More Ways to Listen
Anatoly Slivko - Club Romantic - Pt 1
- Sexual assault
- Child abuse/pedophilia/incest
- Animal cruelty/animal death
INTRO – QUOTE
“I confess, having received a videotape with copies of Slivko’s films, I did not imagine that I would see such a thing, I did not imagine how wild and depressing the impression these terrible documents would make. It seems that we are used to everything – television makes us constant contemplators of catastrophes, epidemics, violent terrorist acts, and “video masterpieces” further lower the threshold of sensitivity, savoring the bloody scenes in neorealistic detective stories and sado-masochistic thrillers. However, I assure you that what Slivko shot cannot be reproduced by any authors of any horror films.
Dead silence, only a color picture on the screen, and in front of your eyes a child is dying in agony. Moreover, the sadist, cold-bloodedly fixing the convulsions of the agonizing boy, from time to time himself gets into the frame. He not only shoots death, but voluptuously admires it.
On the screen, the body of the victim, dressed by the killer in a pioneer uniform, is laid on a white sheet. Spasms are less and less… The next frame is a severed head framed by severed legs. The camera zooms in close to the dead child’s face, distorted by a frozen grimace of suffering and fear.
The film is quite long, or maybe it seems like that. I admit, I could only watch it to the end once. It was quite enough to feel the grave cold just from the very idea of the one who was the screenwriter, director, cameraman and spectator in one person.”
– Modestov N.S., an investigator in the case of Anatoly Slivko.
NOTE ON CONFLICTING INFORMATION
There is A LOT of misidentification and incorrect information online about Slivko and his crimes.
Names of the children, dates, and ages are often mixed up, just to name a few.
What we would like to provide is a more comprehensive overview of what he did and who was involved, as well as a more solid approach to the timeline of events.
From Cradle to the Grave, to Cradle Again
Anatoly Slivko was born on December 28th, 1938, in Izberbash, Russia, to a mother whose name is unknown and a father named Yemelyan Slivko.
At the moment of birth, his umbilical was wrapped around his neck, strangling him but unfortunately not killing him. And while this type of accident during childbirth wasn’t considered rare at the time, in Anatoly’s case, it led to lifelong consequences such as random and severe headaches and a neurological disorder known as Psychopathy, but we’ll speak more on that later.
While later in life, he would claim that he grew up in a troubled home, it’s important to note a couple of things; the first, literally, no one in the area remembered or reported his family as being dysfunctional or anything other than an ordinary family in a normal home.
2nd, his early childhood was during WWII.
On June 22nd, 1941, when Anatoly was just 2 years old, the Nazis launched Operation Barbarossa, where they began invading Russia, effectively ending their prior neutrality.
So, in this context, the Slivko family was surrounded by direct war for the next few years. But so were countless others who did not become serial killers.
Regardless, a specific traumatic episode would take place in 1943 that would follow him through the rest of his life.
You see, in 1943, at only 5 years old, Slivko witnessed a Nazi soldier raise his gun to shoot a dog. At that point, a young boy ran up to protect it; the Nazi then decided to shoot both of them, spraying blood everywhere. After this, the soldier walked up and, using the boy’s corpse, wiped the blood off his black boots.
Unsurprisingly, kids growing up around Anatoly’s age would act out scenes of war and resistance when they would play. And while Anatoly was known for keeping to himself, there are consistent accounts of him often playing a game with other boys where he would act as a partisan (nazi resistance fighter) who had been captured and standing faithful to liberation until the end. This game would end in him literally being hanged by the other boys, often resulting in Slivko becoming unconscious.
At some point in Anatoly’s mid to late teens, the Slivko family moved to a new and fast-growing city, Nevinnomyssk, aka, the “city of chemists.”
During his life here, growing up in a more or less urban environment, young Anatoly began to display a behavior that we now understand as typical in the childhood of Serial Killers and a nearly textbook definition of Psychopathy.
You see, this is where he picked up the hobby of raising and then calmly slaughtering rabbits. A hobby considered strange and unnecessary for someone in the area he was living in.
With an almost nightmarish, detached approach for a young boy holding and taking the life of living creatures, he would come to hone the skills that he would later put to use on his victims.
In 1959, when Anatoly was 20 years old, he served in the military, eventually becoming the unit commander. He was ultimately accepted as a candidate member of the CPSU, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
The CPSU was the sole governing party of the soviet union until 1990, and this candidacy was taken in super high regard.
