Pedro Rodrigues— The Man Who Murders Criminals

Also, popularly known as the real-life ‘Dexter Killer,’ who hunted more than 70 people.

Swati Suman
Oct 28 · 5 min read
Image for post
Image for post
Image by Sammy-Williams from Pixabay

“I kill for pleasure,” says Pedro Rodrigues Filho

The statement is highly disturbing. No crime can be justified. Be it for whatever reasons — good, bad, or ugly, criminality cannot be kept under the subject of the moral code of conduct.

In the case of Rodrigues, the psychology behind the crime draws special attention. Largely, any crime committed owes feelings of animosity, enmity, hatred, and an antipathetic attitude towards the criminals; however, the truth unfolds only when the criminals' lives are analyzed.

  • What makes criminals so violent and attack worthy?

Labeled as the Brazilian serial killer, Rodrigues ranks high in the number of heinous crimes committed. However, the crime of his wasn’t only directed towards criminals but comprised outrage as a result of his psychopathic tendencies.

He has been described as the real-life version of the fictional psychopath “Dexter.” The critically acclaimed TV series “Dexter” kept audiences in a mysterious and tricky situation. The crime drama mystery where the protagonist leads a secret parallel life as a vigilante serial killer, hunting down the murderers who have escaped through the justice system's hands.

While the work of fiction might have captured eyes towards the dramatic series, Pedro, as the real-life avatar of Dexter, is thrilling.

Clearing the air, unlike many, he wasn’t an inborn criminal but how the circumstances amalgamated by his psychopath personality contributed to sequential crimes deserves a detailed study.

Early History

Pedro Rodrigues Filho also is known as Pedrinho Matador (Killer Petey), was born on a farm at Santa Rita Do Sapucai, Brazil, on 17th July 1954, as per the source.

He was born with his skull bruised due to his father beating his mother while she was pregnant. Not only this, he remained a victim of his father’s abuses in childhood.

Beginning Of The Serial Killings

According to Rodrigues, his initial urge to kill started at the age of 13, where he planned to kill his cousin by pushing him under the sugarcane press, followed by an unsuccessful attempt.

At the age of 14, Rodrigues committed his first murder by killing his town's vice-mayor as the mayor fired his father (then a school guard) for stealing food from the school kitchen. Henceforth, with his grandfather’s shotgun, Rodrigues killed the mayor in front of the city hall.

A month later, he killed the guard of the school who was supposedly the real thief. After his subsequent killings, Rodrigues fled away and sheltered himself as a refuge in Mogi das Cruzes in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Here he started, robbing drug dens, burglarized local slums, and killed traffickers.

During his stay in Sao Paulo, Rodrigues fell in love with Maria Aparecida Olympia; they lived together until some gang members killed her. Angered by his ladylove's death, the resentment propelled him to eliminate some of the rivals, kill ex-cronies, and commit mass massacre by murdering the gang leader and few others with his friends' help. At that time, Rodrigues wasn’t even 18 years old.

As the months passed by, crime didn’t halt. Next, he murdered his cousin's boyfriend, who, at the pretext of marrying her, impregnated her and later refused to keep up with his promise of marrying. Angered by such an act of betrayal, his temper became a rage leading to the shooting of his cousin's boyfriend.

The next murder in the sequence was to kill his father, the same man who inculcated killer instincts within Rodrigues. The reason for his vengeance involved his mother, who was murdered by his father. Unable to bear such a tragic loss, he executed his father in a city jail and killed him by stabbing 22 times. His revenge was brutal and cruel.

According to sources, in addition to stabbing 22 times, he ripped out his father’s heart, chewed a part of it, and later spat out.

Pedro Rodrigues Filho finally got arrested on May 24, 1973, spending most of his adult prison years. This time he committed a crime in a policeman’s car. According to police records, Pedro was put in the police vehicle along with two other criminals. Arriving at the station, while the cops opened the car door, they were utterly shocked at finding the other prisoner dead. Rodrigues took responsibility for the crime by justifying that he killed a rapist.

After being imprisoned, his crimes further aggravated. He continued murdering inmates within the prison. Rodrigues also killed one of his cellmates merely for a trivial reason: the inmate snored too much and another inmate because he disliked his face. Not only this, he murdered and wounded dozen of fellow criminals to survive.

To leave no doubt about his eagerness to kill, he tattooed on his left arm —

“I kill for pleasure”, recently covered by another tattoo.

According to Psychiatrists and Psychopaths, Rodrigues could be described as — someone with no remorse or compassion for others. The studies by the psychiatric experts who analyzed Rodrigues diagnosed him as “paranoid and anti-social in character.”

Although he was sentenced to 126 years in prison, he was bound to release, for the Brazilian law prohibits anyone from spending more than 30 years in prison — although there was a 1934 decree, signed by then-President Getulio Vargas, which allowed psychopaths to be maintained indefinitely for their treatment in psychiatric establishments.

Also, because of the crimes committed within prison premises, his sentence extended to 400 years long. Earlier, according to Brazilian law, the maximum prison sentence is 30 years. However, this rule was repealed by Decree №99,678 on 8th November 1990.

After serving his additional four years for his crimes committed in prison, he summed up his total life behind bars 34 years. He was finally got released on 24th April 2007.

Rodrigues was later recaptured on 14th September 2011, where he was convicted of false imprisonment. He admitted his only desire to be released rested because he had his girlfriend outside the prison.

Later, he was sentenced for participating in six riots and violating the liberty rules. However, got released after serving the desired term.

Present State Of Pedro Rodrigues Filho

After committing more than 70 murders and spending a major portion of his life in prison, the 65-year-old Rodrigues presently remains at liberty. He remains sorry for his violent behaviors in the crimes he committed and that he has embraced Christianity.

With positive transformation, Rodrigues lives a completely different life in comparison to his crime thriller days. He mentions writing an autobiography on his life. He has a youtube channel with gainful followers where he purposely advises young people to avoid the life of crime.


The best true crime stories around.

Sign up for On the Crimebeat

By CrimeBeat

See our most successful articles, monthly. We will also inform you about other ventures our writers have and exciting publication opportunities.  Take a look

By signing up, you will create a Medium account if you don’t already have one. Review our Privacy Policy for more information about our privacy practices.

Check your inbox
Medium sent you an email at to complete your subscription.

Swati Suman

Written by

|Software Engineer| Multilinguist | Subject Inclination: Philosophy, Science, and Humanities. Writing to share and evolve. Email -



The most informative, researched, and entertaining true crime stories on the internet.

Swati Suman

Written by

|Software Engineer| Multilinguist | Subject Inclination: Philosophy, Science, and Humanities. Writing to share and evolve. Email -



The most informative, researched, and entertaining true crime stories on the internet.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store