Luis Garavito

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"La Bestia" redirects here. For El tren de la muerte, see El tren de la muerte.
Luis Alfredo Garavito Cubillos
Luis Garavito.jpg
Mug shot
Born (1957-01-25) 25 January 1957 (age 57)
Génova, Quindío, Colombia
Other names The Beast
Criminal penalty
22.1 years in prison
Victims 138 confirmed
Country Colombia
Date apprehended
22 April 1999

Luis Alfredo Garavito Cubillos, a.k.a "La Bestia" ("The Beast") or "Tribilín" (American Spanish translation of Disney's "Goofy") (born 25 January 1957 in Génova, Quindío, Colombia) is a Colombian rapist and serial killer. In 1999, he admitted to the rape and murder of 147 young boys.[1] The number of his victims, based on the locations of skeletons listed on maps that Garavito drew in prison, could eventually exceed 300. He has been described by local media as "the world's worst serial killer" because of the high number of victims.[2]

Once captured, Garavito was subject to the maximum penalty available in Colombia, which was 30 years. However, as he confessed the crimes and helped authorities locate bodies, Colombian law allowed him to apply for special benefits, including a reduction of his sentence to 22 years and possibly an even earlier release for further cooperation and good behavior. Colombian law has since increased the maximum penalty to 60 years in prison.[3]

In subsequent years, Colombians have increasingly felt that due to Garavito's approaching early release, his sentence is not sufficient punishment for his crimes. Colombian law originally had no way to extend the sentence, because cases of serial killers like Garavito had no legal precedent in the country and thus the legal system could not properly address this case.

Early life[edit]

Garavito was born on January 25, 1957 in Génova, Quindío, Colombia.
Unexpected use of template {{1}} - see Template:1 for details. He is the oldest of seven brothers and was apparently physically and mentally abused by his father. In his testimony, he described being a victim of sexual abuse when young.
Unexpected use of template {{1}} - see Template:1 for details.


Garavito's victims were poor children, peasant children, or street children, between the ages of 8 and 16. Garavito approached them on the street or countryside and offered them gifts or small amounts of money. After gaining their trust, he took the children for a walk and when they got tired, he would take advantage of them. He then raped them, cut their throats, and usually dismembered their corpses. Most corpses showed signs of torture.[4]

Garavito was captured on 22 April 1999. He confessed to murdering 140 children. He was charged with murdering 172 altogether throughout Colombia.[5]


He was found guilty in 139 of the 172 cases; the others are ongoing. The maximum sentence for murder multiplied by 139 comes to 1,853 years and 9 days. Because of Colombian law restrictions, however, he cannot be imprisoned for more than 30 years. Because he helped police find some bodies, his sentence was reduced to 22 years.[6]

Public response[edit]

Many Colombians criticized the possibility of Garavito's early release, some arguing he deserved either life in prison or the death penalty, neither of which exist in Colombia.

TV host Pirry interviewed Garavito for a show which aired on 11 June, 2006. Pirry mentioned that, during the interview, Garavito tried to minimize his actions and expressed intent to start a political career in order to help abused children. Pirry also described Garavito's conditions in prison and commented that due to good behavior, he could probably apply for early release within three years.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ M. Benecke; A. Mätzler; A. Zabeck (September 2005). Two Homosexual Pedophile Sadistic Serial Killers:Jürgen Bartsch (Germany, 1946-1976) and Luis Alfredo Garavito Cubillos (Colombia, 1957) (in English) 125 (3). Minerva Medicolegale. pp. 153–169. Retrieved 20 June 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "World: Americas: Colombian child killer confesses". BBC News (BBC Online Network). 30 October 1999. Retrieved 20 June 2010. 
  3. ^ "Rebajan la condena del asesino en serie Luis Alfredo Garavito". Retrieved 10 March 2010.  (Spanish)
  4. ^ (Benecke, pp. 161–162)
  5. ^ (Benecke, p. 162)
  6. ^ (Benecke, p. 166)