The Life of Anatoly Onoprienko
Anatoly was among the many killers that committed several murdersin Eastern Europe. The serial killer confessed in one of his interviews after his arrest that he had committed 52 murders in a period of six years from 1989 to 1996 in Ukraine (Newton, 2008). Most of the murders were committed in the last months before his execution. Anatoly’s early life explains why he chose such an undesirable path of life. He was born in Lasky town and grew up with an older brother called Valentin.His mother died when he was only 4 years old.As a child he was denied of the love and affection of a mother figure and this may have contributed in shaping his outlook toward life. His grandparents and aunt who brought him up for a short period of time could not keep him for long, so he was left in a Russian orphanage. Meanwhile, his older brother remained in the care of his father. Anatoly could never forgive his father for abandoning him while he continued to take care of his older brother. This aspect of his life made him grow into a bitter person. Anatoly revealed his bitterness in one of his interviews in which he said that his abandonment by his father and his isolation from the family in his early life predetermined his destiny. He further stated that most of the children raised in an orphanage ends up in prison.
Anatoly began his killing spree in 1989 together with SergeiRogozin after they met in a recreation centre. One day, they broke into a home to steal valuables, but unfortunately, the owners found them before they could even accomplish the mission. They decided to kill the family, both parents and the eight children to do away with witnesses. That was their first crime. They committed other robberies and killed people with their weapons. The two, however, parted ways after a few months, but Anatoly continued killing.Anatoly carried out his first murder alone on a motorway. A couple was standing next to their car on the motorway, and from afar, Anatoly saw them.In an impulse, he stopped his car next to them and shot them, killing them both. Later on, he claimed that from that incident onward, killing did not seem like a serious business but a meregame. He however stated thatthe sight of corpses disgusted him
That same year in 1989, Anatoly killed a family of fiveincluding a young boy while they were sleeping in their car. He killed all of them and spent two hours with the dead bodies contemplating on how to dispose them. He finally ended up burning them. He later claimed that his intention was to steal the car but not commit those murders. His first few crimes shaped the style of his murders. He selected isolated homes and broke in to steal any valuables he could find. He would kill any witnesses he stumbled on. He gunned down the males and killed women and children with hard metals to save bullets (“Ukraine’s Bloodiest Serial Killer,” 2013). He would then set the house ablaze to destroy any evidence. He targeted families, and they were most of his victims. He committed similar crimes, some of which included breaking into a family in Garmarnia and killing them all in December 1995 and breaking into a Pilat home in Bratkovychi and killing the family as well.
The massive murders became a great concern, and the Ukrainian police launched a nationwide search for the criminal in March 1996. Unfortunately, a suspect was caught and tortured to death to force a confession. The police officer that was in charge of the torture process was sentenced to a short prison term. During the time of the investigation, Anatoly had started staying with his cousin Pyotr Onoprienko. During the stay, Pyotr found a bunch of weapons in the store room of the house and became concerned (Newton, 2008). He confronted Anatoly who threatened to kill him and his family that coming Easter. The two reconciled into living separately,and Anatoly went to live with his girlfriend and her two kids. Pyotr could not live with the threats Anatoly had made and became concerned of his family’s safety. He calledofficer Khuney from Lviv Police headquarters and told him about the strange encounter. This led to Kryuvon, another police officer,to investigate on Anatoly.
During the time of the investigation, there was a report on a 12-gaugehunting weapon being stolen in the Zhitomirskaya area. This information, together with the information about an armed man,gave the police enough reason to initiate the investigation. Kryukov was instructed by his superiors to form a taskforce and carry out a search of Anatoly’s apartment. The taskforce headed to the apartment and rang the doorbell. Anatoly was home, and his girlfriend and the two daughters were at church. He thought it was them and quickly hurried to open the door but to his surprise found it was the police, who immediately handcuffed him. From the investigation, the police found 122 items belonging to the victims of unsolved murders, including the 12-gauge hunting rifle. Though the police had evidence, they needed a confession, but Anatoly said he would only talk to a general. He started narrating about his life to an Interior Ministry General from Lviv but then insisted for the general. Later, General Romanuk and his assistant Maryan Pleyukh responded to Anatoly’ call. Anatoly confessed all 52 murders. His initial conviction was a death sentence, which was later changed to a life sentence. However, he died while still in prison at the age of 54 after suffering heart failure.
Newton, M. (2008). Serial killers. New York: Infobase Publishing.
Ukraine’s bloodiest serial killer dies in jail – Officials. Sputniknews.(2013, August 29).Retrieved from https://sputniknews.com/world/20130829183037928-Ukraines-Bloodiest-Serial-Killer-Dies-in-Jail–Officials/.