Yes, Brazil has serial killers

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.

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18 Responses to Yes, Brazil has serial killers

  1. Pingback: Brazilian Challenge Day 22: Parque Ibirapuera | born again brazilian

  2. Alex says:

    The US is a weird place. Although its widely known for being a wealthy country, I think the way we developed as a whole has left many people crazy. I’m not even joking. We have the largest number of serial killers, the most amount of clinically insane people, the most amount of depressed people and I could go on and on.

    For a country as developed and as wealthy in the United States, the amount of crime, rapes and murders are unprecedented. We have the highest amount of murders and highest murder statistics for any highly developed country on the planet. I think it’s because of the inequality here, and because of our strange gun laws. People talk about Brazil being unequal (which it is) but the US isn’t much better.

    Anyway, I think you’re right when you mention the lack of twisted and perverted crimes in Brazil. Of course I can’t speak first hand about Brazil, but it seems that most crimes there happen to people who run in bad circles. Of course there might be a civilian who is caught in a mugging or robbery, but this happens in the USA and has happened to me twice in the past year.

    I think the motto for Brazil should be “Stay out of the crime and the crime will stay away from you.”

    Interesting post!

  3. The cost of living is lower…holy moly- 193!

  4. scrubgrub says:

    when I arrived in LA all my co-workers were talking about all of the random body parts that were found up at the Hollywood sign… I feel like LA has a disproportionate number of serial killers. And people wonder why when they ask me if I feel safe in Brasil, I always say as safe as I did in LA 🙂

  5. Ray says:

    I have to say I always felt safer in Sao Paulo than I do in Los Angeles, Miami or New York. As Alex well pointed out, in Brazil, for the most part, crime happens in bad areas of the cities and you can avoid those areas and be safe.
    Now, please tell me that creep isn’t wearing a Bruins jersey!!!! UGH!!!! 😦

    • It’s all true. Here, if you avoid the bad neighborhoods and don’t dress too flashy, you can stay out of trouble for the most part. But in the US, you can get killed just going to college!!

      • Alex says:

        STOP! I’m sitting in my college student centre right now and there is an insane guy that is talking to himself (im guessing some kind of bum who snuck in here) and I’m starting to feel in danger of being killed just for going to college!!!! -____-

        This is not a joke either.

  6. Sarah says:

    I’ll be the odd one out here and say that Brazilian Wikipedia statistics are flawed. The homicide rate is absurd, and many (most?) cases are unsolved, making it difficult to keep good statistics.

    (Although I get your point about serial killers being a special phenomenon, and clearly feeling less safe here comes from a number of factors, not just – or even especially – serial killers! And yes, it does seem that the US produces a disproportionate number of them….)

    But still, I definitely don’t feel safer here than in Canada. 😉

    • I was surprised that Canada had ANY serial killers! You all seem like such a peaceful group!
      And you are right, Wikipedia is not exactly a rock solid source, and the U.S. may have better reporting mechanisms for these types of things. And a lot of other things can kill you aside from serial killers… like drivers! That’s where Sao Paulo becomes dangerous. My husband and daughter came very close to getting hit by a motoboy yesterday.

  7. Jana says:

    YIKES! I had no idea the US had so many but honestly I care more about dying from getting hit than anything else. But its good to know if I survive in an automobile my chances of getting killed other ways is significantly better. So thats good news!

  8. workmomad says:

    I think there are several factors – we do a better job of reporting and keeping track of serial killers; we have a much larger country than many of those other countries, both in terms of size and population; our news media constantly requires sensations to report, so our serial killers make it into the public eye much more often. We also care when a serial killer kills a person of any status, regardless of class, so those disappearances/kills get reported.

    Still, kudos to Brazil for its lone 5!


    • I think you got a really good point. While Brazil is a larger country, a girl going missing may not be reported in some neighborhoods or regions… and there is a lot of jungle in which to hide bodies.

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