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|“||A prostitute's son in Colombia who was homeless at the age of eight would turn out to be remembered as one of the world's worst serial killers ever. Having killed around 350 girls, Pedro Lopez has left hundreds of families traumatized for the rest of their lives.||„|
|~ Introduction to a documentary about Lopez.|
Pedro Alonso López (October 8th, 1948) also known by his criminal alias the Monster of the Andes, is a Colombian serial killer accused of raping and murdering over 300 South American girls throughout Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.
He is considered to be one of the world's most prolific serial killers; at one point, the Guiness Book of World Records listed him as the world's deadliest serial killer. However, in terms of actually confirmed victims, Luis Garavito, a fellow Colombian, surpasses Lopez with 193 confirmed murders to his name. Though he was only ever formally convicted of 110 murders, Lopez has been definitively linked to other 240 murders, but its believe that he killed as many as 400.
López's father, Midardo Reyes, was a member of the Colombian Conservative Party during La Violencia, Colombia's civil war. After an argument with his wife on December 28, 1947, Reyes cheated on her with a prostitute named Benilda López De Casteneda, who soon became pregnant by Reyes.
On 4 April 1948, when Benilda was three months pregnant with López, Reyes was killed from a gunshot wound while defending a grocery store from a rebellious mob.
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. Following this, Pedro Lopez ran off to Bogotá, Colombia's capital city. He was picked up by a man, taken to a deserted house and repeatedly sodomized. At age twelve, he was taken in by an American family and enrolled in a school for orphans. He ran away after two years because he was allegedly molested by a male teacher. At 18, he stole cars for a living and sold the cars to local chop shops. These actions led to his getting caught by authorities later on in his life.
During his incarceration, he claimed that he was brutally gang-raped in prison and that he hunted down his rapists and killed the most brutal ones while still incarcerated.
López said that after his jail term, he started murdering young girls in Peru. He claimed that, by 1978, he had killed over 100 of them and that he had been caught by a native tribe, who were preparing to execute him, when an American Christian missionary intervened and persuaded them to hand him over to the state police. The police soon released him. He said he moved to Colombia and later Ecuador, killing 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. He confessed to over three hundred murders. The police only believed him when a flash flood uncovered a mass grave containing many of his victims. According to the BBC: "He 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 reports that he was released from an Ecuadorian prison on August 31st, 1994, then rearrested an hour later 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 for the next four years.
His victims', who were usually nine to twelve years old, murders ranged from Peru to Ecuador and López became known by his aforementioned nicknamed when he led the police to 53 graves of his young victims. In 1983, it was revealed he had over 110 young victims yet he confessed to 240. Despite this, he was released from prison in 1998 via a $50 bail after being declared sane.
As of 2022, Lopez's current whereabouts are unknown. One source claims he is back in prison but does not state when he was incarcerated or where. Another source has claimed that he is still operating in Colombia, with Interpol releasing an advisory notice to Colombian authorities in regards to a murder believed to have been commited by Lopez in 2002.