This, along with various accolades and achievements, would prove Anatoly Slivko was more than capable of moving through and taking advantage of personal recognition to gain and develop notoriety.
When He Was 22 Years old
Now, skipping ahead, we’re brought to 1961; at 22 years old, no fewer than 3 key events took place in Slivko’s life and development as a monster.
First, a motorcycle accident he was witness to.
According to his own testimony, there had been a group of Young Pioneers, essentially the Russian version of the Boy Scouts, walking as a group down the street.
A drunk motorcyclist riding at full speed slammed into them, severely injuring a 14-year-old boy and knocking him unconscious.
A crowd of bystanders rushed in to help.
Gas was spilling into the street, and blood was everywhere, covering the now limp, trembling child who was being picked up and moved to safety.
This moment would become Slivko’s obsession,
The Young Pioneer uniform, the smell of Gas, and the near lifeless, twitching body of the young boy.
Slivko would later say about this moment “the feeling of being attracted to boys first arose”
“I suddenly had a feeling, a desire to have such a boy, to make him feel bad, hurt.“
Later that same year,
The 2nd major event that year would be his sexual awakening.
For all intents and purposes, he was an incredibly late bloomer. It wasn’t until he was 22 that he had his first wet dream and discovered masturbation. According to his own testimony
“I experienced sweet satisfaction. I really wanted to experience this phenomenon again. In the afternoon he began to masturbate, an erection came, and then ejaculation. But he noticed a strange phenomenon: if he remembered a woman in the process of masturbation, the erection disappeared. He began to notice an increased attraction to boys …“.
Finally, the 3rd Major development,
Having been highly recognized and decorated in the military, he received a gift, “a Quartz movie camera,” from the government upon discharge.
[At first, I thought it was super weird to be gifted something so unique, but apparently, everyone knew he was partial to film and cinema and won awards for his short amateur films. That perfect gift, unfortunately, bore witness to some horrible things]
These 3 moments, along with the dramatic events noted in his early childhood, will become the foundation for the dark desires he will eventually become consumed by and document.
Military to Civilian Life
But before he began committing heinous acts on young boys, he was actually pursuing a female. They had held correspondence during his time in the military.
The plan was to see her when he was released and possibly propose marriage, but after three days with her, he left, not being able to become aroused once. He took this as his sign that there was no future with her.
After that unfortunate encounter, Slivko returns to live with his parents in Nevinnomyssk and attends The Chemical Technology college.
Slivko graduates in 1963 and gets a job as a station wagon operator at the Azot chemical plant, and while he seemingly has no social ability to connect with his peers, he still becomes viewed as a dedicated hard worker. So much so that he’ll eventually be awarded the title of “Shock Worker,” a highly regarded title in Soviet Russia. (basically, you’re the most commie of commies)
In his free time, Slivko began to regularly go on hikes with children. He became known for this and was given a job, on a voluntary basis, as a Young Pioneer leader in 1963 at the same school he used to attend.
When he started as the Young Pioneer leader, he was only in charge of planning trips. Even then, they were largely dependent on school administration.
This began to get to him; he wanted more freedom and began to differ with the administration before moving to another school.
It was also during this time as a Young Pioneer Leader that Slivko started to lose control over his urges and began meticulously pursuing the realization of his morbid desires.
Not only in the set and setting of the acts but in researching and developing an understanding of human anatomy and the mind.
To quote Slivko directly, “In books on medicine, I came across a description of retrograde amnesia, in which, as a result of a short-term hanging, a partial loss of memory occurs, everything connected with experience is erased from it. I decided to experiment….”
1st Victim: Kolya
And It was on June 2, 1964, that Slivko would first indulge in his fantasies, or more so, attempt to recreate them with a non-lethal “medical experiment.”
Young Kolya, a boy who was only in 5th grade, was lured into the woods with the promise of being in a film that Slivko was creating. After making their way into the forest, Slivko and Kolya proceeded to play Scouts, running around and exploring, before Slivko finally floated the idea to Kolya to participate in “A serious test of endurance.“
Kolya agreed, and Slivko, after setting up a camera to record, proceeded to attach ropes to the nearby trees before tying them to the boy’s arms and around his neck. After this, he tied a rope to his legs, telling Kolya it was to help him stretch.
