Prolific Serial Killers: Pedro Lopez
Pedro Lopez was born in 1948 into a violent world; his mother, a prostitute, threw him out of her house when he was eight, and he ended up alone in Bogotá.
There, he fell victim to the predators of the streets: he was sexually assaulted and molested, and he ran from home to home. Stealing cars sent him to jail at the age of 18, where he would later say he committed his first murders as he took revenge on the inmates who raped him.
When he was released, he took the destructive rage that had fueled him behind bars and brought it to bear on the world at large. He moved to Peru and began to kill girls, usually between the ages of nine and twelve, sexually assaulting them just as he had once been assaulted.
At one point, he said he was killing three girls a week. In time, he returned to Colombia, then moved on to Ecuador, leaving a trail of bodies in his wake.
Once, he was nearly caught: A tribal settlement had witnessed his assault on a young girl and they would have executed him but for the intervention of a Christian missionary who encouraged them to go to the police instead. They did, and the police failed: They released Lopez to kill again.
Lopez was finally apprehended by the authorities in Ecuador in 1979, at which time he led police to a mass grave containing the bodies of 53 young girls.
That was when they began calling him “The Monster of the Andes.” The prolific killer claimed he killed 300 girls, maybe more.
Due to Ecuador’s prison term limits, Lopez served just 20 years before being released in secret into Colombia in 1998. His whereabouts remain unknown.