Columbia · Serial Killers

“The Beast,” murderer of 147 boys, is arrested

April 22, 1999
Villavicencio, Colombia
Luis Garavito is apprehended for an attempted rape before confessing to the kidnapping, rape, torture, and murder of 147 boys between the ages of 6 and 16

Garavito, also known as La Bestia (The Beast) or Tribilín (the Latin American Spanish-speaking name of Disney’s Goofy), may have killed over 300 boys based on maps he drew for police after his confession, though only 147 were confirmed. The victims, primarily homeless, orphaned, or peasants, were lured away with promises of money or food before being raped, tortured, murdered, and decapitated. Some also had their genitals removed and stuffed in their mouths.

Garavito’s spree ended when a witness intervened during an attempted rape. He confessed after 18 hours of interrogation and agreed to cooperate with police, drawing a map to the victims’ locations. He was put on trial for the 147 he confessed to killing, plus an additional 25 he was suspected of killing. Garavito was found guilty of 138 of the 172 counts, and could have faced the maximum sentence for murder times 138, for a total of 1,853 years and 9 days, though the death penalty and life sentences are illegal In Colombia. Furthermore, because Garavito assisted police his sentence was reduced to 22 years in prison, roughly 58 days for each murder he was convicted of. He will be eligible for parole in 2021.

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