Pedro López (serial killer)

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Pedro López
Born (1948-10-08) October 8, 1948 (age 65)
Santa Isabel, Tolima, Colombia
Other names The Monster of the Andes
Criminal penalty
16 years (Ecuador); freed after 14 years; committed to hospital (Colombia); freed after 3 years
Conviction(s) Motor vehicle theft,
Murder
Killings
Victims 110–300+
Span of killings
1969–1980
Country Colombia,
Ecuador,
Peru
Date apprehended
9 March 1980

Pedro Alonso López (born October 8th, 1948[1] in Santa Isabel, Colombia) is a Colombian serial killer, accused of raping and killing more than 300 girls across South America. Aside from uncited local accounts, López’s crimes first received international attention from an interview conducted by Ron Laytner, a long time freelance photojournalist who reported interviewing López in his Ambato prison cell in 1980.

Laytner’s interviews were widely published, first in the Chicago Tribune on Sunday, July 13, 1980, then in the Toronto Sun and The Sacramento Bee on July 21 1980, and later in many other North American papers and foreign publications over the years. Apart from Laytner’s account and two brief Associated Press wire reports[2] the story was published in The World's Most Infamous Murders by Boar and Blundell.[3]

According to Laytner’s story,[4] López became known as the "Monster of the Andes" in 1980 when he led police to the graves of 53 of his victims in Ecuador, all girls between nine and twelve years old. In 1983 he was found guilty of murdering 110 young girls in Ecuador alone and confessed to a further 240 murders of missing girls in neighbouring Peru and Colombia. López was released from prison in 1998.

Biography[edit]

According to López, his mother, who was a prostitute with thirteen children, caught him fondling his younger sister in 1957, when he was eight years old, and evicted him from the family home. He was then picked up by a man, taken to a deserted house and repeatedly sodomized. At age twelve, he was taken in by an American family and enrolled in a school for orphans. He ran away because he was allegedly molested by a male teacher. At 18, he stole cars for a living and sold the cars to local chop shops. These actions led him to get caught by authorities later on in his life. During his incarceration he claims that he was brutally gang-raped in prison and that he hunted down the people who raped him and killed them while still incarcerated.[5]

López said that after his jail term, he started preying on young girls in Peru. He claimed that, by 1978, he had killed over 100 of them and that he had been caught by a native tribe, who were preparing to execute him, when an American missionary intervened and persuaded them to hand him over to the state police. The police soon released him. He said he moved to Colombia and later Ecuador, killing about three girls a week. López said "I like the girls in Ecuador, they are more gentle and trusting, more innocent."[5]

López was arrested when an attempted abduction failed and he was trapped by market traders. He confessed to over three hundred murders. The police only believed him when a flash flood uncovered a mass grave containing many of his victims.[5] According to the BBC: "He was arrested in 1980 but was freed by the government in Ecuador at the end of [1998] and deported to Colombia. In an interview from his prison cell, López described himself as 'the man of the century' and said he was being released for 'good behaviour'."[6]

An A&E Biography documentary reports that he was released by Ecuadorian prison on August 31, 1994, rearrested an hour later as an illegal immigrant, and handed over to Colombian authorities who charged him with a 20-year old murder. He was found to be insane and held in a psychiatric wing of a Bogotá hospital. In 1998, he was declared sane and released on $50 bail. The same documentary says that Interpol released an advisory for his rearrest by Colombian authorities over a fresh murder in 2002.[7][8]

A.P. wire reports[edit]

Two A.P. wire reports from July 1980 and January 1981 are extant.[2] The first is a late report of López' arrest in March, and his confession to killing 103 girls, including 53 whose bodies had been found. The second reports that he was convicted of three murders, and had confessed to three hundred sexual assaults and stranglings.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Harle, James. "Birth Year". Thenationalstudent.com. Retrieved 2013-08-25. 
  2. ^ a b "Who is Pedro Lopez?". Classic-web.archive.org. Retrieved 2013-08-25. 
  3. ^ The World's Most Infamous Murders by Roger Boar and Nigel Blundell – Octopus London 1983 ISBN 0-600-57008-8 pages 116–118
  4. ^ "Worst Serial Killer Released". Edit International. Retrieved 2013-08-25. 
  5. ^ a b c "Court TV's Crime Library's account of the López Story, including bibliography". Crimelibrary.com. 2011-01-08. Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  6. ^ "World's worst killers". BBC News. 1999-10-30. Retrieved 2013-08-25. 
  7. ^ "A&E Biography documentary on YouTube". YouTube.com. Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  8. ^ "A&E Biography summary on Bio.com". Biography.com. Retrieved 2011-01-31. 

External links[edit]