For better or worse, serial killers continue to fascinate us. You can find their stories in a variety of media, from books to television to podcasts. We’ve all seen or heard the horror stories of Bundy, Dahmer and Ridgeway. Yet a name stands out not only because of the scale of his crimes, but also because he has been all but forgotten.
Pedro Lopez, known as the “Monster of the Andes,” went on a killing spree in the late 1970s and eventually confessed to murdering more than 350 girls between the ages of 7 and 13 in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Guinness World Records lists him as the most prolific serial killer of modern times. Check out the history of one of the world’s most ruthless killers you’ve never heard of.
Lopez made his way to Peru, and began seeking out young girls at local markets. He’d sometimes follow and watch a potential victim for days, waiting for the right moment. When the time was right, he’d lure the girl away with promises of gifts, such as a hand mirror.
Once they went with him, they’d walk to one of his hideaways, which often would have a grave already prepared. He’d hold them lovingly, calming them by cuddling until sunrise, when they were brutally raped. Afterward, Lopez strangled them as the sun rose. Some of his victims took between five and fifteen minutes to die. He’d later recall:
“When the sun rose I would strangle her. It was only good if I could see her eyes. I never killed anyone at night. It would have been wasted in the dark. I had to watch them by daylight.”