Finally, Slivko told the boy to pretend he was being tortured and to act like he was suffering as Slivko began pulling the rope tied to his legs, choking the pinned-down boy until he lost consciousness.
Once Kolya passed out, Slivko began masturbating over him until he came on the boy’s shoes.
When Kolya finally awoke, he remembered nothing. Slivko had successfully induced retroactive amnesia and learned the process he would reproduce over and over again, upwards of 44 to 100 times during the next 20 years.
Later that same year, Slivko would take his 1st life.
A 15-year-old homeless boy, later identified as Nikolai Dobryshev.
Slivko gave the boy an elaborate narrative about being in the process of “writing a dissertation on the limits of human capabilities” and convinced Nikolai to volunteer for his “scientific experiment.”
Again, Slivko lured the boy into the woods, where he set up a camera and began filming as he tied a noose around his neck, suffocating him.
But this time, after satisfying himself, Slivko realized the boy was not regaining consciousness. Slivko panicked and began trying to revive Nikolai, giving him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and massaging his heart.
When this failed, and Slivko realized the boy was dead, he frantically began chopping up the body before throwing the pieces into the nearby Kuban river and destroying the film and photographs he had taken.
It is from these 2 events that we feel it is safe to assume Slivko started to become aware of the fine line his desires and decisions needed to tip-toe in order to render his victims unconscious or dead.
He would begin meticulously recording and documenting the effects of his lethal and nonlethal experiments and further develop the complexity of the narrative used to attract more victims into the woods.
All this while forming a new youth club that will not only bring him notoriety and fame but protect his demented acts from suspicion with a seemingly untouchable reputation.
In 1966, with the help of the Youth division communist party, Slivko founded Club Romantic. Based out of a library in the center of town,
Club Romantic finally gave Slivko the freedom he was yearning for as a volunteer Pioneer leader. The freedom to be around and plan events for kids.
Club Romantic grew quickly, eventually having over 200 kids in it. And I’m not gonna lie; it sounded awesome.
They would go out on multi-day camping trips, catch foxes, play flash-light tag at night, run through the woods using compasses, and speed-cross over rivers on tightropes. Later, they even began making their own little films and movies in color where they would play pirates or spies and do all their own stunts.
Love at First Blight
But within 2 years, Slivko began facing an even deeper personal struggle. His mom. According to our source material, in 1967, Slivko, now in his mid 20’s, would meet his future wife, Lyudmila, at work.
And it’s heavily insinuated, and not surprising, that he got married at the persistent urging of his mother.
(Y’all, I can only imagine what that conversation had to be like)
“You’re a good, handsome boy Ravioli;
But gotta stop spanking your little Beef Stroganoff every night and leaving Kvass all over everyone’s shoes. I’m tired of cleaning it up.
You need to get out there, find yourself a hot Lil rigatoni to make me some Lil beefaroni’s with”
And that he would, and boy, let me tell you, it was love at 1st sight.
Here he is speaking about that special someone,
“… I met my wife Lyudmila at work … I didn’t feel strong feelings, before marriage I didn’t touch her and didn’t try and didn’t even kiss her. My wife told me later that she regarded this behavior of mine as a standard of modesty and only for this reason married me.“
To make matters worse, he found himself unable to perform on his wedding night. Leaving Lyudmila self-conscious and eventually seeking help, thinking it was her fault. Later, when they ultimately found out that was not the case. Slivko then sought help but was brushed off by the doctor, who had told him to take a tincture for erections and get some fresh air. Even worse, a nurse in the office just straight up laughed at him.
Somehow, Anatoly and Lyudmila managed to get through this, though, and in 1971, their son Igor was born. Marking the middle of Anatoly’s cool-down period as a serial killer.
And that’s where we will pick up next week with Anatoly Slivko, Part 2
*I will be doing my best to break up and organize the references for this show, but until then, here is the link to our Primary Source material.*
Internet Archive page of raw source material: https://bcr.link/ep10-archive-full
WHY Internet Archive Link?
The Russian website that contains the collection of references and resources is super sketchy, if you go to it,
PLEASE HAVE A GOOD ANTIVIRUS SOFTWARE RUNNING
The link can be found at the top of the Internet Archive page.
(Sorry, but we don’t feel comfortable linking to the website directly from ours)