“I Kill for Fun” – The Story of Pedro Rodrigues Filho
Pulse pounding, heart racing, the handsome eighteen-year-old Brazilian strolled calmly into the visiting room of the prison in Mogi das Cruzes, Greater Sao Paolo to visit his father who was incarcerated there. Kaleidoscopic images flashed through his mind. His father was a volatile and violent man, often beating both he and his mother during his frequent and uncontrollable rages.
Eyes darting quickly and covertly from wall to wall around the dingy, at the moment unguarded visitors room, the young Pedro Rodrigues Filho quickly assessed the situation and the premises. No plexiglass partitions or two way telephones here. This was Brazil.
When his shackled and handcuffed father was escorted into the room more images flashed through his son’s mind. He had recently learned that one of the vicious kicking attacks afflicted on his pregnant mother had caused Pedro to be born with a deformed skull. But the final straw, the unforgivable was the reason for his father’s incarceration. The bastard had brutally, cruelly, and in a fit of rage and frustration, cleaved her skull with twenty-one machete blows, ending her life and their tumultuous relationship.
Carefully, stealthily Pedro removed the razor sharp knife from his pocket, concealing it beneath the folds of his loose fitting shirt. Edging ever closer to his father, he raised the knife, slashing and stabbing, gouging viciously yet methodically until the man lay dead and bleeding at his son’s feet. Twenty-two wounds to his butchered body, just one more than those inflicted on his mother. Then, prying the heart out of his father’s body, taking a bite, and spitting it out with contempt, Pedro declared with deadly calm, “Voce esta vingada, mamae. You are avenged, Mama.
One might assume that this was a one time murder, justified by a boy’s love for his mother but that was in no way the case.
Pedro Rodrigues Filho (alias Pedrinho Matador (Killer Petey) was born July 17, 1954, his birthplace a farm in the municipality of Santa Rita do Sapucai, Mina Gerais, Brazil. The city of Santa Rita, had an incongruous feature, using prisoners to power the street lamps in a local plaza. Inmates are offered the opportunity to shorten their sentences by pedalling a bike that is connected to a car battery which is used to power the lighting grid. This is quite an anomaly, given that the city is known for its high technology, industries, and home to one of Brazil’s foremost telecommunications and computer engineering colleges, Inatel.
Revealed years later in an interview with the late Brazilian TV journalist Marcelo Rezende while in prison, the young Pedro first became aware of his uncontrollable appetite for killing at the age of thirteen in a fight with his older cousin. He pushed the hapless teen into a sugar cane press, very nearly killing him.
Soon thereafter, at the age of fourteen, Pedro, again with deadly calm, using his grandfather’s shotgun, killed the deputy mayor of Santa Rita do Sapycai in front of city hall. The reason – the deputy mayor had fired Pedro’s father, a school guard. Rumour had it that he had been stealing food from the school kitchen. Discovering the identity of the real thief, the young, cold hearted youth killed him as well.
Mark Safarik, a psychiatrist, in writing about Pedro Rodrigues Filho, stated: “From that moment, the murders of Sr. Filho seem to be motivated by a thirst for revenge.”
Forced to flee, he found refuge near Sao Paulo, in Mogi das Cruzes. Here this contradictory young man took it upon himself to self-righteously rob drug dens and kill traffickers.
Self righteous he may have been but upon meeting a woman Maria Aparecida Olympia, herself heavily involved in the drug trade, he took over the duties of those dealers he had eliminated, therein being “forced” to eliminate some rivals.
The pair commenced co-habitating and Pedro discovered what love was about. He fell hard, believing he had found happiness and affection at last. Maria became pregnant and his joy knew no bounds. Unfortunately, as these events go in the underworld, Maria was executed in retaliation by a rival gang leader, thereby destroying the young man’s new found glimpse of happiness. Mad with rage, Filho tortured and executed several gang members until discovering the one responsible for Maria’s death. The culprit was visited on his wedding day by Pedro and four others. Filled with the desperate need for revenge, he let loose a violent orgy of madness, killing seven and injuring sixteen more. He was barely nineteen years old.
