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Pedro Lopez: "The Monster of the Andes"

Pedro Lopez may be the most prolific known serial killer of all time. He was convicted of the murder of 110 girls. He has confessed to the murder of more than 300. While more than 300 may be incorrect, he almost certainly killed more than the 110 he was convicted of killing. The story of his early life is known only from his lips, but if it is true, it certainly helps the "nurture" argument of what drives some people to kill. However, he could simply by lying, as serial killers are wont to do. True or false, here is his story. (His capture, incarceration, the information regarding his M.O. and the discovery of some of his victims are certainly true.)

Pedro Lopez was born in October of 1948 in Tolima, Colombia. According to Pedro, his mother was a prostitute who had 13 children of which Pedro had knowledge, including himself. At the time of his birth, Colombia was in turmoil. It was not a safe place for a child to grow up, nor was Pedro's home, if he is to be believed. His mother was domineering and openly promiscuous. Pedro had extensive knowledge of sexual relations at a young age because of this. While he may have exaggerated, it is easy to imagine such a man spending his formative years with such a woman.

At the age of eight, Pedro Lopez was caught molesting or raping his little sister. Rather than seeking counseling and a new home for the boy, Ms. Lopez kicked her son out of her home and left him to fend for himself. Though it is hard to imagine a woman of her class, location and personality being able to find such help, things might have turned out very different for many young girls if she had. It was not long before Pedro ran into yet another adult who would mistreat him.

According to Lopez, a man picked him up soon after he left his home. The man offered Pedro food and so Pedro went into this man's home. This man raped the 8-year-old boy repeatedly and then dumped him back outside. Pedro learned to be less trusting and acquired his food by begging, but one day in Bogota, Colombia, his fortunes changed. He was picked up by an American couple who lived in Bogota. The couple gave him a home and sent him to school. However, Pedro was again molested. This time, a male teacher at the school assaulted him. Pedro Lopez reacted by stealing some money from the school and going back to being a homeless beggar and a thief.

Pedro Lopez was 18-years-old in 1969 when he was arrested and jailed for stealing cars. His sentence was seven years, but he killed four men and was given an extra two years. The reason for this small addition to his sentence is that the murders were deemed self-defense. Within days of entering jail, he was gang raped by these four men. He stabbed each of them to death with a makeshift knife. Pedro got out in 1978 and began traveling in Peru. That is when he became the "Monster of the Andes."

While in Peru, Pedro began kidnapping, raping and killing little girls. He later said he killed more than 100 girls in Peru. The true extent of his killing spree is unknown and is not counted in the 110 he was convicted of killing. Eventually, a group of Peruvian natives caught him in the act of kidnapping one of their tribe. They tortured Lopez and would have killed him if a missionary had not convinced them to bring Pedro Lopez to the police. Astoundingly, the police simply sent him out of the country. He continued killing, racking up more than 200 more murders, if he is to be believed. He said he killed 100 in Colombia and 110 in Ecuador, of which he was finally convicted.

Pedro Lopez was captured by a group of good Samaritans in Ecuador when he was leaving a marketplace with a 12-year-old girl. He was reportedly incoherent when he was taken into custody. The police were unable to get any answers from Pedro, so they sent a priest, disguised as a prisoner, into Pedro's cell in hopes that Lopez would confide in his new "cellmate" and confide he did. By the second day, the priest was so repulsed that he needed to leave the cell.

Apparently, Pedro Lopez told the priest the manner in which he had killed the girls. He said that he would kidnap them, rape them and sometimes have "tea parties" with their bodies. He later said he even raped their corpses. Police convinced Pedro Lopez to take him to the graves of the little girls that he had killed. Pedro managed to locate one that contained the bodies of 53 girls. No other bodies were found at the time, but it is generally thought that at least parts of Pedro's confessions are true and many more than 53 girls met their end at his demented hands. He was given life in prison.

Rumor has it that Pedro Lopez was released from prison in 1998. No one seems to know if he is dead or alive. So much for life in prison. He was quoted once as saying, "The moment of death is enthralling and exciting. Only those who actually kill know what I mean." "When I am released, I will feel that moment again." Let us hope that he will not or that he has not.


Lohr, David, Pedro Lopez, retrieved 1/16/11,

Pedro Lopez (Serial Killer),


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