Francisco Wallace Cavalcante de Souza
August 12, 1958
|Died||27 July 2010 (aged 51)|
|Education||College of Business São Luiz Gonzaga|
State College Basílio Machado
University Nilton Lins
|Known for||Presenting Canal Livre|
|Political party||Progressive Party|
|Parent(s)||Lucimar Portela de Souza|
Maria Odila Cavalcante de Souza
Wallace Souza (12 August 1958 – 27 July 2010) was a Brazilian television presenter and politician. He was an elected member of the Legislative Assembly of Amazonas until his expulsion in October 2009. He is commonly known for presenting the controversial program Canal Livre.
In 2009 Wallace was subject to worldwide media coverage, when Amazonas State Police launched an investigation into the claims that murders had been ordered in order to boost ratings on his program. Souza died after being formally charged with murder before trial. Two alleged confederates were found not guilty, but Souza's son Rafael was sentenced to nine years for homicide.
Early and personal life
Souza was born in Manaus, Amazonas. He obtained degrees at the College of Business São Luiz Gonzaga and the State College Basílio Machado. Souza also attended the Center for Study of Human Behavior and University Nilton Lins. He was married and had four children.
Souza was first elected in 1998 by the Liberal Party. He later took leadership of the Social Christian Party. He was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Amazonas in 2000, and was re-elected in 2002. In 2003 he was made Parliamentary his political career was threatened, as he had already been expelled from the assembly in 2009.
Souza began presenting Canal Livre in 1989. The program which was described as "investigative journalism aimed at fighting crime and social injustice," ran until late 2008. Drawing large audiences, the program showed police raids and arrests, with presenters often following police chases in a helicopter. It was one of the most popular shows in Manaus.
In 2009, Souza attracted international media attention when he was accused of hiring hitmen to kill five people to increase the ratings of his program. Suspicions were raised because he was frequently first to the scene of a crime, gathering graphic footage of the victims. A former police officer, Moacir Jorge da Costa, claimed he carried out one of the murders. Souza and his legal team denied Souza's involvement with the murders. Souza's son, Raphael, was arrested and is currently in prison facing charges of homicide, drug trafficking and illegal gun possession.
In October 2009, he was presented with charges of murder, drug-trafficking, intimidation of witnesses, illegal carrying of arms and formation of a criminal gang. He was also expelled from the state assembly. After an arrest warrant was issued, Souza disappeared and 60 civil and federal police began to search for him. Road blocks were mounted to try to stop him from leaving Manaus. He subsequently gave himself up to police on October 9, 2009. He repeatedly proclaimed his innocence. His brother, vice-mayor Carlos Souza, requested that when sent to prison he have his own cell and be separated from fellow inmates. Vanessa Lima, the former producer of the program, was arrested in December 2009.
- 2018: Blood Pact, a crime drama television series released on Space loosely based on the real-life story of Wallace Souza.
- 2019: Killer Ratings, a Netflix documentary series focusing on Wallace Souza and Canal Livre.
- "TV Host Hunted Over 'Murder For Ratings'". Sky News. 2009-10-07. Retrieved 2009-10-07.
- "Brazilian host investigated over TV killings". RTÉ News and Current Affairs. 2009-08-12. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
- "Deputado Wallace Souza" (in Portuguese). Assembléia Legislativa do Estado do Amazonas. Archived from the original on February 17, 2005. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
- Phillips, Dom (2009-08-12). "Brazil crime show host 'used murder to boost ratings'". Times Online. London. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
- "Presentator laat moorden voor hogere kijkcijfers". NOS. 2009-08-12. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
- Duffy, Gary (7 October 2009). "Accused Brazil TV host 'missing'". BBC News. Retrieved 2009-10-07.
- "Crime show host 'ordered TV deaths'". NEWS.com.au. 2009-08-06. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
- "TV crime-show host accused of ordering murders to boost ratings". France 24. 2009-08-12. Archived from the original on 2009-10-22. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
- "Brazil TV Host 'Used Hitmen To Boost Ratings'". Sky News. 2009-08-12. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
- Hennigan, Tom (2009-10-08). "Judge orders arrest of crime show host for ordering murders". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2009-10-09.
- "Busca a Wallace Souza mobiliza policiais em Manaus". portalamazonia.com (in Portuguese). 2009-10-06. Retrieved 2009-10-07.
- "Ex-deputado Wallace Souza é procurado pela polícia". O Estado de S. Paulo (in Portuguese). 2009-10-06. Retrieved 2009-10-07.
- "Fugitive TV host surrenders, Brazilian government says". 2009-10-09. pp. CNN International. Retrieved 2009-10-09.
- "Host accused of deaths for ratings surrenders". The Dallas Morning News. 2009-10-10. Retrieved 2009-10-12.
- "Ex-produtora de programa de TV do ex-deputado Wallace Souza, do Amazonas, é presa". Portal Amazônia (in Portuguese). 10 December 2009. Retrieved 13 December 2009.
- "Brazil TV crime host accused in killings dies". The Associated Press. 28 July 2010. Archived from the original on 28 July 2010. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
- "'Murders for ratings' Brazil TV host dies in hospital". BBC News. 28 July 2010. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
- ""Pacto de Sangue": Série sobre apresentador que encomenda mortes estreia hoje". BOL (in Portuguese). August 27, 2018.
- White, Peter (May 6, 2019). "Netflix Explores 'Killer Ratings'; Doc Series To Explore Strange Case Of Brazilian TV Host Who Allegedly Tried To Boost Ratings By Ordering Murders". Deadline. Retrieved May 16, 2019.