Serial Killer of Criminals

By RodneyHatfieldJr for Into The Mind

The idea of a serial killer that preys on criminals is not a new idea. We have books, movies, and TV shows where the murderer kills or helps police catch criminals. The TV show Dexter is a prime example. We even let kids read about them in comics like The Punisher, Wolverine, and Deadpool to name a few. But we only use the word Hero to describe a few of them. Yet every single one has a sizeable kill count. Is it the perception of what they do, or is it our moral grounds? What is the true answer to this question?


Case in point: Pedro Rodrigues Filho. The “Killer of Killers”, a.k.a. "Killer Petey", is a prolific Brazilian serial killer, robber, vigilante, one-time mass murderer, and one-time cannibal. Filho was born in a farm at Santa Rita do Sapucaí, Brazil, on June 17, 1954. He was born with a damaged skull, which was indirectly inflicted by his father when he physically abused Filho's mother while she was still pregnant with him. Filho was also physically abused by his father during his childhood. Filho claimed he first felt the urge to kill at the age of 13 and claimed he attempted to murder his cousin by pushing him into a sugar cane press, but he was unsuccessful. 


When Filho was fourteen years old, his father was accused of stealing food from the high school kitchen where he worked as a security guard, resulting in him losing his job. In vengeance, Filho killed the vice-mayor of Alfenas with a shotgun, as he was the one who fired his father. A month later, he killed another guard at the school whom he believed to be the real thief. After killing them, he took refuge in São Paulo, where he started to burglarize local slums. He also killed a drug dealer during the burglary spree. At São Paulo, Filho met a woman, Maria Aparecida Olympia, who would later become his fiancée. At some point, she was brutally murdered by gang members. Angered by this, Filho committed a massacre during a wedding organized by the gang's leader, where he and some friends brutally killed seven people and injured sixteen others. Months after the massacre, he discovered that the boyfriend of his favorite cousin had impregnated her but refused to marry her; and fatally shot him in revenge. Later, Filho found out that his father was in prison for murdering and dismembering his mother with a machete. Filho visited his father in prison and killed him by stabbing him 22 times. After the murder, he carved his heart out and bit a piece of it.


Filho continued to kill many criminals and was finally arrested on May 24, 1973. After his arrest, Filho was placed in a car with another criminal, a rapist, whom he murdered. During his incarceration, he continued to kill people in prison, claiming the lives of 47 inmates. He sometimes killed inmates because of his past as a killer of criminals, which caused a majority of the prison population to hate him. In one attack by other inmates, Filho was ambushed but he killed three of his attackers and injured the other two. Other inmates were chosen randomly: one of his victims, a cellmate and career criminal, was killed simply because he snored too much. Some of his victims were killed because, according to him, the thrill of killing another criminal was wonderful and satisfying. Filho was almost released from prison in 2003, but the release request was turned down because of his murders inside prison. He was officially released on April 24, 2007, but he was arrested again at his house on September 15, 2011, and convicted of riot and false imprisonment. He admitted that his only motivation to be released was the fact that he had a girlfriend out of prison. He was later sentenced to 128 years in prison for these charges. However, according to Brazilian law, the maximum prison sentence is 30 years. As a result, Pedro was released from prison in 2018. He now lives a quiet life away from notoriety in his hometown. He has hinted at writing a book on his life. But no concrete information.


Filho targeted various kinds of criminals, finding them by looking up their names and addresses before killing them in a variety of ways, though he stated that his favorite way to murder criminals was stabbing/hacking them to death with blades. He was usually spurred to act after hearing a crime was committed. In some instances, he would capture mostly career criminals and drug dealers and torture them to death whenever he was motivated by anger instead of thrill. Filho was described by psychiatrists as "the perfect psychopath", though others preferred to classify him as a sociopath instead. A psychological report diagnosed Filho with paranoid and antisocial traits. Some have suggested that Filho was an "avenger/vigilante"-type serial killer with great intelligence and an almost photographic memory who built all of his identity over his murders.


Known Victims:

Unspecified dates in 1968:

The unnamed vice-mayor of Alfenas (shot with a shotgun)

Unnamed school guard (shot with a shotgun like the previous victim)

Unspecified dates from 1969 to 1973:

An unnamed man (a drug dealer; killed by unknown causes)

The wedding massacre:

Seven unnamed people (all gang members; all shot)

Sixteen unnamed people (all gang members; attempted, but survived; all were non-fatally shot)

His unnamed father (a murderer; stabbed 22 times; ripped out his heart and ate a piece of it post-mortem)

The unnamed man who impregnated his cousin (shot)

At least eleven unnamed criminals (all killed by various causes)

May 24, 1973: Unnamed man (a rapist; killed by unkown causes)

Unspecified dates from 1973 to 2003:

Francisco de Assis Pereira (a serial killer and rapist; intended)

João Acásio da Costa (a serial killer and robber; bludgeoned with an unspecified object; survived)

Hosmany Ramos (a murderer and bank robber; attempted)

Unnamed inmate (a murderer; decapitated with a knife)

Two unnamed cellmates (killed by unknown causes)

Unnamed Inmate (killed by unknown causes)

Attacked the following during an attempt on his own life:

Three unnamed inmates (all killed by unknown causes)

Two unnamed inmates (attempted, but survived; both were injured)

At least 40 unnamed inmates (all killed by various causes)

Note: Filho once claimed that his body count exceeded 100 victims, though this claim was never confirmed by authorities. Filho has only a total of 71 confirmed killed victims. Like 29 kills make that big of a difference. After knowing the circumastances, is the man a hero or villain?

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