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Sergei Vasilyevich Ryakhovsky (December 29 1962 - January 21 2005) was a Soviet Russian serial killer and necrophile who killed eighteen people between 1988 and 1993.
Sergei Ryakhovsky was born on 29 December 1962, in the Saltykovka area of Balashikha, Moscow Oblast. He lived a regularly normal life until 1982, when he began to feel a desire to have sex with a woman and attempted to rape multiple elderly women around east Moscow. For this, he served four years in prison for hooliganism.
Ryakhovsky committed his first murder in 1988 when he attacked and killed a gay man in Moscow Oblast, as well as three more in in Izmailovski Park. He claimed later that he was motivated by a desire to rid society of homosexuals and prostitutes, even though most of his victims were old women.
Ryakhovsky's murders continued until 1993, killing seventeen more people. Most of the female victims had sex acts performed on their bodies post-mortem. Ryakhovsky would often mutilate the bodies of the people he killed, specifically cutting off parts of their genitals. One of his final murders, an elderly man killed in 1993, was decapitated with a hunting knife after he was killed. Ryakhovsky returned the next day to mutilate him some more and hacked off his leg.
During a routine search of a crime scene area, police investigators found a shack with a noose fixed to the ceiling. Considering it a part of the preparation for the next murder, they decided to set an ambush. On 13 April 1993 Ryakhovsky arrived at the shack and was subsequently arrested by the police officers. He was nicknamed "The Balashikha Ripper" by the press, and was also referred to as "The Hippopotamus" because of his build.
During the investigation Ryakhovsky co-operated with officials and investigators, willingly indicating crime scenes and describing methods of killing. According to his confessions, most murders were not planned and were rather an effect of a sudden impulse, which was used to explain motivation behind the murder of a 70-year-old woman and 78-year-old man Ryakhovsky had accidentally met in the forest. There was an exception, as the murders of the three homosexuals he had met in Izmailovski Park in 1988 were thoroughly planned. Most victims were people over 40 and around 50 years of age, while three of his victims were over 60.
Ryakhovsky was found competent to stand trial and charged with his multiple murders. However, he suddenly became obstructive after he was informed that a psychiatrist had diagnosed him with a CNS malfunction that had caused his necrophiliac tendencies and retracted his confession. In July 1995, Ryakhovsky was sentenced to death by firing squad, and after hearing the verdict said: "I will be back". However, in 1996 Russia imposed a moratorium on executions, instead the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment in a maximum-security penal colony in Solikamsk, Perm Oblast.
Ryakhovsky died on 21 January 2005 from long untreated tuberculosis while serving his sentence in prison.