As I’m writing today’s Brazilian Challenge post about Parque Ibirapuera, my husband casually mentions how at another park, the city largest park, “they found those bodies from that serial killer, you know the one I told you about…” No. No, I would have definitely remembered you mentioning a serial killer. Um, especially one in Sao Paulo.
I must admit, one of the ideas that comforts me about living here in Brazil is that the country didn’t seem to have the kind of totally perverse, twisted crime sprees that occur in the United States. I was really counting on the deep-seeded Catholic, and other vengeance-based religious beliefs of Brazil, to curb the maniac desires of the outliers. But no, some of them seeped through the system.
Needless to say, I was horrified that there was a serial killer in Brazil, Sao Paulo nonetheless. Francisco de Assis Pereira, otherwise known as the Maníaco do Parque (maniac of the park), was a motoboy (a courier on a motorcycle) and was known to have killed four women (plus there were two that got away), who he left in the Parque do Estado. I decided to investigate and find out how many raving, murderous lunatics Brazil can actually claim!
Turns out, Brazil had FIVE other serial killers (four identified and one unidentified). What?!
Wikipedia has a page that actually lists serial killers by country. This is where I discovered the names of the four other Brazilian serial killers. (Oddly, Francisco’s name doesn’t appear. Perhaps four doesn’t qualify as a serial killer for Wiki.) I decided to scan the list to kind of compare where Brazil falls in the stack. Whoa… Australia had 21 (not surprising considering its criminal history), Canada had 12 (wow!), China has 4 (sure, right… that they couldn’t cover up), France had 15, Germany had 17 (not surprising, all that repression…), Japan had 12 (no kidding, total repression), South Africa had 18 (caught), and holy heck – England had 46! Jeez, I thought the U.S. was bad! Looks like the U.K. is the hub for serial killing!
As least, those were the words running through my head as I reached the line for the United States. There were no names listed. Why? Because you had to click on another link to get the list for the United States… on the special United States serial killer page…
I was both (temporarily) comforted and (totally) horrified to discover that, according to Wikipedia, the United States has had 193 identified serial killers and another 25 unidentified serial killers.
Hmmm… the “cost of living” in Sao Paulo isn’t looking so bad anymore.