Who was Anatoly Slivko?
Anatoly Slivko was a Soviet serial killer who was convicted for killing seven young boys over a period of 22 years during the latter half of the twentieth century. Later on it came to light that he was involved in molesting at least 43 boys, whom he persuaded to take part in his 'experiments' using his position as the head of a children's club. He is known for distinctive acts which included dressing up his victims in the Young Pioneers uniform and polished shoes, making them unconscious by controlled hanging, stripping and fondling them while they were unconscious, and recording his acts of crime. He photographed and filmed as many as 36 of his victims, and also kept their uniforms and shoes as a memento. An emaciated child with sexual issues, he reportedly made an early connection between sexuality and violence due to bullying in school. Later, experiencing a traffic accident involving a boy said to have sexually excited him, which he attempted to relive while molesting and eventually killing some of his victims.
Childhood & Early Life
Anatoly Yemelianovich Slivko was born on December 28, 1938 in Izerbash, Dagestan ASSR, Soviet Union. Born in the heart of rural Ukraine, which was still recovering from a devastating famine at the time, Slivko suffered from insomnia and ate very little as a child, which made him emaciated.
When he was still a child, his father was conscripted into the army in the war against Germany, where he was imprisoned but later returned home, only to be ridiculed upon return. As a teenager, Slivko had to suffer bullying at school for his father's assumed 'cowardice'.
Reportedly, he also suffered from hydrocephalus (water on the brain) at birth, which later caused several genital-urinary tract issues, which included bed-wetting as a child and erectile dysfunction as an adolescent boy. Due to all the external and physical issues, he was ashamed of himself and remained isolated from his peers during most of his early years.
He failed his entrance exam to Moscow State University, following which he did National Service for a while. As an adult, he moved to Stavropol on the Rostov Oblast in 1960 with the job of a telephone engineer.
On the surface, he was a respected member of the community who had gained local celebrity status for making amateur documentaries about German atrocities in World War II. It is not known when he first began running a children's club, but after his first club was destroyed in a fire, he took charge of another club for boys named Chergid in 1966.
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In 1961, a 23-year-old Anatoly Slivko had witnessed a traffic accident involving a drunken motorcyclist who fatally injured an early teenage boy wearing a Young Pioneers uniform. He later insisted that watching the boy experience "convulsions in his death throes as the smell of gasoline and fire permeated the air" made him sexually excited for some inexplicable reasons.
By 1963, he began exploiting his position at a children's club to lure young boys to take part in his contrived experiment, which apparently stretched the spine of the subject through controlled hanging into unconsciousness. Before each 'experiment', he would dress up the boy in Young Pioneers uniform – like the boy in the traffic accident, would polish his shoes, and would instruct him not to eat to avoid vomiting.
After successfully making his victims unconscious, Slivko would strip them naked, molest them to satisfy his sexual fantasies, and in most cases would even film the whole incident. During a period of 22 years, he sexually exploited 43 boys, most of whom resumed normal life after gaining consciousness, oblivious of what previously happened.
Slivko kept the clothes and shoes of his victims as a memento, and in 36 cases, filmed the experiments, presumably to keep himself occupied till he could lay his hands on the next victim. However, in seven cases, mere molestation could not arouse him enough; he went on to murder his victims, dismember their bodies, and set their limbs on fire after pouring gasoline on them.
His first victim, a 15-year-old homeless boy later identified as Nikolai Dobryshev, was killed by him on June 2, 1964. According to him, he was unable to revive him back from unconsciousness, which prompted him to dismember his body and bury him, destroying the film and photographs as well.
He killed his second victim, Aleksei Kovalenko, in May 1965, which marked a long gap till his third victim, another 15-year-old boy named Aleksander Nesmeyanov, went missing in Nevinnomyssk on November 14, 1973. 11-year-old Andrei Pogasyan went missing on May 11, 1975, after participating in Slivko's video recordings in a nearby forest, but the police did not apprehend him because of his fame for filming documentaries.
Both Nesmeyanov and Pogasyan were members of Chergid, the club Slivko managed, a connection that became more prominent after another 13-year-old boy from the club, Sergei Fatsiev, disappeared. While not much is known about his next victim, Vyacheslav Khovistik, killed in 1982, his final victim, Sergei Pavlov disappeared on July 23, 1985 after he went to meet Chergid leader Slivko.
Arrest & Execution
While investigating the disappearance of Sergei Pavlov, prosecutor Tamara Languyeva became interested in the activities of the club Chergid, but could not find anything illegal. However, while interrogating young boys at the club, many mentioned suffering "temporary amnesia", especially during the experiments Anatoly Slivko conducted.
Languyeva was finally able to connect the various disappearances with Slivko after a long inquiry, following which he was arrested at his Stavropol home in December 1985. He later led the investigators to the bodies of six of his victims in January and February of 1986, but was unable to locate the first one.
He was accused of seven murders, seven counts of sexual abuse, and seven counts of necrophilia, and was sentenced to death in June 1986, spending the next three years on death row in Novocherkassk prison. He was executed by shooting on September 16, 1989.
Personal Life & Legacy
Anatoly Slivko's younger sister, who had moved in with him in Stavropol, arranged for him a meeting with a local girl named Lyudmila, after realizing his failure to attract female attention. Despite the fact that he knew himself to be homosexual since his adolescence, he went on to marry her in 1963.
According to Slivko, throughout his long married life with Lyudmila, which lasted for 17 years, they had less than a dozen sexual encounters. Nevertheless, in spite of his sexual problems and disinterest in women, he fathered two sons with her.
Slivko, who led an apparently normal life, switched career in 1971 to become a school teacher. However, he was forced to move from school to school due to several complaints of indecent assaults on young children, and finally settled at a mining school in Shakhty, near Rostov.
Upon being arrested, Anatoly Slivko told the investigators that none of his victims were above the age of 17 years. While one reason behind this is that he wanted to relive his experience of the traffic accident of the youth in his early teens, he also feared to be overcome by his victim's physical strength.