Written by Kevin Jennings
One of my favourite comic book issues of all time is Punisher War Journal #4 from 2007. The story, titled Small Wake for a Tall Man takes place at the Bar With no Name where a group of nobody supervillains is holding a wake for the equally unimportant Stilt Man.
Despite being the purveyors of cartoon supervillainy, it was pretty much what you’d expect from any wake. People drank and talked about the good old days with their fallen comrade. One of the villains in attendance had even fixed up a broken Doombot, a member of Dr. Doom’s army of robot doppelgangers. He had brought it to the wake to make Stilt Man’s wife, Princess Python, think that her husband had made it to the big leagues and the real Doom was in attendance to mourn his death. It was a real sweetheart move.
At one point, even Spider-Man showed up to pay his respects. It was a cute little story that showed a side of the villains that nobody ever thinks about. Of course, this was still a Punisher comic, so there’s no way the story was going to have a happy ending.
Late into the wake, one of the villains goes to get a drink and notices that the bartender has disappeared. No sooner does he make this realization than we see Frank Castle, who had naturally been the bartender in disguise, detonating a bomb to blow up the bar and everyone inside it.
It didn’t matter whether these were murderers or just pickpockets in funny costumes. In the eyes of The Punisher they were bad people, and so they had to die. That’s the kind of man Frank Castle was, and it’s the same time of person that Pedro Rodrigues Filho was.
Pedro is often referred to as the Brazilian Dexter, but this is not nearly as accurate. He did not only kill murderers, and he certainly didn’t go to the lengths that Dexter did to make sure the person was actually guilty before taking action. Pedro may insist that everyone he killed was bad, but I’ll let you decide that on your own as we chronicle the history of one of the most prolific serial killers of all time.
I don’t use that term lightly, either. There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of Pedro before, especially if you don’t live in Brazil. Despite being not nearly as well known internationally as other serial killers, Pedro currently sits at number six on the leader board for most confirmed murders with 71, and it’s suspected that he has killed well over 100.
It should be made clear at the start that there’s not a lot of information available about Pedro, and even less for those of us that have to rely on Google translate because we don’t speak Portuguese. Much of the information comes from Pedro himself, but he is not exactly a reliable narrator. For example, he likes to state that he was born on All Hallows Eve because it sounds ominous, but that’s a total lie.
Pedro Rodrigues Filho was actually born on July 17, 1954. Filho is a generational suffix, the equivalent of Junior. His father was Pedro Senior, but we don’t even know his mother’s name; that’s how poor a lot of the records surrounding this case are. What we do know is that Pedro was born to be a killer.
I’m guessing you have an idea where this is about to go, right? This is the Casual Criminalist after all, so there’s probably going to be some domestic abuse, and if we don’t even know his mother’s name then she’s probably not the guilty party. Yes, unsurprisingly Pedro had a shitty childhood with an abusive father. His father was such an abusive prick, he could’ve even wait for Pedro to be born to start abusing him, so Pedro Sr. kicked his wife in the stomach and thus him in the head while he was still in utero.
The result was that Pedro was born with a bruised skull. So he likely inherited violent tendencies from his father, had a violent and abusive childhood, and had even suffered severe head trauma before he was even born. With a start like that I don’t think anyone would have predicted he would grow up to be anything other than a serial killer, but they also didn’t have to wait very long to find out.
Pedro grew up on a farm in Santa Rita do Sapucaí and was the oldest child with seven younger brothers and sisters. With such a large family, the kids needed to help earn money, and as the oldest child the bulk of that responsibility would fall on Pedro. In a different time or place, this could have potentially been a good thing. I’m not saying I’m in favour of child labour, but had he become an apprentice to a skilled and kindly tradesman, it may have provided an escape from the violence of his home.
Unfortunately, this was not the case, and violence was all Pedro would ever know. We already established that his father was extremely abusive, but it actually turns out that his mother had a bit of it in her as well. She was a referred to as a strict disciplinarian who ruled the house “with an iron fist and a bible”, and would not hesitate to beat the children if they got out of line. Even when it was time for Pedro to earn some money, Santa Rita would only offer him more violence.
It was a dangerous city full of gangs, drug dealers, and predators, and Pedro was going to have encounters with them all.
Urge to Kill Rising
By the time he was 13 years old, Pedro was already too far gone. He was working at a sugar cane mill owned by his grandfather, and one day he got in a fight with an older cousin. Pedro had borrowed his cousin’s horse without asking, so his cousin punched him in the face. That doesn’t sound like too outrageous a response. Replace the word “horse” with “car”, and you may find that you’d respond similarly if someone borrowed it from you without asking.
