The likes of Bundy, Ed Gein and John Wayne Gacy have gained high levels of notoriety for their crimes. Increasing widespread media coverage has helped serial killer interest overflow into households. While just those three have killed a number of people collectively, it’s no match for prolific serial killer Pedro Lopez.
Pedro Alonso López was born the 8th October in 1948 in Colombia.
The son of a penniless prostitute, Lopez was the seventh of 13 children, and his early years could be described as anything but joyous. His mother was an overbearing woman who dominated her children with an ironclad fist. Regardless of his home life, anything was better than being out on the mean streets he was growing up in. Human rights violations by the guerrillas, paramilitaries, and members of the national armed forces were commonplace, and the country’s crime rate was fifty times higher than all other countries in the world.
In 1957, at the age of eight, Lopez’s mother caught him having sexual relations with his younger sister and his worst nightmare became a reality — he was exiled to the streets and ordered never to return home again. As bleak as the situation appeared, things quickly began to look up when an older man picked him up off the streets, and offered him food and a place to stay. Lopez could not believe his luck and quickly accepted the offer in blind faith. Nonetheless, it was in fact too good to be true. Instead of being taken to a plush home with food and bedding, the man took Lopez to an abandoned building. He sodomized Lopez numerous times before tossing him out onto the cold hard streets.
Following his traumatic experience with the older man, Lopez became terrified of strangers. He slept in alleyways and deserted buildings, and would only wonder around out at night in search of food from trash cans and local dumps. After days of begging and scavenging dumpsters, a resident American couple approached him, distressed by Lopez’s skeletal appearance and heartbroken watching him beg for food. They provided him with a warm meal and asked him to come live with them. With little other choices left, Lopez accepted their offer and went home with the couple. He was provided with free room and board and eventually enrolled in a day school for orphans, but in 1963, at the age of 12, a male teacher sexually molested him. All of Lopez’s previous fears were reborn and anger grew within him. Following the incident, he stole money from an office in the school and ran away.
Lopez had never been skilled in any trade and held only a minimal education. He spent the next six years of his life begging for food and committing petty thefts in order to survive. He was a very proficient car thief and was looked up to by younger apprentices of the trade.
In 1969, 18-year-old Lopez was arrested by authorities for car theft and sentenced to serve seven years in prison. He served just two days behind bars before being brutally gang-raped by four older inmates. Following this most recent attack, Lopez swore to himself that no one would ever touch him again. In retaliation, he fashioned a crude knife from prison utensils and spent the following two weeks getting his revenge by individually murdering each of the four men that had raped him. Authorities deemed the murders self-defense, and simply added an additional two years to his initial sentence for the car theft.
Upon his release from prison in 1978, Lopez traveled widely throughout Peru. It was during this time that he later claimed to have begun stalking and killing at least 100 young girls from various Indian tribes throughout the region.
It is known that he was captured by a group of Ayacucho’s, in northern Peru, while attempting to kidnap a nine-year-old girl. The Indians stripped and tortured Lopez for hours before deciding to bury him alive. An American missionary intervened and convinced his captors that murder was ungodly and that they should turn Lopez over to the proper authorities. They reluctantly agreed and remanded their prisoner over to the Peruvian authorities. Not wanting to waste time investigating petty Indian complaints, the Peruvian Government deported Lopez back to Ecuador. Lopez then began traveling extensively around the region and authorities soon began to notice an increase in missing person’s cases involving young girls.
Lopez refused to cooperate with authorities when captured and remained silent throughout their lines of questioning. One of the officers suggested that they dress up a local priest, Father Cordoba Gudino, in prison garb and place him in a cell with Lopez. Lopez soon began talking and had revealed such repulsive acts of violence to the padre, that he could hear no more and asked to be taken out of the cell. Following a brief interview with Father Gudino, investigators confronted Lopez with their newly acquired evidence and he finally broke down.
Lopez confessed to investigators that he had murdered at least 110 girls in Ecuador, 100 in Colombia, and “many more than 100” in Peru. “I like the girls in Ecuador,” he told them. “They are gentler and trusting, more innocent. They are not as suspicious of strangers as Colombian girls.” Lopez explained that he would first rape his victim, and then strangle them as he stared into their eyes. He claimed to feel deep pleasure and sexual excitement watching their life fade before him. Police were initially skeptical of Lopez’s grisly, almost incredible confessions but López soon became known as the “Monster of the Andes”. In 1980 when he led police to the graves of 53 of his victims in Ecuador. All of the girls were between nine and twelve years old.
In 1983 he was found guilty of murdering 110 young girls in Ecuador alone and confessed to a further 240 murders of missing girls in neighboring Peru and Colombia.
Astonishingly, López was released from prison in 1998. His whereabouts, or if he is dead or alive, are unsure.