MOSCOW -- A former schoolteacher convicted sixteen months ago of murdering 52 people throughout the former Soviet Union has been executed in southern Russia, the Interfax news agency reported Tuesday.
Andrei Chikatilo, 58, was shot in the back of the neck in a prison near the city of Rostov-on-Don Monday.
Russian President Boris Yeltsin rejected his appeal for clemency last week.
After a much-publicized trial in October 1992, former Communist Party member Chikatilo was convicted of murdering and mutilating 21 boys, 14 girls and 17 young women between December 1978 and November 1990, and sentenced to death.
Most of the murders were carried out in Rostov and the nearby town of Novocherkask, but Chikatilo also killed in St. Petersburg, the Uzbekistan capital Tashkent, the Urals city of Sverdlovsk and Zaporozhe in Ukraine.
Chikatilo's sensational trial aroused much more interest in the West than in Russia, spawning a plethora of books with lurid titles like 'The Red Ripper.' His case was unique for a country with little experience of serial killers.