The last time Pedro Alonso López was seen alive, the Colombian Acclaimed as one of the worst serial killers in the history of the world, it was on a Bogota afternoon on September 22, 1999.
At that time, López was 51 years old, a man of unkempt appearance, with several wrinkles on his face and a hundred crimes on his back. Nothing prevented him from going to the nearest headquarters of the National Registry in the Colombian capital and claiming his new citizenship card number 80,092,633.
“He is a psychopathic killer. He shows superior intelligence and that reflected in his actions implies that he leaves very little evidence that can be traced,” warns Luis Jiménez, an expert in forensic sciences.
It was that same ‘superior intelligence’ and manipulation skills that allowed Pedro Alonso López to rape and murder more than 300 girls in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru..
The first signs
The history of the ‘Monster of the Andes’, as this criminal is widely known throughout the world, began on October 8, 1948 in Venadillo, Tolima.
The seventh son of a total of thirteen siblings, Pedro Alonso spent much of his childhood in El Espinal, Tolima. Years later, he stated that this was the “most tragic” stage of his life..
Benilda López, Pedro Alonso’s mother, was a troublesome and aggressive woman. Experts in the case report that the woman constantly subjected her son to punishments that seemed more like a Vietnamese jail than a Colombian home.
“It’s not that he was born bad or cursed. He was the victim of constant mistreatment by his mother, who beat and tortured him for doing things that children do,” argues Esteban Cruz, an anthropologist who is an expert in criminal psychology. However, he cautions that there is nothing to excuse a serial killer.
However, in statements to EL TIEMPO 24 years ago, Benilda López assured that “he is a bad son and it is not my fault that he turned out like this,” and related that she threw him out of the house after having caught him trying to abuse one of his younger sisters.
An investigation carried out by the Department of Psychology of the Universidad del Rosario indicates that the mistreatment received by his mother during childhood could trigger in Pedro Alonso a revulsion towards women and a desire to violate them, “thus creating a happy world through of fantasy through sexual pleasure obtained through abuse”.
It was at the age of 21 that Pedro Alonso first set foot in a jail. He lived on the streets of Bogotá and the car theft that he practiced daily led him to be sentenced in 1969 to 7 years in prison. There he was repeatedly sexually abused by three inmates whom he later murdered. These crimes increased his sentence by 2 more years.
From that moment, according to what was reported in the court hearings, the man assured that he would no longer be a victim. He became the worst of the perpetrators.
For the psychologist and criminal profiler, Edwin Olaya, the abuse events, added to his possible psychopathy, would have awakened in Pedro Alonso “a compulsion for homicide. Death became the means to satisfy many of the violent desires that go back to his childhood”.
The ‘monster’ journey
‘The Monster of the Andes’ was a transhumant assassin. Luis Jiménez explains that the fact that he had not acted in one place allowed him to escape with great ease from the authorities in each of the countries he visited.
After his release from prison in 1978, Pedro Alonso crossed the mountains of the Andes Mountains until he reached Peru. There he used his manipulation skills to stalk a hundred girls between the ages of 8 and 12.
A judicial review of the ‘modus operandi’ of the ‘Monster of the Andes’ indicates that the criminal gained the trust of the minors belonging to indigenous tribes of the Ayacucho region, southern Peru, by offering work and gifts.
López took the girls to a lonely place, beat them, raped and strangled them with his bare hands. Other investigations claim that he slept hugging the corpses of his victims and then sexually abused them. This implies that in his psychological profile there would also be traits of sadism and necrophilia.
“His maximum pleasure was the moment in which he put his hands on the girl’s neck and saw how little by little she was fading,” says Edwin Olaya, adding that his predilection for raping minors from vulnerable populations is one of the main characteristics of the Colombian serial killers.
Pedro Alonso was deported to Ecuador after being discovered trying to kidnap a nine-year-old girl in Ayacucho. The criminal was saved from having been buried alive by an indigenous community thanks to the intervention of the authorities.
“This type of criminal knows that if he kills a minor in this type of territory, it is very difficult for an authority to approach to investigate the case. That sad inequality that exists in the face of justice is also taken advantage of by serial killers”, Cruz warns.