Whether the cousin’s response was proportionate or not, Pedro’s definitely wasn’t. He shoved his cousin’s arm into a sugar cane press. The machine flattened it and then jammed, but Pedro kept pushing him. He was still a stupid little kid that didn’t understand the machine could not flatten something as three dimension as an entire human body, but he repeatedly tried to push his cousin’s head into it. He was only 13 years old, and he was already trying to commit murder.
Other workers in the mill alerted the grandfather who turns off the machine, and Pedro spent two days in jail for his crime, but he was never charged. His grandfather opted not to press charges because the family needed Pedro to work and make money.
That’s if that story ever happened, of course. It’s the story that Pedro told of the first time he felt the urge to kill, and it sounds equally parts believable and horrific. My only issue with the story is that if his grandfather owned the sugar cane mill, why not just leave Pedro in jail a little longer to hopefully learn a lesson and still give his family the money he’d have earned since they needed it?
There is no confirmation that this assault ever happened, but it doesn’t really matter if the story is true anyway. Aside from my one little gripe with the logic in the story, there’d be no reason for Pedro to make any of this up. What would be the point in lying about having had these murderous impulses at the young age of 13 when we know that his first murder was going to come the follow year at the age of 14?
A Life of Crime
Pedro Sr. worked the night shift as a security guard at a local high school. It wasn’t an amazing job, and it didn’t pay enough to keep his children from needed to also get jobs, but it still paid better than being unemployed. One day, he was accused of stealing food from the kitchen as well as some stationary. He maintained his innocence and said that he suspected it was the day guard that had done it, but the deputy mayor fired him on the spot.
Pedro couldn’t let this disrespect of his family stand. He took his grandfather’s shotgun and killed the deputy mayor in front of city hall, then escaped without being seen. Still not satisfied, he then killed the daytime security guard who his father believed had been the actual thief. Considering that Pedro is supposed to have a reputation for only killing murderers, we’re off to a great start. In his mind these were bad people who had committed grave injustices, but there wasn’t any proof that the security guard was the one to steal from the school. There wasn’t any proof that that Pedro Sr. had stolen anything either so the firing was unwarranted, but murder doesn’t feel like the appropriate answer here.
Now that he had claimed his first two victims, it was time for Pedro to go on the run. He moved to Mogi das Cruzes, Greater São Paulo to stay with his godmother, and it was here that he would meet the love of his life, Maria Aparecida Olympia. Maria, who would soon become Pedro’s girlfriend, went by the nickname Botinha, which means Bootie. That nickname gives me some real Caligula vibes, which is appropriate because Maria wasn’t so much his girlfriend as she was his predator.
Pedro was still only 14, but Maria was a grown ass woman. Her exact age is impossible to pin down, but it sounds like she was probably late 20s to early 30s. She was a well known drug trafficker who would use her good looks to lure in teenage boys to work for her, and also sleep with them. It’s nice when a manager has an open door policy, but that door isn’t supposed to lead to the bedroom.
So Pedro got to work moving drugs, robbing other criminals since they weren’t likely to call the cops, occasionally murdering other drug dealers, and being sexual abused on the regular. He was clearly Maria’s favourite, and quickly moved up the ranks. This led to a lot of jealousy amongst the other boys who were wondering why he kept advancing ahead of those that had been with her much longer.
One day, three of the other boys invited Pedro to come smoke some weed with them. He went, but he felt like something wasn’t right. He noticed that all of them were armed, which he was as well. Because they were all drug dealers, so of course they were. Regardless, Pedro got it in his head that they wanted to kill him, so he pulled out his gun, aimed it at them, and demanded that they drop their weapons.
The other boys complied, and as soon as their weapons were on the ground he began opening fire, killing two of them and sending the third to the hospital. Pedro got a reputation for being someone not to fuck with, and he began seeing himself as a sort of heroic vigilante. All of the people he had killed since moving to São Paolo were drug trafficking criminals and possibly murderers as well. The fact that he was one as well wasn’t terribly important, because he had a way to justify his actions.
It was also around this time that he earned his nickname of Pedrinho Matador, Portuguese for “Killer Petey”. The killer part is pretty obvious, and the somewhat childish name of Petey seems to be because he was relatively small in stature. Probably. His actual height isn’t available anywhere and pictures of him don’t give a great frame of reference. It’s possible it was one of those vaudevillian nicknames like calling a huge guy Tiny or a bald guy Curly, but as best as I can tell it’s more likely he’s just on the smaller side.
