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International News: Colombian serial killer who confessed to murdering more than 190 children dies in hospital

Posted: Sunday, October 15, 2023. 6:22 pm CST.

By Horace Palacio; Luis Alfredo Garavito, one of Colombia’s most notorious serial killers and often referred to as “The Beast,” has died at the age of 66.

He was confirmed dead inside a hospital in Valledupar, northern Colombia, where he was imprisoned, as reported by the Associated Press.

The news has been corroborated by the National Penitentiary and Prison Institute in Colombia.

Garavito’s cause of death remains undisclosed, although recent reports suggested he was diagnosed with cancer a few months prior to his demise.

Having confessed to the murder of over 190 children between the ages of 8 and 16 during the 1990s, Garavito is considered one of the worst serial killers in Colombian history.

His victims were predominantly from impoverished families, making his crimes even more heinous and heartbreaking. The horror he instilled among the populace became evident when the end of his sentence approached.

His potential release evoked widespread anxiety and led then-President Ivan Duque to assure the nation that Garavito would remain behind bars throughout his presidency.

Garavito’s legacy of terror stands out, even in a nation familiar with the atrocities of other killers such as Pedro Alonso Lopez, dubbed the “Monster of the Andes.” Garavito’s crime spree spanned across 13 departments in Colombia and reportedly reached 59 towns. It wasn’t until 1999, after seven years of his reign of terror, that he was apprehended while attempting to assault a minor.

Following his capture, he was linked to countless other heinous crimes and subsequently confessed to them. During a court hearing, he stated, “I want to ask for forgiveness for everything I did and I am going to confess. Yes, I killed them and not only those, I killed others.”

Garavito’s initial sentence was 1,800 years, a testament to the gravity and scale of his crimes. Nevertheless, Colombian law caps prison sentences at 40 years, indicating that Garavito could have been released if he lived longer.

Although the cause of his death has not been officially confirmed, recent reports from El Pais highlighted Garavito’s cancer diagnosis a few months prior, potentially hinting at the nature of his death.

Regardless of the circumstances of his passing, for many, it marks the end of a dark chapter in Colombian history.


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