Something Wicked This Way Comes: Pedro López

"Pedro López (asesino serial).png" by Armenio Dominguez is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Most humans live normal lives. They’re born, grow, get educated, find a job, settle down, pay bills, maybe start a family, wait for the clock to tick down, then die, and even though there may be moments where they feel the need to rain down upon their fellow man with great vengeance and furious anger, nearly all will resist these urges.

This is due to having a moral compass of sorts, a switch in their heads that stops them from stepping across the threshold and into a world of unimaginable violence. But there are some that walk among us who have no such qualms when it comes to taking another life, as they view all of us as nothing more than cattle, waiting for the slaughter. These men and women are living, breathing nightmares, the kind that Hollywood could only ever dream of creating, and the evilest of these creatures is someone you may never even have heard of.

That man is Pedro López.

Pedro Lopez stands facing the camera at his arrest with his prison number drapped around his neck on a board
“Pedro López (asesino serial).png” by Armenio Dominguez is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Born on the 8th of October, 1948, López was the seventh of thirteen children. His father was killed in La Violencia, a bitter war that would leave a scar on Colombia that would never truly heal. His mother was, according to López, a prostitute. Both of these things would start Young Pedro on the path to the monster he would become.

With no male role model around, he would learn from the men that his mother serviced that violence was okay, as she was regularly abused. He would also be a target of her own wrath and said that on more than one occasion he would be exposed to the sexual acts taking place in his own home. This left a huge impression on him, so much so that at the age of eight he was caught fondling his younger sister and was subsequently thrown out of the house.

He ended up in Bogota where he joined a street gang, and during this time he was approached by a man who offered him a bed and somewhere to stay. This man took López to an abandoned building and assaulted him. At the age of 12, an American family living in Colombia took pity on him and took him in before enrolling him into a School for Orphans, but once again he was molested, this time by a teacher, so he returned to the streets. By the time he had turned 18, he was a successful car thief, but, like all criminals, he was living on borrowed time and would eventually find himself arrested and incarcerated.

While in prison, he was brutally gang-raped, and in retaliation, he hunted down those responsible and stabbed them to death. Upon his release, he moved to Peru, and it was here that his murder spree began in earnest.

A picture of the Andes that shows a little village nestled bellow three nountain, two of which are lush and green while the third is covered with snow.
“Snows of the Andes” by D-Stanley is licensed under CC BY 2.0

He targeted girls around the age of 12 and claimed that by 1978 he had already murdered 100, luring each to remote areas before raping and killing them. As high as this body count was, it could’ve ended right there, if not for the intervention of a misguided man of God.

While trying to abduct a nine-year-old girl, López was caught by a local tribe who found him guilty under their law and sentenced him to be buried alive. Considering it a barbaric practice, the missionary intervened and persuaded them to hand him over to the Peruvian police.

Once in their custody, they simply deported him back to Colombia without any mention of his crimes. With Peru now off-limits, López would use Colombia and Ecuador as his hunting grounds, and hunt he did as scores of young girls went missing.

It was only when the boldness he exhibited in Peru broke through again would he finally be caught. When trying to lure away the daughter of a local vendor, López would be trapped by the father and his friends and arrested. At first, López refused to say anything. It took Pastor Cordova Gudino going undercover in the prison for Pedro to finally talk, and talk he did.

Trusting Gudino, López admitted to killing 110 girls, but the police initially didn’t take his claims seriously. It wasn’t until a flash flood unearthed the remains of one of his victims, leading López to then show the police where he had buried the others, did they realize the kind of monster they had on their hands.

He said that he averaged three girls a week and told the Ecuadorian officials, “I like the girls in Ecuador; they are more gentle and trusting. More innocent.”

López finally confessed to killing upwards of 300, which should’ve been more than enough to convince the relevant judicial system to lock him away in a dark hole for the rest of his life, but for a law that stated that anyone declared insane could only serve a maximum of 16 years in prison.
López was declared insane.

On August 31, 1994, López was released two years early for good behavior and was instantly deported back to Colombia. This time, though, the Colombian authorities would be waiting to arrest him and charging him with a 20-year-old murder. Once again, insanity would be Pedro’s friend, and he would never face trial for this crime, instead, being transferred to a psychiatric ward. Four years later, he was declared sane and released on a $50 bail bond. After he paid a visit to his mother, demanding an inheritance she had no way of giving him, he sold her only bed and chair and vanished without a trace.

Nobody knows what became of the “Monster of the Andes“, or whether or not he is still alive, but he is nothing if not a survivor, so there is an excellent chance that Pedro López is still walking this earth, even at the age of 72. This leaves the question that no-one seems to want to answer. On his release, did he go back to his old ways?

The horrible truth is that he very probably did. During the only interview he ever gave, to journalist Ron Laytner, Lopez himself said that if he ever saw freedom,

I will be happy to kill again, it is my mission.

Claiming that someone is suddenly sane after some 50 years of madness, with only four years in an institution, should tell you all you need to know about his rehabilitation. If that doesn’t convince you, then the fact that he was a prime suspect in a 2002 murder should. His final tally will never be known, but with an added 22 years of freedom under his belt, and with the world having no clue as to where he is, his original 300 plus confession will undoubtedly pale in comparison by now.

Evil such as Pedro López NEVER dies.

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Written by Neil Gray

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