“When I am released, I will kill again”: the story of Pedro Lopez, the Monster of the Andes

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This story is part of the book
Disturbed
The insane stories of the worst serial killers of all time

Intoxicated
Intoxicated

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This is the story of one of the most brutal and ruthless killers that ever lived. A cold-blooded murderer who has exterminated an infinite number of young lives. A story with disturbing implications; although the perpetrator of the crimes has been identified and convicted, to date his whereabouts are completely unknown. But let’s proceed step by step.

The kidnapper

Ambato, Ecuador. April 1980. Carvina Poveda is a mother shopping at a local market with her 12-year-old daughter Marie. Everything seems normal until a scruffy-looking man approaches and grabs the girl, running away. Carvina starts screaming and in a few moments the subject is blocked by the merchants, who in the meantime warn the police. When the agents arrive on the scene, they take the man into custody and transport him to the barracks.

Pedro Lopez. This is the name of the attacker just arrested.

Pedro doesn’t want to talk to the investigators, so the latter devise a ruse to get him exposed. They send a priest from the area, Father Cordoba Gudino, under the false guise of a prisoner and put him in a cell with Lopez. After short time the man will confess terrible things to the Father, so much that after a day the priest asks to be taken away from the segregation room. He reports everything to the police who subsequently decide to question the subject again.

This time Pedro will speak, leaving everyone speechless.

He confesses to being a serial killer and killing 110 girls in Ecuador, 100 in Colombia and more than 100 in Peru.

He acted by prowling in search of victims mainly in the middle of the markets. He often followed the young women for a few days, waiting for the right moment to kidnap them. As soon as he managed to take them away he would drag them to an isolated area, where he sexually abused them and then strangled them with his bare hands, looking them straight in the eye.

A chilling statement to say the least.

The agents decided to cross-check his statements so they asked him to be taken to the places where he had buried the lifeless bodies. Lopez took them to a secluded place near Ambato, where there were the remains of 53 girls between 8 and 12 years old.

There was no longer any doubt, the policemen had just stopped a monster.

Pedro Lopez

Born in Tolima, Colombia, on October 8, 1948, he is the seventh of thirteen children in the family.

Pedro’s childhood resembles a nightmare from which it seems impossible to wake up. His country is in the midst of urban riots and living conditions are extremely poor. As if that wasn’t enough, the mother adopts a strongly severe and punitive attitude towards her children.

At the age of 8, the first signs of something growing in the child’s psyche appear. The woman surprises him as he tries to force his younger sister into sexual intercourse. For this reason he is thrown out of the house and his return forbidden.

Pedro is forced to adapt to street life, until he is approached by a man who promises to give him a house and food. The child accepts, making a choice he would regret for the rest of his life. The subject does not take him to his home but leads him to an uninhabited building, where he sexually abuses him before abandoning him again on the streets.

After this terrible event he develops a strong distrust of strangers, alienating himself more and more from the outside world. He begins to move only at night, looking for food in garbage and landfills.

After few months he decides to move to Bogota. It is here that he is approached by a couple who offer to host him in their home. They take care of Pedro, guaranteeing him a home and enrolling him in a school for orphans.

Things seem to be improving, until at the age of 12 Lopez is harassed by his teacher. An experience that brings back old traumas. After this occurrence he decides to leave everything and go back to live on the road.

He starts stealing cars to make a living, becoming an expert thief. He continues his shady business until in 1969 he is arrested during a theft attempt and sentenced to 7 years in prison.

After only two days in jail, he is sexually assaulted by four inmates. From this moment on he determines that he would no longer tolerate any abuse. Arming himself with a knife, he kills the four comrades who raped him one by one. For this he is granted two additional years of stay in prison, with the mitigation of self-defense.

He finishes his sentence in 1978. The return to freedom marks the beginning of a new era for Lopez, but in the most negative sense possible. The seed of madness have now definitively settled in his person and start to give rise to a series of atrocities.

He settles in Peru, where he begins to target young women of the Indian tribes. According to his statements, he has killed more than 100.

During one of his attempts to assault a little girl, he is captured by a tribe of Ayachucos, who tortured him for several hours before deciding to bury him alive. Luck is on Lopez’s side this time, as a missionary manages to convince the community to spare his life and entrust him to the authorities. He is then handed over to the police; eventually removed from the country and transferred to Ecuador.

In the following years he moves around the country, also making visits to Colombia, continuing his crazy career as a serial killer. He manages to go unnoticed as the disappearances of young girls are attributed to reasons of sexual slavery.

The sentence

At the end of 1980, Lopez is sentenced to 16 years in prison, the highest sentence in Ecuador. He is released in 1994, receiving a two-year discount for good behavior.

An hour after his release he is immediately arrested, considered an illegal immigrant, apparently having illegally crossed the borders to enter Ecuador from Colombia.

In Colombian territory he is tried for his murders but in the end he will be declared insane and therefore locked up in a psychiatric hospital. In 1998, after three years of stay, he is declared cured and for this he is set free.

After his release, no one has ever heard from him again.

In 2002 the Colombian government issued an international arrest warrant against him, as a murder was discovered strongly compatible with Pedro Lopez’s victimology and modus operandi. Despite this, the man has never been captured and is still a fugitive today.

Pedro Lopez is considered the second worst serial killer of all time (after Luis Garavito). We don’t know if he’s still alive, or if he’s been able to keep his impulses in check. The terrible suspicion is that in recent years he has acted undisturbed, continuing to sow death. Today he may be somewhere in the world, proud and aware of having kept his mad mission going without being stopped. But this is a scenario that none of us wish it were true.

“I am the man of the century, no one will ever forget me. There is a wonderful moment, a divine moment, when I have my hands around a young girl’s throat. I look into her eyes and see a certain light, a spark, suddenly go out. Only those who kill know what I mean. Someday, when I am released, I will feel that moment again. I will be happy to kill again. It is my mission.”

From Ron Laytner’s interview to Pedro Lopez

This story is part of the book
Disturbed
The insane stories of the worst serial killers of all time

Buy it on Amazon