Serial Killer: Pedro Rodrigues Filho
Pedro Rodríguez Filho was born in 1954 on a small farm in the Santa Rita do Sapucai region of Minas Gerais, southeastern Brazil. The father brutally beat the mother while she was pregnant, due to which the unborn child was damaged in the skull. Completely defenseless in the womb, Rodriguez has had physical problems ever since. Later medical experts believe that his long series of mental problems began then.
Early trauma – especially damage to the front of the head – is one of the most lethal ingredients in creating a psychopath. A cruel act like the one Rodriguez’s father committed can cause a child to become an evil character later in life.
In addition to this early injury, Rodríguez’s growing up period was tough, with his father constantly beating his mother. Poverty, socio-economic background, biological, environmental and psychological factors combined are enough to drive any child crazy.
The physical and mental torture that the mother suffered at the hands of Pedro’s father is unimaginable. When Pedro was 19, his father finally killed his mother. The man attacked them with a machete. This was not an accidental homicide. 21 The fatal blow was inflicted with care and attention.
Rodriguez was scarred for life by childhood abuse. Hatred, betrayal, neglect, alienation, anger, and trauma were building up inside him, and if angered for these reasons, he would become a ticking time bomb.
A criminal was growing up who would not hesitate to do anything. He started killing as a teenager and later admitted that he first thought about killing someone when he was 13.
Rodriguez says his bloodlust began when he got into an argument with an older cousin during his first year as a teenager. When the argument with the cousin escalated and he punched Rodriguez, Rodriguez pushed the young man into a sugar cane press and he faced death. He later revealed that this was the moment he first knew he wanted to kill.
After a fight with his cousin ends in disaster, Pedro gets his first taste of blood in line with his murderous desires.
The year is 1968.
When Pedro was fourteen, his father was accused of stealing food from the kitchen of the school where he worked as a school guard. Vice Mayor of Santa Rita Dr. Sapucai fired Pedro’s father, so Pedro took matters into his own hands, and armed with a shotgun, he shot and killed the vice mayor in front of the town’s city hall.
Soon after, he finds the security guard – suspected to be the real food thief – and kills him. No one knows how Rodriguez got away with both of these crimes without being caught, especially given the public nature of the politician’s murder.
After his first two murders, Pedro needed somewhere to flee to avoid capture. São Paulo is a center for crime and drug trafficking. He took refuge in the Mogi das Cruzes area. He gradually began robbing houses and living the life of a gangster in the city’s notorious slums and favelas. Within a few months he began robbing drug houses and killing any drug trafficker who got in his way.
When he met a woman named “Maria Aparecida Olimpa” nicknamed ‘Botinha’ at the time, he immediately fell in love and planned to marry soon after. After marriage, the couple started living together.
During that period he had to eliminate some of his rivals, and Pedro became a drug dealer himself when he was forced to take over the business from the drug traffickers he killed. Before long, he sent three opponents to Kalapuri.
By this time Bottinha was pregnant with his child and Bottinha had previously extorted money from a rival gang leader, a problem that came back to haunt her. The opponent brutally killed her and her unborn child.
Enraged by Bottinha’s death, Pedro went on a vengeful rampage for murdering his pregnant lover and her unborn child. Many people were tortured and killed to find out who was responsible.
Then Bottinha’s killer, the gang leader and former rival, slandered Bottinha, and shortly after, a small army of Rodríguez and his four friends went on a rampage at a wedding party. Seven people died and sixteen were shot and injured.
Months after this mayhem, dubbed the Red Wedding Massacre, Rodriguez discovers that his favorite cousin is pregnant. The child’s father refused to marry her. Rodriguez retaliated by chasing and shooting the man. And all this before Rodriguez turned 18!
Pedro’s life was going from bad to worse.
In 1973, before he turned 19, he learned that his father was serving time in prison in São Paulo for the machete death of his mother. So he decided to pay his father a short visit. There, he avenged his father in the most brutal way imaginable.
