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Hunting the Devil Paperback – 25 Jan 1993
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This true story tells of a real-life Hannibal Lecter. 53 murders, not a single witness and barely a shred of evidence, this was the challenge facing Chief Inspector Kostoev in 1985. Six years later thanks to this one man, Andrei Chikatilo - the "Russian Ripper" - was brought to trial. The search culminated in a ten-day interview with Chikatilo before the killer finally broke down and confessed.
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the deaths are told of in a very gruesome detailed fashion which can be stomach turning at times but its great for the gore hounds.
All in all i highly recommend this book to people who are interested in serial killers
Still, Lourie tells the story through Issa Kostoyev's point of view, so perhaps we should not be surprised given that Kostoyev was in charge of the investigation from 1985 and was convinced the killer was a homosexual even though only 7 of the 34 victims Chikatilo had killed by this date were males. He also laughably claimed the suspect file stating Chikatilo's name was "hidden" from him!
Buy Killer Department or Red Ripper if you wish to read an objective account of this horrifying case.
Longtime Russian expert Lourie tells the story mostly through the eyes of Issa Kostoev, the special investigator who led the years-long quest to bring Chikatilo to justice. The investigators were hampered by the randomness of the killings, the relative lack of research into DNA in the Soviet Union, the lack of criminal psychology as a discipline, as well as the laziness and sloppiness of local police, who had botched previous efforts (at one point they had actually arrested Chikatilo, only to release him). Since Lourie relies on interviews with Kostoev, it's hard to know how accurate the picture of the investigation is, but the story he tells is compelling and will certainly appeal to those with an interest in the procedural aspects of criminology. The investigator's own life story is fascinating; an Ingush from the Caucuses, his family was deported to the Kazakh steppe during WWII by Stalin. There, he lost brothers and sisters to famine, and his thirst for justice was bred. By the book's end, he has been made a General and is being asked by his countrymen to come home and lead the political struggle for full restoration of the homeland.
Lourie's reliance on the single source is sometimes a fault, as Kostoev's own preoccupations are given precedence. There is rather an overemphasis (and occasional repetitiveness) on the thought processes involved in the interrogation and getting a confession from Chikatilo. A writer more experienced in writing about crime would likely have cut some of the fat here. One also feels like there might have been a little more drama wrung from the hunt, not to mention a greater vividness to the details. These might be found in one of the three other books written about the case (none of which I've read): Comrade Chikatilo: The Psychopathology of Russia's Notorious Serial Killer by Mikhail Krivich, The Killer Department: Detective Viktor Burakov's Eight-Year Hunt for the Most Savage Serial Killer of Our Times by Robert Cullen, or Red Ripper: Inside the Mind of Russia's Most Brutal Serial Killer by Peter Conradi. There's also a film called Citizen X that's been made about the hunt, although it's hard to to imagine Irishman Stephen Rea passing himself off as Ingush!