Pedro Rodrigues Filho

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Pedro Rodrigues Filho
Born (1954-06-17) June 17, 1954 (age 64)
Other namesPedrinho Matador
Killer Petey
Span of crimes
Date apprehended
May 24, 1973

Pedro Rodrigues Filho (born July 17, 1954 in Santa Rita do Sapucaí, Minas Gerais), also known as Pedrinho Matador (Killer Petey), is a Brazilian serial killer who pursued and killed other criminals, unloading his murderous instinct on those he considered bad. He killed for the first time at age 14 and today has more than 100 homicides under his belt, including 47 people who were murdered inside the prisons he resided in and promised to murder more, including another serial killer - Francisco de Assis Pereira.[1] He has not yet responded to all the crimes, but was sentenced to more than 400 years imprisonment, the highest custodial sentence ever applied in Brazil.


Filho was born on a farm in Santa Rita do Sapucaí, south of Minas Gerais, with his skull bruised as a result of his father kicking his mother's belly during a fight. He claimed he wanted to kill for the first time at age 13 - in a fight with an older cousin, he pushed the young man into a sugar cane press, almost killing him.[2]

At 14, he killed the deputy mayor of Santa Rita do Sapucaí by shooting him in front of the city hall, for having fired his father, a school guard, then accused of stealing school lunch. He then killed a lookout, who was suspected of being the actual thief. Filho took refuge in Mogi das Cruzes, Greater São Paulo, where he began robbing drug dens and killing traffickers. He met with a traffic leader's widow, nicknamed Botinha, and they began living together. Filho took on the duties of the deceased and was soon "forced" to eliminate some rivals, killing three ex-cronies. He lived there until Botinha was executed by the police. Pedrinho escaped. He regrouped soldiers and set up his own business.[2]

In search of revenge for the murder of his companion, he tortured and killed several people, trying to find out who was responsible. The client, a former rival who had been betrayed by his ex-wife, received a visit from Pedrinho and four friends during a wedding party. They left a trail of seven dead and sixteen wounded. At that time, Pedrinho was not even 18 years old yet.

Still in Mogi, he executed his father in a city jail, after the latter killed his mother with 21 machete blows. His son's revenge was cruel: in addition to 22 stab wounds, he ripped out his father's heart, chewed a part and spit it out, according to what he said in Rede Record's program with journalist Marcelo Rezende.[2]

Pedrinho was arrested for the first time on May 24, 1973, and has lived in prison most of his adult years. It is said in the police records that he was once put on a muffler to be transported by the PM together with another prisoner, both handcuffed, and that when they went to open the back of the car, the other prisoner was already dead. Pedrinho assumed responsibility for the crime, justifying it by claiming that his companion was a rapist. In 2003, although he was sentenced to 126 years imprisonment, he was to be released, because Brazilian law prohibits anyone from spending more than 30 years behind bars - although a 1934 decree, signed by then-president Getúlio Vargas, which allowed psychopaths to be maintained indefinitely in psychiatric establishments for treatment. Also because of crimes committed inside the prisons, which increased his sentences for almost 400 years, their stay in prison was extended by the Justice until 2017. Pedrinho had the freedom to remake his life with his girlfriend, a former prisoner whose name he did not reveal, whom he had met by exchanging letters. After serving 12 years for theft, the woman was released and visited Pedrinho in the Taubaté prison.

According to fellow prisoners, Pedrinho is a phenomenon of survival in the harsh prison regime, as a prisoner could hardly survive that long. He killed and wounded dozens of fellow criminals in order to survive. Once, he was attacked by five prisoners, killing three of them and chasing away the other two. Pedrinho also killed a cellmate because he "snored too much" and another because he "did not like his face". To leave no doubt about his willingness to kill, he tattooed on his left arm: "I kill for pleasure", recently covered by another tattoo.

Pedrinho could be described, according to psychiatrists, as a psychopath - someone with no remorse and no compassion for others. However, psychopaths do not develop affection; there are chances that he was developing some for his mother and ex-girlfriend, describing him instead as a sociopath, for wanting to avenge their deaths. Psychiatrists who analyzed him in 1982 for an expert's report, wrote that the greatest motivation of his life was "the violent affirmation of oneself." They diagnosed him as a "paranoid and antisocial" character.

After remaining in prison for 34 years, he was released on April 24, 2007.[3] Intelligence information from the National Security Force indicated that he had moved to the Northeast, more precisely to Fortaleza in Ceará. On September 15, 2011, local media reported that Pedrinho was arrested at his home in a rural area, where he worked as a caretaker in Balneário Camboriú, the Santa Catarina coast. According to news reports from RBS news, he will have to serve 8 years on charges such as riot and deprivation of liberty, committed while he was detained in São Paulo.[4][5] In present day, Pedrinho is at liberty after spending long years behind bars. He says he is sorry for his bad ways and that he has converted to Christianity, and that he is writing an autobiography and that he has a YouTube channel, where he gives advice to young people.[4] He lives a completely different life and spends all his time trying to get young people away from crime.

From North to South[edit]

Pedrinho was recaptured on September 14, 2011, in the tourist town of Balneário Camboriú, on the northern coast of Santa Catarina. He was arrested at about 11AM at home by police officers from the Division of Criminal Investigations. The civil police officer who located him said: "I received anonymous information that Pedrinho Matador was hiding in a place in the city of Camboriú. This information was taken to locate with more precision the location where Pedrinho would be and if it was really true. We confirmed the information, moved to the region and made the arrest."

Pedrinho has served his sentence for the killings - more than half committed while in jail - but was sentenced again in August 2018 for participating in six riots and for deprivation of liberty, according to delegate Luana Backes, of the Division of Criminal Investigations.

Because of the list of crimes and his behavior in jail, he joined the list of killers quoted by writer Ilana Casoy in the book Serial Killers - Made in Brazil. The publication tells stories of murderers like Marcelo Costa de Andrade and Francisco da Costa Rocha.[6]

As mentioned previously, according to Brazilian criminal law, a person should be released after serving 30 years in prison, but that the decree of 1934, signed by then-President Getúlio Vargas, allows psychopaths to be kept indefinitely in psychiatric establishments for treatment DECREE N. 20.889 - OF DECEMBER 30, 1931. However, such rule was repealed by DECREE No. 99,678 - NOVEMBER 8, 1990. Nevertheless, Pedrinho Matador was still imprisoned for further crimes within the prison. He was released in 2018, and has a YouTube channel to talk about them.[7]


  1. ^ "What the science has discovered about the coldest of criminals – the psychopath" Archived 2018-08-09 at the Wayback Machine (translated from Portuguese)
  2. ^ a b c "Exclusive: Marcelo Rezende interview with criminal that killed more than one hundred people" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 12 June 2012.
  3. ^ "Pedrinho Matador" is free. Doctor does not believe in rehabilitation. Journal of Commerce (SP) 26/08/2009
  4. ^ a b Juliana Kataoka (13 December 2017). "67 curiosities about Brazilian serial killers" (in Portuguese). BuzzFeed. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  5. ^ "Police maintains secrecy about where Pedrinho Matador is imprisoned" (in Portuguese). Daily Catarinese. 16 September 2011. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  6. ^ Ilana Casoy. Serial Killers - Made in Brazil (in Portuguese). Editora Darkside Books. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  7. ^ "Brazil's Greatest Serial Killer Becomes a Critic and Successful on YouTube" (in Portuguese). Folha de S. Paulo. 10 December 2018.