Pedro Rodrigues Filho
Pedro Rodrigues Filho
|Other names||Pedrinho Matador|
The Brazilian Dexter
Span of crimes
|May 24, 1991|
Pedro Rodrigues Filho (Pedro Rodrigues, Jr.) (born July 17, 1954), also known as Pedrinho Matador (Killer Petey), is a Brazilian serial killer who pursued and killed other criminals. His victims included 47 people who were murdered inside the very jails he was imprisoned in.
Rodrigues 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 pregnant 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.
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 food from the school kitchen. He then killed a security guard, who was suspected of being the actual thief. Rodrigues took refuge in Mogi das Cruzes, Greater São Paulo, where he began robbing drug dens and killing traffickers. He soon met Maria Aparecida Olympia, nicknamed Botinha, and they began living together. Rodrigues 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 a rival gang leader. Rodrigues escaped. He regrouped soldiers and set up his own business.
Later, in search of revenge for the murder of his pregnant companion and unborn child, he tortured and killed several people, trying to find out who was responsible. The gang leader, a former rival who had been betrayed by his ex-wife, received a visit from Rodrigues and four friends during a wedding party. They left a trail of seven dead and sixteen wounded. At that time, Rodrigues was not even 18 years old yet.
Still in Mogi, he executed his father in a city jail for killing his mother with 21 machete blows. His revenge was cruel: in addition to 22 stab wounds, he ripped out his father's heart, chewed a part and spat it out, according to a TV interview with journalist Marcelo Rezende.
Rodrigues 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. Rodrigues took 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 there was 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. Rodrigues 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 Rodrigues in the Taubaté prison.
According to fellow prisoners, Rodrigues 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. Rodrigues also killed a cell mate 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.
Rodrigues 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 staying in prison for 34 years, he was released on April 24, 2007. 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 Rodrigues 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 eight years on charges such as riot and deprivation of liberty, committed while he was detained in São Paulo. In present day, Rodrigues is at liberty after spending long years behind bars.
From North to South
Rodrigues 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 11 a.m. 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."
Rodrigues 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.
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 the then-president, Getúlio Vargas, allows diagnosed psychopaths to be kept indefinitely in psychiatric establishments for treatment. However, this rule was repealed by Decree No. 99,678 on November 8, 1990. Nevertheless, Rodrigues was still imprisoned for further crimes within the prison. He was released in 2018, and has a YouTube channel to talk about them.
- "Exclusive: Marcelo Rezende interview with criminal that killed more than one hundred people" (in Portuguese). noticias.r7.com. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
- "Pedrinho Matador" is free. Doctor does not believe in rehabilitation. Journal of Commerce (SP) 26/08/2009
- Juliana Kataoka (13 December 2017). "67 curiosities about Brazilian serial killers" (in Portuguese). BuzzFeed. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
- "Police maintains secrecy about where Pedrinho Matador is imprisoned" (in Portuguese). Daily Catarinese. 16 September 2011. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
- Ilana Casoy. Serial Killers - Made in Brazil (in Portuguese). Editora Darkside Books. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
- DECREE N. 20.889 - OF DECEMBER 30, 1931
- "Brazil's Greatest Serial Killer Becomes a Critic and Successful on YouTube" (in Portuguese). Folha de S. Paulo. 10 December 2018.