Colombia’s deadliest serial killer and one of the worst in the world, Luis Alfredo Garavito, died on Thursday while serving time for manipulating, torturing, and murdering at least 170 boys aged eight to 16, the country’s prison authority said.
Defined as “The Beast” or “The Monster of Genova,” after his native town, Garavito died at the age of 66 in a clinic from “multiple conditions,” the INPEC penitentiary authority said in a statement.
He has been behind bars since 1999.
Posing as a traveling salesman, a monk, a disabled or homeless person, and even an aid worker, Garavito was able to enter schools to find his victims, investigators said at the time.
The killings took place after he led the boys to isolated areas, luring them with food and drink, and assaulting them when they tired of walking. He has kept a record of his victims in a small notebook. The huge criminal investigation in Colombian history at the time was launched in October 1998 when police realized they were dealing with a serial killer after finding the bodies of 36 murdered children in the town of Pereira.A year later, authorities announced they had found the man responsible. Garavito tortured and mutilated his victims before slitting their throats, prosecutors said. He admitted to his crimes and was penalized in 2000 for a total of 835 years in prison. The maximum sentence that can be served in Colombia is 40 years. Garavito had since been diagnosed with leukemia and cancer in the eye.
He has also admitted to crimes in Venezuela and Ecuador, where he was sentenced to 22 years in prison in absentia.