While his father was in detention awaiting trial, Pedro went to his father’s holding cell. God only knows how they managed it by bribing the prison guards. His revenge was cruel, horrible, and painful, and he attacked him. In addition to the 22 stitches – the same number his father had given his mother – there was one more stitch on the body. He tore out his father’s heart and chewed it up.
On May 24, 1973, Pedrinho Matador was found and arrested. He was 20 and the police put a muffler over his face. Dozens of people had already been killed.
He and another prisoner were handcuffed in a van and taken to the jail. When the police reached there and opened the back of the van, they found the other prisoner, who was lifeless. Although the two prisoners were handcuffed, Rodriguez somehow managed to kill him. He justified it by claiming that his companion was a rapist and ‘therefore deserved to die’ .
Lest anyone doubt his urge to kill, he tattooed on his left arm: ‘I kill for pleasure’.
At the time, Brazil’s most hardened criminals were too afraid to be in prison with Rodriguez. He killed a cellmate for ‘ snoring too much ‘ and another for ‘not liking his face’ . “The thrill of killing another criminal was fantastic and satisfying,” was the justification for a murder.
The prisoners feared and hated him; Once, he was ambushed by five inmates. It would have been over if it had been anyone else, but Rodriguez killed three of them and beat up two others.
After the trial, Pedro Rodríguez Filho was initially sentenced to 126 years in prison. The figure rose to 400 years for the crimes and murders he committed while in prison. But there was a strange Brazilian law that forbade anyone, regardless of their crimes, from serving more than 30 years in prison. There was a 1934 order that allowed the indefinite detention of mentally ill people in psychiatric institutions for treatment.
In total, Rodriguez served only 30 years plus four additional years for the prison murders. On 24 April 2007, he was released after 34 years in prison.
That’s how the best serial killer in Brazil was released.
After almost three and a half decades, he was freed. After that he went to the northeast of Brazil.
Intelligence from the Brazilian National Security Forces indicated that Rodriguez was arrested again on September 14 in the tourist town of Balnerio Camboriu on the north coast of Santa Catarina while working as a housekeeper in Fortaleza, Sierra. The police officers of the Criminal Investigation Division arrested him at his house at around eleven o’clock in the morning. He was sentenced to another eight years on charges of rioting and false imprisonment, while incarcerated in São Paulo. He was released for the second time in 2018.
There is some debate as to whether Rodriguez was a psychopath or a sociopath. He has been described as a ‘perfect psychopath’ by psychiatrists, while others disagree and classify him as a sociopath. Psychopaths are generally thought of as more cold-blooded, calculating, and lacking remorse or compassion.
Real-life serial killers such as Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, Hannibal Lecter, Norman Bates, and Patrick Bateman are classic psychopaths. They were evil, brilliant, manipulative narcissistic tricksters who led double lives. They planned murders, escape routes, and alibis years in advance with an eye to the smallest detail, always ten steps ahead of the FBI.
Sociopaths are better known as heat-blooded and tend to overreact violently.
Pedro not only acts immediately for revenge, but also displays some reasoning of compassion for those who have been wronged by his crimes (psychologists lack compassion, whereas sociopaths can). Examples include his mother, Botinha, his pregnant cousin, and victims of murder and rape.
A psychological report found him paranoid and antisocial. Criminologist and author Ilana Casoy says: Rodriguez is a revenge/vigilante-type serial killer whose superior intelligence and almost photographic memory can be seen in his murders.
Rodriguez’s weapons were usually knives. Often, he killed them with a knife; Or killed by cutting with blades. Always, he is said to have sprung into action immediately upon hearing that a crime had been committed. When angry, he would look up the names and addresses of criminals and find them. Then, he would capture, torture and kill these career criminals and drug dealers, just as they had wronged him, his family, or his friends.
On occasion, he would change his modus operandi, adopting a modus operandi previously used by victims of his own crimes. For example, when he stabbed his father or shot dead seven people at a wedding.
He is now publishing his stories on YouTube with a friend.
Pedro doesn’t want to go back to his old life. It’s not clear if he regrets his mistakes, but he hates people recognizing him. But in Brazil he often has a heroic appearance. Many believe that he carried out the punishments himself with a sense of justice, like a Robin Hood.