If you've never seen the chilling horror movie Citizen X based upon the real life crimes of Andrei Chikatilo, it's a riveting watch.
Chikatilo - also known as The Butcher of Rostov or The Red Ripper - is one of the worst serial killers who ever lived. Between 1978 and 1990 he killed over fifty people, sexually assaulting, mutilating and even cannibalizing children as young as 9 years old.
Fortunately for other innocents, one man was determined to catch him, even when nobody would believe that there was a serial killer on the loose. That man was Viktor Burakov.
The political regime affected the case
Burakov was dedicated, but the communist regime in the USSR was convinced that a serial killer would degrade the republic's reputation. Covering up the evidence and keeping the case from the public to protect their reputation, the case took many years longer to solve because of the bureaucratic system.
Chikatilo was caught... but released
He was found with a knife in his satchel at a station but was let out when officials discovered his membership to the Communist Party. A lab error also failed to match his blood type to that found at one of his crime scenes, seemingly proving his innocence.
Eventually, Burakov broke through.
Cunningly, Burakov set up a plan whereby both uniformed and plain-clothed officers guarded stations, the usual places Chikatilo targeted his victims. Through this method, he was caught and arrested. He broke down, cried, and confessed to his terrible crimes after seven days of questioning, even leading Burakov and the authorities to several previously hidden grave sites. He was executed by gunshot on Valentine's Day, 1994.