Anatoly Onoprienko (Анатолій Онопрієнко), born 1959) in Zhytomyr, Ukraine is a serial killer. He is also known by the nicknames of "The Beast of Ukraine", "The Terminator" and "Citizen O." When police arrested the 37-year-old former forestry student on April 16, 1996, they finally ended Ukraine's worst killing spree.
Onoprienko was carrying a hunting rifle that matched the murder weapon in several of the killings and had jewelery and video equipment which may have belonged to some of his victims. While in[custody he immediately confessed to eight killings between 1989 to 1995. At first, he denied other charges, but soon admitted to being the murderer of 52 victims in a six-year killing spree. While in custody, he claimed that his killing spree was commanded by "inner voices" he kept hearing.
The killings followed a set pattern. He chose an isolated house, shot everyone inside, including children, and torched the place. He would also kill any witness unlucky enough to cross his path during his murderous rampages. The first to die were a family of four in Bratkovychi. Another family of five and two witnesses were killed not long after in the same village. When police imposed a security cordon around Bratkovychi, he then moved to other villages to continue killing.
A manhunt was launched across Ukraine in March, 1996, after eight families were brutally murdered in their homes. Most of the victims were in remote villages in the Lviv region near the border with Poland. There were so many killings in one village that army troops were sent to patrol the streets. During this investigation, an innocent man was arrested and [torture murder|torture]]d to death for Onoprienko's crimes.
Capture and conviction
In March 1996, the USS and Public Prosecutor's Office specialists detained 26-year-old Yury Mozola as a suspect of several brutal murders. Seventeen days later, the real murderer, Anatoly Onoprienko, was found after a massive manhunt, seven years after his first murder. This happened after he moved in with one of his relatives and his stash of weapons was discovered. Anatoly was quickly booted out of the house. Days later, from the information received, Anatoly was captured. Over the course of three days, six USS members and one representative of Public Prosecutor's Office tortured the arrested citizen. Mozola refused to confess to the crimes and died during the torture.
Onopriyenko murdered 43 victims in just 6 months in 1995-1996. He was sentenced to death on March 31, 1999, but because of Ukraine's intention to join the European Union, the death sentence was commuted to life in prison.