The hundreds of crimes of Pedro Alonso also went unnoticed for several years by the Ecuadorian authorities. In the early 1980s, that country was under threat from gangs dedicated to sexual exploitation and human trafficking.
His ‘modus operandi’ was the same. The criminal pretended to be a street vendor or a lost person so as not to represent any apparent danger to the girls. Later, he deceived them and took them to secluded places where he later strangled them.
Pedro Alonso was 32 years old when he set foot in a prison for the second time. He had been captured by the Ecuadorian Police when he tried to kidnap a girl in the local market of the municipality of Ambato and after the atrocious confession of his crimes, he was sentenced to 16 years in prison, the highest sentence in Ecuador.
“The more than 300 minors were victims of a savage and of a judicial system that belatedly found out what happened”, claims the renowned criminal lawyer, Francisco Bernate.
A heinous confession
“The moment of death is exciting, and exciting. Someday when I am released, I will feel that moment again. I’ll be happy to kill again. It’s my mission,” read the documents of the Ecuadorian Police that recorded the confessions of Pedro Alonso López.
Experts in forensic psychology explain that Within Pedro Alonso’s profile there is an absence of remorse and that he also saw the confinement not necessarily as a punishment.
In the same way, they point out that having lived traumatic experiences in his childhood and not successfully overcoming the Oedipus complex, could have cultivated in him a constant feeling of persecution that makes him conducive to destroying the other, for his own self-preservation.
During the investigations, the murderer took the uniformed men to the grave where the bodies of 57 of his victims were found and assured that in that country he had violated at least 110 minors. He also confessed that he had committed another 200 murders in Colombia and Peru.
The ‘Monster of the Andes’ was imprisoned in Ecuador until 1994. Later, he was extradited to Colombia at the request of a court in El Espinal, Tolima, since there was an arrest warrant against him for having raped and murdered eleven minors in that municipality in the late 1970s.
After arriving in Colombia, Pedro Alonso López was sent to a psychiatric annex after a psychological evaluation in which it was concluded that due to his mental disorders, he was an “unimpeachable subject”.
The lawyer Bernate explains that a person is declared unimpeachable “when it is established that at the time of committing the acts he did not know what he was doing” and adds that “as in these cases what is sought is rehabilitation and not punishment of the patient, the time spent in the psychiatric center does not depend on the crime committed but on the time it takes for the person to regenerate”.
After four years of confinement in a psychiatric facility, in 1998, Pedro Alonso was declared ‘healthy’ and released after paying a bail of 80 thousand pesos and ensuring that he would appear once a month in court.
However, according to several experts in criminal psychology consulted by EL TIEMPO, the ‘Monster of the Andes’ was a psychopath and it is impossible for a person with these mental characteristics to be rehabilitated.
A year after regaining freedom, López decided to start a new life. Reports from the Registrar’s Office indicate that In 1999, the man in Bogotá renewed his citizenship card without any problem.
The most surprising thing for the journalist Andrés Marín, an expert in the case of the ‘Monster of the Andes’, is that the murderer was able to deceive the justice of the countries where he committed his crimes with an identity document number 1,616,617, which it was not his, and it belonged to Israel Céspedes, a man born on September 29, 1939 in Aipe, Huila.
In fact, if the criminal record of Pedro Alonso is searched in the Police database, the result is that this serial killer “has no pending matters with the judicial authorities”.
Despite the fact that in October 2002, Colombia issued a search and arrest request to Interpol against this criminal because it was suspected that he was behind the murder of a minor in El Espinal, his trace remains a mystery.
In 2005 Pedro Alonso’s identity document was removed and excluded from the Electoral Census due to a positive necrodactyly test. However, the National Registry certifies that this identification number is valid.
Experts assure that the theory that the ‘Monster of the Andes’ is still alive is not at all far-fetched. “If that ID number has already been discharged, where and under what circumstances did Pedro Alonso López die? Where are his mortal remains?” Marín wonders.
If this were true, Pedro Alonso López would be 70 years old and could walk the streets of the country without the fear of being learned by a judicial system that considers him dead for more than a decade.
For the anthropologist Esteban Cruz, whether he is dead or not , “It is a shame that the worst serial killer in the history of the world has ended his last days freely on the streets of Colombia.”
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.