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 immediately continued his slaughter once in Colombia. He soon moved to Ecuador, doing the same, again killing between two and three girls a week. Years later he’d be quoted as saying, “I like the girls in Ecuador, they are more gentle and trusting, more innocent.”
The alarming rate of disappearing girls worried the populace. Families set out to find their missing children, even taking out ads in newspapers. Their fears would be confirmed in 1979, when, near the town of Ambato, an overflowing river brought the bodies of four of Lopez’s victims onto the banks. Now the people of Ecuador knew there was a child killer among them.