Eventually, Pedro proposed to Maria. It is unclear whether this was before or after he got her pregnant, but it is clear that he was still either 16 or 17 at the time. She accepted, but the wedding was never to be. Pedro had robbed a man named China, a rival gang leader, stealing weapons, money, and drugs. In retaliation, Maria was killed, still carrying their unborn child. Written on the wall in her blood were the words, “We will get you.”
The Red Wedding
Pedro was devastated, but he had no idea who had committed the murder. The man had a lot of enemies, because that’s the sort of thing that happens when you routinely kill gang members and steal their stuff.
But he also realized that he was in danger. He had been Maria’s right hand and had seen her as invincible, but now she was dead and there was no one to protect him. Pedro fled to another town to live with his aunt and uncle where was introduced to Candomblé.
His aunt and uncle explained to him that Candomblé was a religion that would cleanse his spirit and offer him protection. This seemed great as his previous protector was now gone. There were two rituals involved, and considering there’s a lot of graphic stuff involving animal sacrifice, I’d really rather not get into the details. Suffice to say there was some amount of drinking of blood and a bunch of organs where they didn’t belong, and at the end of the second ritual Pedro put on a necklace made of hardened seeds.
At this point, he said he felt as if he was possessed. He seemed to already be of the mind that he could never be held accountable for his actions, but after this act of possession, Pedro felt invincible. Knives would bounce off of him and bullets couldn’t harm him, or so he thought. It was also at this point that he decided to fully embrace his delusions as a hero.
Pedro began robbing food trucks and giving the food to the poor, burning down businesses that laundered drug money, and murdering anyone who hurt women. He was like Robin Hood, but with a lot more murder. But this whole time, he was also still trying to track down Maria’s murderer.
For a full year, he would confront, torture, and kill his enemies trying to get answers. There were too many enemies to track down, and he was still no closer to identifying his fiancé’s killer. Then, one night when he was drinking in a bar, Pedro was approached by a woman. She was the ex-girlfriend of China, and told him that China was the one that had ordered the hit on Maria. He was furious both at China for what he had done, but also at himself for not realizing it. I know I made clear earlier who the killer was, but we have no idea exactly how long it was in between Pedro robbing China and China murdering Maria, nor do we know what crimes Pedro had pissed people off with in the interim; it’s not unreasonable that he wouldn’t have made the connection.
All that was left was to track China down, and he discovered that China and his family would be attending a wedding the following weekend. Pedro and two of his buddies, because apparently he still had some, rolled up to the wedding, guns in hand. They walked in and began opening fire. Some reports say that they targeted the gang members while others say they were firing indiscriminately. There may have been so many gang members in attendance that both could be true. Either way, the result was the same. Seven men dead and 16 injured. To celebrate a job well done, Pedro and his friends went to the bar at the wedding to have a drink.
After a massacre like that, Pedro had to try to lay low. He had already killed 23 people that we know of, but there was one more murder left to commit. A few months after the massacre, he found out that his favourite cousin was pregnant but her boyfriend refused to marry her. This insult against his family would not stand, so he shot and killed the boyfriend.
Finally, on May 24, 1973, at the age of 18, Pedro was arrested. In the attempt to take him into custody, there was a firefight that saw Pedro wounded. He passed out as a result of his injuries, and he woke up in a hospital surrounded by reporters. Apparently, word of his boasts about being a righteous killer had gotten around.
The charges were read at the trial, and Pedro was being accused of 18 murders. Outraged, he turned to everyone in the courtroom and protested that it couldn’t only be 18 and that he had killed at least a hundred men. I’m sure his public defender was thrilled. In the end, he was only convicted of 14 of the murders, but he was sentenced to 126 years in prison. At long last, this vigilante killer would be taken off the streets and see some justice. Although that’s less than 10 years per murder conviction, so my American sensibilities tell me that’s hardly enough justice. I know the accumulated total is well beyond his life expectancy, but still.
Who’s Locked in With Whom?
Pedro was taken directly from the courthouse to a van to be transported to prison. It must have been a busy day at court, because another man who had been convicted of rape was also being transported. The two convicts were handcuffed and put in the back of the van by guards, who then escorted them to the prison.
So a funny thing happens when you send a guy that claims to only murder criminals to jail. Actually, it started happening before they even reached the prison. When they arrived and the guards opened the door of the van, only Pedro was still alive. He had killed the other convict with his bare hands, despite the handcuffs. This was going to be quite the theme throughout his incarceration.
