The newest series of Inside The World’s Toughest Prisons returned to Netflix with a bang this week with presenter Raphael Rowe back at the hosting helm once more.
In the nail-biting series, the 54-year-old journalist will step inside four new prisons across the globe – Bosnia, Cyprus, Moldovia and Greece – to speak to prisoners and guards about their gruelling experiences inside these difficult institutes.
Over the years, the broadcaster has spoken to some of the most wicked criminals to walk the earth as well as those who have been wrongly convicted and incarcerated for minor crimes.
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But arguably one of his most memorable interviews on the show was with Russian serial killer Serhiy Tkach who was convicted for the deaths of 38 women and children and suspected to have killed over a hundred.
While filming in Zhytomyr Prison maximum-security facility, Ukraine, the journalist managed to secure a rare interview with the convict inside of a gated prison cell.
Now, in an exclusive interview with Daily Star, the doting dad has revealed what it was like to sit face-to-face with the killer during the chilling interview.
He confessed: “I've been a journalist for over 20-odd years and I've never experienced the aura that I felt in his company.
“Here is a man that is convicted of killing over 38 women and children and is suspected of killing over a hundred. He is what you would describe as a serious serial killer.”
The TV presenter confessed that he struggled to take his eyes off of the convict’s hands after learning about all the horrific crimes he committed.
Raphael admitted: “I couldn’t take my eyes off of his hands imagining what he did but he cause not only a murderer and a serial killer, he was a necrophiliac – who had sex with a dead cold body of the women and children that he raped.
“Meeting him in his love nest with the woman who decided to marry him – this very young, attractive woman who married this guy for whatever reason she explained in the show.”
He went on to explain that one of the biggest things that surprised him the most during the surreal interview was that the murderer looked “like any other grandfather”.
He said: “It was cold, his aura was cold. Take him out of his prison uniform and put him in a suit, it would be like any other grandfather.
“These prisoners don’t have particular appearances that you think, ‘Oh, right, he’s a serial killer because you can see he looks like a serial killer’. Tchask didn’t look like a serial killer.”
Raphael later revealed that Serhiy Tkach has since passed away at the age of 66 back in November 2018 after he suffered a heart attack in prison.
Looking back on the memorable interview, the broadcaster went on: “He was one of the most surreal interviews I’ve ever done. It was like a Hannibal Lecter moment, wasn’t it?
“When he came into that cage, I didn’t know what to expect, my heart was pounding, my head was throbbing, I was about to interview this notorious serial killer”.
After the interview, he was given an insight into his married life with his wife Elena Bulkina in their private “love nest” inside the gruelling prison walls.
The TV host recalled meeting the killer’s blonde wife as one of the most surreal moments of the trip.
He added: “But in all honesty, how bizarre was it when I was sat in that love nest with him and this woman and he spent three days with her.
“For a man who likes sex with a dead body, I was surprised she survived,” he confessed.
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