entered an even more turbulent state of chaos: Charles VI passed away and the legitimacy of the young Dauphin, Charles VII, was challenged. The adolescent Dauphin was disinherited and the crown passed to the infant Henry VI of England. Unable to defeat the more powerful English army led by the Duke of Bedford, Dauphin Charles had to remain uncrowned, essentially trapped in the southern Loire Valley away from the French heartlands.

In 1429, salvation for Charles arrived in an unusual package. A teenage peasant girl from the village of Domrémy on the eastern French border with the Duchy of Burgandy, arrived at Charles’ court insisting that she could deliver the besieged city of Orléans back into his control. Joan of Arc successfully convinced Charles to back her in liberating Orléans, though the exact circumstances of the King’s acquiescence are unknown. Gilles de Rais followed Joan to victory at the Battle of Orleans and in many successful campaigns afterwards, proving himself as a warrior and developing an unquenchable thirst for blood. In 1431, the English captured Joan of Arc and put her on trial for heresy. After Joan’s execution, Gilles’ public career as a solider dwindled, but his private career in killing was just beginning.

The first murder attributed to Gilles de Rais was the murder of a twelve-year-old peasant, Juedon, apprenticed to a furrier. In his confession, de Rais admitted to luring the boy into his castle, dressing him up and allowing the boy to gorge himself on sweet meats and alcohol. When the boy had finished, Gilles led him up the stairs and informed of his fate. According to Etienne Poitou, de Rais’ manservant, Rais tied the boy to a hook with ropes to prevent his escape, then masturbated on his belly and thighs. After taking his victim down from the hook, Etienne stated that Gilles comforted him before killing him.

Subsequent murders followed in the same fashion; peasant children were lured to Gilles’ bedroom where he killed them by decapitating them, cutting their throats, dismembering them or breaking their necks. The braquemard, a short double-edged sword, was kept at hand for each murder. In his confession, Giles admitted that he often kissed the children once they were dead and delighted in removing the most handsome heads and limbs. He disemboweled many and confessed to sitting on the stomachs of his victims while they died, laughing all the while.

At this trial, de Rais made a full confession after being threatened with torture. He was careful to highlight that the murders had been for his own sexual pleasure and had not been part of a Satanic ritual. In Medieval France, murdering peasant children was seen as a lesser crime than heresy. Nevertheless, de Rais was initially excommunicated and sentenced to death. After falling to his knees and pleading tearfully to be reincorporated into the Church, the Bishop of Nantes repealed the excommunication, absolving him of sin before he was hanged. Etienne Poitou and other servants accused of involvement were also sentenced to death.