Luis Garavito

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"La Bestia" redirects here. For the Mexican freight trains, see El tren de la muerte.
Luis Alfredo Garavito Cubillos
Luis Garavito.jpg
Mug shot
Born Luis Alfredo Garavito Cubillos
(1957-01-25) 25 January 1957 (age 60)
Génova, Quindío, Colombia
Other names The Beast
Criminal penalty 40 years in prison
Victims 138 confirmed, 300+ suspected[1][2]
Country Colombia
Date apprehended
22 April 1999

Luis Alfredo Garavito Cubillos (born 25 January 1957), also known as La Bestia ("The Beast") or Tribilín (named after Disney character "Goofy"'s Latin American Spanish name) is a Colombian rapist and serial killer. In 1999, he admitted to the rape, torture and murder of 147 young boys.[3] 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".[4]

Early life[edit]

Garavito was born on 25 January 1957 in Génova, Quindío, Colombia. He is the oldest of seven brothers, and was apparently physically and emotionally abused by his father. In his testimony, he described being a victim of sexual abuse as a child.


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 in the 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 molest and rape them, cut their throats, and usually dismembered their bodies. Most corpses showed signs of prolonged torture.[5]

Arrest, sentencing, and imprisonment[edit]

Garavito was arrested on 22 April 1999. He confessed to murdering 140 children, and was charged with killing 172 altogether throughout Colombia.[6] He was found guilty on 138 of the 172 accounts; the others are ongoing. Although the maximum sentence for murder in Colombia multiplied by 138 comes to 1,853 years and 9 days, Colombian law limits imprisonment to 60 years. Because he helped police find some bodies, as well as to his confessions, his sentence was further reduced to 22 years.[7] He may possibly qualify for even earlier release for further cooperation and good behavior.[8]

Public response[edit]

Many Colombians criticized the possibility of Garavito's early release. In recent years, Colombians have increasingly felt that Garavito's sentence was not sufficient punishment for his crimes. Some[citation needed] have argued he deserves either life in prison or the death penalty, neither of which exist in Colombia. Colombian law had no provision or method to impose a sentence longer than what Garavito received, which was seen as a deficiency in the law caused by the failure to address the possibility of a serial killer in Colombian society. The law has since increased the maximum penalty for such crimes to 60 years in prison.[9]

TV host and journalist Guillermo Prieto La Rotta, popularly known as 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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Benecke, Mark (2005). Murderous Methods: Using Forensic Science to Solve Lethal Crimes. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-13118-6.
  2. ^ Peter Vronsky (2004). Serial Killers: The Method and Madness of Monsters. Berkley Books. p. 35. ISBN 978-0-425-19640-3.
  3. ^ M. Benecke; A. Mätzler; M. Rodriquez; A. Zabeck (September 2005). "Two Homosexual Pedophile Sadistic Serial Killers:Jürgen Bartsch (Germany, 1946-1976) and Luis Alfredo Garavito Cubillos (Colombia, 1957)" (PDF). 125 (3). Minerva Medicolegale: 153–169. Retrieved 20 June 2010. 
  4. ^ "World: Americas: Colombian child killer confesses". BBC News. BBC Online Network. 30 October 1999. Retrieved 20 June 2010. 
  5. ^ (Benecke, pp. 161–162)
  6. ^ (Benecke, p. 162)
  7. ^ (Benecke, p. 166)
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Rebajan la condena del asesino en serie Luis Alfredo Garavito" (in Spanish). Retrieved 10 March 2010.