Brazilian prisons are not a nice place. They are underfunded, overcrowded, and unsanitary. Inmates frequently weren’t even given mattresses to sleep on and there could be 20 men crammed into a single cell. They were also violent, with murders and gang violence being all too common. Guards often wouldn’t even enter the prison, allowing the criminal hierarchy to do the policing for them. Not only was this not a nice place to be in general, but Pedro had a huge target on his back.
First of all, he had a metric fuckton of enemies, and a lot of them were in prison with him. Second, even those that didn’t know him held resentment because of his borderline celebrity status with the media. He was a ruthless killer, but the media had bought into the narrative that he only killed awful people who deserved it. This was likely aided by the fact that, unlike most serial killers, there was nothing ritual about his killings.
Serial killers will often mutilate bodies, stage them in specific poses, or violate the body sexual. Pedro did none of that. He shot them or stabbed them, and then they were dead. The cold, hitman-like nature of the killings really helped his message that he wasn’t a depraved serial killer; these were just bad people and they needed to be dealt with efficiently. He would stray from this on one and only one occasion, but we’ll get to that.
No sooner had Pedro set foot in the prison than a group of five men decided to make an example of him. They surrounded him, knives or shivs in hand, and attacked. When all was said and done, three of the attackers were killed with the other two serious wounded. However, Pedro also learned that his weird religious ritual had not made him as impervious to knives as he previous thought, as his face had been cut and scarred. Still, pretty fucking impressive for one dude against five.
The five men had wanted to send a message, and they did. The message was don’t fuck with Pedro. Now locked in prison with nothing but bad people around him, he might have faced some sort of decision paralysis. There were so many people that needed to die, how could he choose? The easiest way was to outsource the decision.
This wasn’t actually Pedro’s plan, it was just a side effect of his reputation. While incarcerated, he would receive fan letters and multiple marriage requests, which isn’t too unusual for a serial killer. Well, it isn’t too uncommon, but it is absolutely unusual. What’s wrong with you people?
In addition to his fan mail, Pedro also started receiving requests to kill specific inmates. Writing a letter wasn’t a surefire way to see someone die, but he did carry out a number of these hits requested by the public. Presumably the people being targeted were the worst of the worst, but that’s not necessarily true for everyone that was killed.
To start, not everyone in prison is a murderer or rapist. They weren’t even necessarily guilty. It wasn’t uncommon for people to spend years in Brazilian prison simply awaiting trial. Pedro could easily have killed an innocent person awaiting trial, or someone wrongfully convicted. He was hardly doing his due diligence, pretty much just relying on his first impression of a person.
Secondly, his motives could be completely unrelated to the crimes the person had committed. One cellmate of Pedro’s had the unfortunate and uncontrollable issue of snoring too loudly, and thus his life was forfeit. On another occasion, he believed another inmate had been spying on him during a conjugal visit. I hope it was the greatest show he ever watched, because it was also the last thing he ever saw.
After killing ten people while in the prison, enough was enough. It was time for Pedro to be transferred to a different prison so he could kill people there instead.
This Time, It’s Personal
It was just another ordinary day in prison for Pedro when out of the blue he got some devastating news. His mother had been murdered, stabbed 21 times. The guilty party was his father. He was given the opportunity to attend his mother’s funeral because it was close to the prison, and because the warden probably didn’t want to find out what would happen if he said no. Pedro attended the funeral in handcuffs, and over his mother’s coffin he vowed to avenge her by killing his father and eating his heart.
As luck and/or poor planning would have it, Pedro Sr. was sent to the same prison that Pedro was in. They had the forethought to at least put him in a different cell block, as if there was any chance that would be enough to save his life…not that it really sounds like it was worth saving.
In order to gain access to the rest of the prison, Pedro feigned being sick. When a guard entered his cell, Pedro grabbed him and put a knife to his throat, forcing the guard to hand over his gun and his keys. He then used the gun to herd the rest of the guards into his cell and went on his merry way to the other side of the prison.
This was the only time that Pedro’s murder would involve any sort of ritual. He entered his father’s cell and, without saying a word, stabbed Pedro Sr. 22 times, one more than the number of times he had stabbed Pedro’s mother. Pedro then cut out his heart, cut off a piece of it, and chewed it before spitting it out on his father’s body. The way he tells the story it sounds like he intended to eat the whole thing, but it was too chewy. He then went back to his cell, released the guards, and returned the gun and keys.
