Camp leader killed school children for over 20 years

Warning: The following article contains themes and images that some readers may find disturbing.

Some aspects of human nature remain unexplainable. There are people who truly find pleasure in seeing others suffer and torturing their victims. Russian Anatoly Slivko was one of these monsters.

On the surface, Anatoly was a loving husband and the father of two children. Yet deep down, he had never really been interested in his family. In 1961, Anatoly witnessed a horrific traffic accident in which a uniformed schoolboy was hit by a vehicle. Deeply affected by what he saw, Anatoly couldn't get the image of the boy's lifeless, bloodied body out of his mind. Bizarrely, this scene even left him feeling sexually aroused like never before.

Regarded as a respected member of the community, Anatoly was the leader of a club for boys called "Chergid." Every boy in the town dreamed of joining the club. Parents never felt uneasy about letting their children hike, camp and take trips with Anatoly, such was his standing in the town. Many of the children had the time of their lives at the camp — no one thought for a second that Anatoly would do anything to harm them.

In reality, Anatoly was anything but a respectable father figure. Every year, the camp leader singled out one or two boys and attempted to gain their trust. He told them about a war film that he wanted to film in the woods, convincing them to join him. To satisfy his urges, Anatoly even had the "prisoners" bound and tortured in some of the scenes. As they had such a close relationship with Anatoly, the boys kept everything that had happened to themselves.

In addition to the film recordings, Anatoly performed experiments on the children that he said would help them relax. This involved hanging the boys until they fell unconscious. Though Anatoly promised to revive them straight afterwards, not all of the 43 boys who underwent this ordeal survived.

Seven of the children under his care died during these experiments. It wasn't until one of the boys finally told his parents about the experiments and the films that the police got onto Anatoly's trail — over 20 years after his first killing. While searching the clubhouse, officials found various film recordings, the shoes of one of his victims, and numerous other souvenirs that helped Anatoly remember his victims.

The disgraced camp leader was sentenced to death for murdering seven children, sexually molesting seven other boys, and necrophilia; he was executed in September 1989. Yet even during his hearing, many children came forward to say that they had enjoyed their days at the camp with him. With their parents always too busy for them, the children had experienced many adventures with Anatoly. In their eyes, he always had time for them and did everything they wanted to do.

At the end of the day, Anatoly was only interested in fulfilling his sexual desires. By betraying the community's trust in the most horrific way, he became one of the Soviet Union's most notorious murderers. A true monster.

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