Based on the true story of a Russian serial killer who, over many years, claimed over 50 victims, mostly under the age of 17. In what was then a Communist state, the police investigations were hampered by bureaucracy, incompetence and those in power. The story is told from the viewpoint of the detective in charge of the case. Written by
You don't want to know what he does... You just want to know when he's caught.
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Did You Know?
The characters of Fesitov and Burakov were both real people who investigated the actual Chikatilo killings, yet their ranks and positions were changed in the movie. Historically, Major Mikhail Fetisov was sent to Moscow in order to investigate the killings (in the film he is already in Rostov as a Colonel heading the militia) while Victor Burakov was a civilian forensic expert (in the film he is a Police Lieutenant) assigned by Fesitov to head the investigation. There was no Central Committee comprised of Communist Party and KGB men above the two (this was a plot device created for the film to show Soviet bureaucratic methods) and the main reason why the case took so long was that the investigators interviewed over 150,000 people trying to narrow down who the killer could be. The mistaken release of Chikatilo, and the botched blood-semen test, was accurate as it occurred in the investigation. See more
Near the beginning of the film, Burakov, a forensic scientist, is peering through a microscope. The mirror for reflecting light is under his chest, blocking the light. The microscope is always used with the mirror away from the
body, so light reflected from the mirror can illuminate the specimen from underneath. See more
You handled him quite deftly.
I've had it. I will not suffer that stupidity anymore!
He may be stupid, but he's in charge.
Referenced in Le collectionneur