Pedro Rodrigues Filho was finally arrested on May 23, 1973, shortly before his twentieth birthday. While enroute with another prisoner to be incarcerated he again revealed his cunning and skill at murder.
Upon arrival at their destination the road weary driver exited the driver’s door and casually proceeded to the rear of the van. “Tudo bem” ( ok, out) he commanded the two prisoners. When the other prisoner failed to appear the angry guard/driver snapped, “Apdresse-se agora. Eu nao tenho o dia todos.” (Hurry up now. I haven’t got all day.) No response was forthcoming. Peering inside his face whitened and sweat broke out on his brow. The other prisoner was quite dead.
Pedro took full responsibility. The motive – his victim was a known rapist. Although he was sentenced to one hundred twenty-six years of imprisonment this was Brazil where their law prohibits incarceration for longer than thirty years. But not so for this particular criminal. Because of a 1934 decree, psychopaths could be detained indefinitely for treatment.
Later, in 1990 this decree was repealed. Nevertheless by this time Rodrigues Filho had caused mayhem and murder inside the prison walls, resulting in him being sentenced for the additional crimes and was therefore not released until 2017.
According to fellow prisoners Pedro Rodrigues Filho has survived all the violent years of imprisonment through sheer force and cunning. One prisoner explained. “He is a phenomenon of survival in the harsh prison regime.” In this brutal environment of kill or be killed somewhere in the neighborhood of forty fellow inmates perished at his hand.
His appearance is certainly deceiving. At the time of his interview within the prison walls he appeared clean cut with hair shaved short, a smooth handsome face, and a soft spoken manner. A “guy next door” type, some might say.
Being attacked by no less than five prisoners during one incident, three of them died swift and brutal deaths, while the remaining two fled for their lives. “He snored too much,” and “I didn’t like his face” were his excuses for two additional cold blooded killings within the prison walls.
Seemingly proud of these “notches on his gun” and eager to leave no doubt about his willingness to kill, he tattooed the words “I kill for fun” on his arm. Apparently, since his self stated transformation, he has had something else tattooed over this chilling declaration.
Pedro Rodrigues Filho is often referred to as a psychopath and certainly mirrors that profile in many ways. However there is one glaring difference. The proper definition of psychopath is someone feeling no remorse and no compassion for others. They are incapable of developing affection, and this was not so with Filho. He apparently had at least a modicum of affection for his mother, his girlfriend, and his unborn child. He appears to show more sociopathic tendencies such as having the desire or need to avenge their deaths.
In a statement to his interviewer, Rodriguez acknowledged that if he felt the urge to avenge someone he literally could not sleep until it was accomplished. Psychiatrists who examined him wrote that “the greatest motivation of his life was the violent affirmation of himself” and their diagnosis was that of a paranoid and antisocial character.
He prefers to see himself as a vigilante. In his opinion all of his victims have been harmful to society thereby needing to be eliminated. In addition he sees himself as an advocate for women. During the TV interview with Marcelo Rezende it was obvious that he was not adverse to discussing his crimes and did so in a calm and forthright manner. When mention was made of another serial killer Franscisco de Assis Pereira, Pedro reiterated, “I don’t like to talk about that devil. He only killed innocent people and women.”
Now in his sixties Rodrigues Filho (Killer Petey) lives quietly in northern Brazil and maintains a You Tube channel to discuss his crimes and is preparing a documentary of his life. Warning young people about avoiding a life of crime is high on his list. “Crime is no joke. Many are entering this life because they see the branches (fame and money) but not the roots (prison and death). There are many young people who enter this life and when they want to get out it’s too late.”
The famous killer says he feels embarrassed when he gets recognized in the streets. “I run away and try to hide.” When asked about his future plans the soft spoken and now introspective man answers only that he would like a quiet life on a small farm in the woods. He reiterates, “I don’t want people to know me by Pedrinho Matador or Killer Petey anymore. I want to live the rest of the life I have in peace.”
Does he mean it? Is he sincere? Can a leopard really change his spots so profoundly? Are those possessing such ingrained mental disorders actually capable of change? Only time will tell.