Onoprienko committed his first murder on June 14, 1989. On that day Rogozin and he were coming back in a car from Novgorod Oblast (Region) where they had been selling sweet cherries. Onoprienko was in the driver’s seat. He offered his friend to hijack a car. Rogozin hesitated but agreed. At night Onoprienko noticed a Zhiguli car with lights off standing on the highway in Synelnykove Raion (District) with people sleeping inside and a trailer. Onoprienko armed with a Winchester gave Rogozin orders to drive slowly along the road until Anatoly gave him a signal. If successful, Rogozin would have to drive up to him. If Onoprienko came to harm, the accomplice would have to disappear.
Onoprienko with a weapon in his hand came up to the Zhiguli. There was a married couple, Oleg Melnik and his wife (both born in 1958), asleep. Onoprienko shot sleeping Melnik dead then forced his wife to get out of the car and to go towards a forest. The woman got out but started shouting for help. As the result he shot her dead as well. Onoprienko dragged all valuables out of the car. He hid the bodies beyond the forest strip by covering them with dust and twigs. Onoprienko told Rogozin to follow him. After that he got behind the wheel of the hijacked Zhiguli, drove it far away and burnt it up. Rogozin figured out that a murder had been committed, but Onoprienko hinted him that if Rogozin applied to the police, he would kill his wife and daughter. Later the loot was sold.
On July 16, 1989, under similar circumstances Onoprienko and his accomplice killed another married couple. Their car was burnt. The profit the murders had made was quite large – the couple was carrying valuables and high money along with them. The bodies were burnt. Rogozin was getting nervous about the murders very much. But Onoprienko took everything what was going on quite calm. In August 1989 Onoprienko and Rogozin went to Odessa. Anatoly deceived his accomplice, he said to him they were going to sell the loot. In fact, he was planning to commit a new robbery. On August 16, 1989, Onoprienko hijacked a car, at that time he killed a family of 5 people who were in it. Many years later during an interrogation Onoprienko said that he hadn’t wanted to kill, but the head of the family had started resisting, so Onoprienko had shot him dead and then had decided not to leave any witnesses. Furthermore, the murder of 5 people didn’t bring big profits. Onoprienko started burning up the bodies but before burning he saw one of the victims, a girl, still stay alive. To finish killing her, he stabbed her back with a hunting knife several times.