If it wasn’t obvious by now, the inmates were the ones running the prison. Not only could they basically do whatever they wanted, they were also making the rules. Pedro talked in an interview about drugs and how they were everywhere in prison, as is to be expected. However, while weed and cocaine were plentiful, the inmates decided that the line had to be drawn at crack.
You may be asking yourself, “but aren’t crack and cocaine the same thing?” And the answer is yes. The difference comes from the fact that crack is smoked. This results in effects being felt faster but for a shorter amount of time which increases the risk of addiction. The intensified addiction is what caused the inmates to ban the substance, having seen too many comrades lose their lives to the drug. The guards were helpless to stop the flow of contraband into the prison, but the convicts had no difficulty enforcing their ban on crack.
Anyway, it seemed as though Pedro was unstoppable. There was nothing he couldn’t do and no one he couldn’t kill. While he was in prison, he killed 47 people, including his own father. However, there is one person that he doesn’t like to talk about: the one that got away.
In 1998, news broke in the prison that Francisco de Assis Pereira, also known as The Park Maniac was going to be serving his sentence there. In the span of two years, he had raped and murdered 11 women in São Paulo Park, and raped nine more whom he didn’t kill. If there was one thing Pedro hated more than murderers (not counting himself), it was people who hurt women. He was determined to murder Francisco the day he arrived in prison.
Unfortunately, he wasn’t the only one that had the idea. Some far less capable inmates started a riot in an attempt to get at Francisco, but he was able to survive the attack and was immediately transferred to another facility where he is still alive to this day.
But like all good things, and also bad things, his killing had to come to an end. The guards may not have a lot of control over the prison, but eventually Pedro would force their hand. Someone started a nasty rumour about one of Pedro’s friends that resulted in that friend being murdered by another inmate. He blamed the person that started that rumour, and swore to get his revenge.
It turned out that the person that started the rumour was a transgendered person, and they were kept in their own part of the prison. Pedro gained access, as he always does, and once there decided that he didn’t like any transgendered people so he went completely out of his mind. He did succeed in killing the person he had come for, then killed 15 more people in that room. Pedro was able to describe this event in a way that I find far more brutal than any graphic explanation of violent. When he described the incident, he said that the ordeal left him deaf for three days because of all the victims’ screaming.
Finally, the prison decided that enough was enough. Sure, maybe Pedro had already killed 31 people while locked up, but that was over like two decades. To kill 16 people in one day? That was entirely too much killing and it needed to be stopped. He was submitted to a psychiatric evaluation where it was deemed that he was a psychopath, incapable of feeling remorse. He wasn’t just any psychopath, he was described as being the “perfect psychopath”. It’s always nice to reach the top of your field.
Following that evaluation, Pedro would spend the next ten years in isolation. He had, at most, one hour per day out of his cell to exercise under the watchful eye of two armed guards who were instructed to shoot him if he took one step out of line. For ten years, he sat alone in a room reading, exercising, playing solitaire, and punching a bag of sand. And for quite possibly the only time in all of recorded history, isolation actually worked. He was released back into gen pop after those ten years, but he never killed again.
Brazilian Law and You
Pedro had originally been sentenced to 126 years in prison. As a result of the additional 47 murders he committed while in prison, he was sentenced to another 400 years. The thing is, those giant numbers are completely meaningless. Under Brazilian Law, there was no such thing as a life sentence in prison. Such a notion was considered inhumane, and so the maximum amount of time a person could spend behind bars was 30 years. The other 496 years for which he was sentenced were just for show.
He was released from prison on April 24, 2007. However, after four years he was picked up again and charged with rioting and false imprisonment while he had been in jail (he had not committed any crimes since his release). He was sentenced to another 128 years, but he would only serve seven of them as a result of that same Brazilian law. There are conflicting reports, but for the latter sentence he may have been under house arrest rather than imprisoned. Either way, as of 2018 he is a completely free man.
For anyone wondering, and I’m sure there are a lot of you, yes the Brazilian law regarding prison sentences has been revised. As of 2019, the maximum time of imprisonment has increased from 30 years to 40. But maybe they’re on to something. Despite Pedro’s life of crime and particularly murder, he seems to have turned over a new leaf. Somehow, isolation worked. That only leaves us with one question.
Where Are They Now?
Pedro was arrested in 1973 at the age of 18. He finally became a free man in 2018 at the age of 63. The world was a much difference place than he left it, and you may think that he’d take quite a while to adjust to how much had changed. Well you’d be wrong, because he did what any sexagenarian in his shoes would do and started a YouTube channel.
