- An in-universe example: the film starts with a child's body being discovered. Forensic scientist Burakov examines the body and determines that the child has been murdered. On learning that the apathetic cops haven't bothered to search the scene, he orders them to do so. Cut to some hours later: one by one, the cops bring about a dozen child-sized body-bags into the morgue. Burakov examines them all and by the end, he's crying even while he's talking emotionlessly into the tape recorder.
- Burakov's quiet break down near the end, caused, after years of having to fight and struggle to get scraps of support from his own government, by finding out that the detectives in the FBI's serial crimes division consider him to be an outright iron-willed badass hero, and finding out that after years of deprivation, he was finally going to get the support he's needed to solve the case.
- Towards the end of the film, an undercover policeman (who had been pulling double-shifts for 36 hours after his partner became sick) reveals that he had seen Chikatilo coming in from the woods, checked his papers, and let him go because everything seemed to be normal. Upon searching the woods, they find the body of Chikatilo's most recent victim, a young girl, which causes the undercover policeman to begin banging his head against a tree in guilt. Burakov attempts to console him, saying that there was no way he could have known, but the policeman quickly tells him that there's more to it than that:
It's not that. She's my cousin's daughter. (pause, quietly horrified) She was eight.