Pedro López (serial killer)
Colombian serial killer
Pedro Alonso López
8 October 1948
Santa Isabel, Colombia
|Other names||The Monster of the Andes|
|Conviction(s)||Vehicle theft, murder, rape|
|Criminal penalty||16 years Ecuador; freed after 14 years; committed to hospital Colombia; freed after 1 year|
|Victims||Convicted of 110, confessed to 350|
Span of crimes
|Country||Colombia, Ecuador, Peru|
|9 March 1980 (first)|
Pedro Alonso López (born 8 October 1948) is a Colombian serial killer and child killer, who was sentenced for killing 110 girls, but who claimed to have raped and killed more than 300 girls across Colombia, Peru and Ecuador. Aside from uncited local accounts, López's crimes first received international attention from an interview conducted by Ron Laytner, a longtime freelance photojournalist who reported interviewing López in his Ambato prison cell in 1980.
Laytner's interviews were widely published, first in the Chicago Tribune on Sunday, 13 July 1980, then in the Toronto Sun and The Sacramento Bee on 21 July 1980, and over the years in many other North American papers and foreign publications, including the National Enquirer. Apart from Laytner's account and two brief Associated Press wire reports, the story was published in The World's Most Infamous Murders by Boar and Blundell, and has found its way into many serial murder anthologies, both in print and online.
According to Laytner's story, López became known as the Monster of the Andes in 1980, when he led police to 53 graves in Ecuador. The victims were all girls 12 years of age. In 1983, he was found guilty of the murder of 110 girls in Ecuador. He further confessed to an additional 240 murders in Peru and Colombia.
López's mother's name was Benilda López De Casteneda. According to López, witnessing acts of prostitution while growing up had disturbing effects on his psyche. Subsequently, his mother caught him fondling his younger sister in 1957, when he was eight years old, and evicted him from the family home. Pedro, who was reportedly the seventh child among 13 siblings, was polite as a boy and wanted to be a teacher according to his mother. Following this, the eight-year-old Pedro López had fled to Bogotá, Colombia's capital city. Soon afterwards, he said, he had been abducted by a man and raped. At age 12, Pedro was taken in by a US expatriate family and enrolled in a school for orphans. He ran away after two years, according to one account, because he had been molested by a male teacher. Other sources claim that he ran away with a teacher.
By the age of 18, López was making a living by stealing cars and selling them to local chop shops.
López claimed that, during his incarceration for car theft, he was brutally gang-raped, and that subsequently, while he was still in prison, he hunted down the most brutal of his rapists and killed them.
He said that after being released from prison, he moved to Peru and started murdering young girls. López claimed that, by 1978, he had killed over 100 girls before being caught and captured by members of an indigenous tribe. These captors were preparing to execute him, when a Christian missionary from the US intervened and persuaded them to hand him over to state police. However, the police had quickly released him.
López said that he had subsequently returned to Colombia and later moved to Ecuador; during this period, he claimed, he had killed about three girls a week. López said: "I like the girls in Ecuador; they are more gentle and trusting. More innocent."
López was arrested when an attempted abduction failed and he was trapped by market traders. The Associated Press (AP) reported that he was arrested in March 1980, and that he confessed to killing 103 girls, including 53 whose bodies had been found. In January 1981, he was convicted of three murders, and had confessed to three hundred sexual assaults and stranglings. The police only believed his confessions when a flash flood uncovered a mass grave containing many of his victims.
According to the BBC, López "was arrested in 1980, but was freed by the government in Ecuador at the end of ." In an interview from his prison cell, López described himself as "the man of the century" and said he was being released for "good behavior". An A&E Biography documentary reported that he was released from an Ecuadorian prison on 31 August 1994, then rearrested as an illegal immigrant and handed over to Colombian authorities, who charged him with a 20-year-old murder. He was declared insane and held in the psychiatric wing of a Bogotá hospital. In 1998, he was declared sane and released on $50 bail, subject to certain conditions. He later absconded. The same documentary says that Interpol released an advisory for his rearrest by Colombian authorities over a fresh murder in 2002, and he is currently wanted by the police.
His whereabouts are unknown as of 2021.
- "Who is Pedro Lopez?". Archived from the original on 21 October 2007. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
- "Pedro Alonzo Lopez Biography". biography.com. 31 January 2018. Archived from the original on 10 December 2016. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
- The World's Most Infamous Murders by Roger Boar and Nigel Blundell – Octopus London 1983 ISBN 0-600-57008-8 pages 116–118
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- Pearson, Nick (5 December 2018). "World's second worst serial killer walked free from prison". Nine News. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
- Carlina Ramon; Maria Masabanda Inde; Carlos Jácome; Pat Brennan (2004). The Monster of the Andes. A&E Television Networks. ISBN 0-7670-7897-7.
- "Why Did They Free Pedro López, the Monster of the Andes?". Criminal. Retrieved 21 November 2019.
- "Most prolific serial killer". Archived from the original on 16 February 2015.
- Regier, Willis Goth (November 2007). In Praise of Flattery. ISBN 978-0803239692.