Okay, so it wasn’t actually his idea, the idea came from his 30 year old friend Pablo Silva. Pablo recorded and produced the videos, but it was all about Pedro. Within two years, they had over 150,000 subscribers and over 8 million views on their channel. In the channel’s “about” section, it said that “In this channel, you will know and follow the life of the greatest serial killer in Brazil.”
So what sort of content was Pedro producing? As one of history’s most prolific serial killers, what could he possibly produce either than true crime content! Wait a minute, what does that say about us Simon?
But yes, it’s true, Pedro would comment on and discuss the current crimes taking place in Brazil from a true crime standpoint in many of his videos. The rest of his videos were your run of the mill lifestyle blog where you could watch him cook, get a haircut, or do random chores around the house. I’m not sure why this is a genre that people watch, but apparently it’s pretty popular.
As successful as the channel was, something must have happened at the beginning of this year between Pedro and Pablo. Suddenly, the channel was rebranded and videos were deleted. Overnight, the channel lost millions of views as all of the videos featuring Pedro vanished.
Pedro has since started his own channel, and since January he has amassed 26,000 subscribers and 750,000 views. In addition to his own channel, he frequently appears on Brazilian podcasts that receive hundreds of thousands if not millions of views each. For anyone interested in checking any of these videos out, fair warning that it’s all in Portuguese without subtitles, except for the occasional three minute excerpt from a two hour podcast.
When he isn’t making a public spectacle of himself, Pedro works as a housekeeper and enjoys a quiet life on his farm. Perhaps if he hadn’t felt it necessary to kill everyone who looked at him funny, all those people could be doing the same thing.
When this episode was recommended to me by Isabelle Santos in the comments of another post (And let that be your reminder to GET IN THE COMMENTS!), I did a cursory search of Pedro before pitching it to Simon. Everything that came up at first glance talked about how he was the serial killer that only targeted murderers and rapists. It looked like it was going to be a really fun episode, and in fact that’s exactly what I told Simon it was going to be.
Unfortunately, the deeper into my research I got, the much less fun this whole story seemed. Pedro told the story that he only killed bad people, and the media ate it up. To be fair, most of them probably were, but that’s not because he was some meticulous killer who operated under a strict code, it’s because he was surrounded by bad people.
He grew up surrounded by violence, lived a life of violent crime, and went to prison with violent criminals. Just playing the odds, you could shoot pretty much anyone he met in his first 63 years and they’d probably be an overall terrible person. The unfortunate truth is that Pedro killed because he wanted to.
In interviews, he talked about his need to kill. If he went too long without killing, he would become anxious and unable to sleep. Pedro was straight up addicting to murder. He also likes to contradict himself to try to spin the narrative in his advantage. Despite having admitted he killed for pleasure, he would try to sell it as being done for the greater good because these were terrible people that needed and deserved to die.
He would go on and on about how he was doing the righteous thing and helping people, claiming, despite his earlier statement, that he took no pleasure in killing. The whole time he would be making these justifications, clearly visible on his arm was a tattoo that said “I love to kill”. A tattoo he has had years to remove but apparently never felt it necessary to do so.
I briefly mentioned this earlier about the Brazilian prison system, but another important thing to mention is that not everyone he killed had even gone to trial. Of the 47 people he killed in prison, 36% of them hadn’t yet been convicted of a crime. That’s not to say that they couldn’t be murderers or rapists, and perhaps their reputations preceded them. It just seems like Pedro was more concerned with making sure people knew he only killed bad people rather than making sure it was actually true.
If there’s any moral to be had here, it’s that life will never be as cut and dry as fiction. People love characters like Dexter or the Boondock Saints because they have a code of ethics that is infallible. We see shortcomings in our criminal justice systems, and these characters promise to right the wrongs and make sure that evil is punished. Sadly, that’s just not how reality works.
Despite it being a fairly popular TV Trope, Pedro seems to be the closest we’ve gotten to an actual Serial Killer-Killer, and he leaves quite a lot to be desired in this regard. Maybe this is why isolation actually worked in his case. He had a severe addiction to killing, and the only way to cure him was to force him to quit cold turkey.
And maybe someday we’ll get the serial killer we deserve, an incorruptible vigilante who only brings vengeance upon the truly wicked. Who knows, maybe that hero will be you. For legal reasons, that is sardonicism and not an endorsement of murder.