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Profile: Luis Garavito

  • Full Name – Luis Alfredo Garavito
  • Nickname – The Beast
  • Born – January 25, 1957
  • Location of Activity – Columbia
  • Years of Activity – 1990s
  • Number of Kills – 138 known

Often spoken of as the world’s worst serial killer, Luis Alfredo Garavito brought much suffering to the country of Columbia during his spree in the 1990s.  He was born in Genova, Columbia, the eldest of seven brothers.  As a child he was, according to his own accounts, physically, mentally and sexually abused by his father.  He only attended school for a short number of years and when he grew old enough, he lived life as a drifter, plagued by alcoholism and many psychiatric problems.

Garavito’s victims consisted exclusively of children between the ages of 8 and 16.  He would find poor children, often living on the streets or in the countryside, and approach them in the guise of a priest or monk.  He would walk and talk with them, giving them gifts of money or food and when they became tired he would overpower them, rape them, cut their throats and, on most occasions, dismember their bodies.

Garavito’s murders occurred all across Columbia and some suspect in Ecuador as well.  He was eventually captured on April 22, 1999 when picked up for suspicions of sexually assaulting a young boy.  After being taken into custody, Garavito confessed to his murders.  He was originally charged with 172 counts of murder, though only convicted on 138 of them.

He was given a sentence of 30 years in prison – the maximum allowed in Columbia – though this would be reduced to 22 years because of his cooperation in helping the authorities to locate the bodies of his victims.  Though only 138 murders were linked to him, a map he drew in prison detailing the locations of his victims’ bodies puts the number at over 300, meaning that the level of Garavito’s crimes may be much more than people think.