Though he killed more than 300 girls, Pedro Lopez only served 14 years in a psych hospital and was released on good behavior.
Pedro Lopez is known as the “Monster of the Andes.” In 1983 he was found guilty of the murders of 110 young girls in Ecuador. Later, he confessed to 240 more, while in the psychiatric wing of a hospital in Bogotá.
Despite his confession to 350 different murders, he was released from the psychiatric unit in 1998, for “good behavior.”
He hasn’t been seen since.
Pedro Lopez spent most of his life in and out of jail. At eight years old, he was kicked out of his house when his mother found him fondling his younger sister. Within ten years, he had turned into a carjacker, stealing unattended cars and selling them to local chop shops.
He was arrested for the thefts, and spent a short amount of time in prison, during which he claimed to have killed several fellow inmates who allegedly assaulted him.
It was after his stint in prison, Lopez claimed, that he began murdering young girls. During investigators’ interviews with Lopez, he told them that by 1978 he had killed 100 girls, averaging three a week, while traveling between Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador.
At one point, members of the Ayachucos community caught him attempting to abduct a nine-year-old girl. Tribal law mandates that anyone caught for such a crime would receive the punishment of being buried alive. However, a Western missionary visiting with the tribe at the time convinced them to hand Lopez over to the Peruvian police.
The Peruvian authorities, however, deported him back to his native Colombia, without prosecuting him for any crimes. Once back in Colombia, Lopez continued his murderous streak, again straying back and forth to Ecuador.
In 1980, Lopez was finally caught, while trying to lure a local street vendor’s daughter away from her family. When the police questioned him, he admitted to the first 110 murders.
Initially, the high number made police skeptical, but after a flash flood unearthed one of the victim’s remains, Lopez cooperated and led them to the bodies of 53 more.
He was charged with the murder of 110 girls, despite his confession to more, as there was no concrete proof for the rest. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison, the maximum time allowed by Ecuadorian law. During the trial, he was declared insane, and ordered to serve his sentence in a psychiatric hospital.
He was released from the hospital early, after just 14 years, for good behavior. The conditions of his release decreed that he pay $50, and follow a certain set of rules, but upon his release, he escaped from his bail enforcers.
Since his escape in 1998, Pedro Lopez hasn’t been seen. In 2002, an arrest warrant was issued by the Colombian police, in a murder case that resembled Lopez’s MO.
He was never located.