May 14, 1956 |
|Other names||El comegente|
Span of killings
Dorángel Vargas (born May 14, 1956), known as "El comegente" (lit. people eater) and the "Hannibal Lecter of the Andes", is a serial killer and cannibal in Venezuela. He was a homeless man who used to hunt passersby at a park in the city of San Cristobal, Táchira State. Once he was caught, he confessed to killing and eating at least 10 men over a period of two years preceding his arrest in 1999.
Dorángel Vargas Gomez was born in 1956 to poor farmers. His priors include three arrests, two of them for minor offenses (theft of chickens and cattle). The third was acquired in 1995 when he was admitted to the Institute of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Peribeca for the murder of Baltazar Cruz Moreno, and the subsequent cannibalism of his body. He managed to escape from that center, and lead a seemingly normal life in poverty, without bothering anyone again.
It is believed that he was actively murdering between November 1998 and January 1999. Dorángel hunted victims with a tube-shaped spear and occasionally with rocks. He kept the parts that he could cook and usually buried the feet, hands and heads. It seemed that his primary targets were unsuspecting athletes and laborers working on the riverbank. He did not eat women or children. Since he had no place to store the human flesh, most of it would decompose quickly, which made him kill routinely.
On February 12, 1999, members of the Civil Defense found the remains of two young people and alerted the security forces. Searching around the same area, the remains of six more bodies were found. Hypotheses about the findings included the plot being a cemetery for corpses linked to drug gangs and even a burial ground for victims of Satanic cult rituals. The victims, after further investigation, were all found to have been missing persons. As the investigation progressed, Vargas became a suspect, An inspection of the Shack he was living on near the area, revealed several vessels containing human flesh and viscera prepared for consumption, along with three human heads and several feet and hands.
Once captured, he confessed to having killed and eaten at least 10 men over a period of two years since his arrest in 1999.
- "The cannibal of the Andes confesses: 'Eating people is like eating pears'". Las Últimas Noticias (in Spanish). 2004-11-19. Retrieved 2008-09-10.
- "World Digest". The Sunday Herald. 1999-02-28. Retrieved 2008-09-10.
- "Dorancel Vargas El Comegente" (in Spanish). Retrieved 5 December 2014.
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