This week we discuss a man that seems truly mythic in ways both brutally savage and death-defying. This is a man that many have dubbed the Brazilian “Punisher” and “Dexter”, and he was known as Killer Petey AKA Pedrinho Matador — but his real name is Pedro Rodrigues Filho. Born in 1954, he was Brazil’s most prolific serial killer and a bit of a YouTuber before he died in early March 2023, and his body count was said to be over 100. With over 70 documented, somewhere between 40 and 50 of those were done in prison over a period of three decades, and that was even with some years spent in solitary confinement.
You can listen to the episode right here!
Pedro’s crime spree began at 14 when he murdered his father’s boss, a man that had wrongfully accused his father of theft. Fast-forward just a few years later, and 17 year-old Pedro is gunning down the man that murdered his girlfriend and unborn child. He gunned this man down at his own wedding, killing six more people and injuring over a dozen more with some help behind him. Since his first kill, Pedro had stuck by an oddly defined and seemingly strict code of ethics and morality: never harm women and children, murder any sick bastard that crossed his path, and apparently try to be a good Christian, although the extent of his religious beliefs are a bit unclear.
Was this man truly a serial killer that “protected” or “avenged” the innocent? It’s quite possible, although there are some heavy moral implications that one must sift through in order to answer that question. Beyond morality and philosophy though, we also have to sift through the Portuguese language barrier, and parse through the telephone-game of data that has already taken hold of so much of Pedro’s story. Without any thick, official biography or docu-series, and without any extra-special interest even given by the Brazilian media, we have only so much to go on here. It seems for now that people are satisfied with the broad strokes of Pedrinho’s story, but not me! I dig as deep as I possibly can with the data abound and bare all my sources for you here.
Jump down the rabbit hole with me and try to decipher the strange character and story of the Brazilian Punisher.
This week’s featured music — don’t forget to support that black hoodie rap and all your favorite independent artists!
The Gates of Babylon – Babylon Warchild
Better off Dead – Silent on Fifth Street
Galaxies – Silent on Fifth Street
my sources this week in no particular order
1. The System Monster – Ricardo Mendonca
2. Pedrinho Matador is Killed – Globo.com
3. Pedrinho Matador Confesses
4. Police Maintain Secrecy about Where Pedrinho Matador is Held – Wayback Machine
5. The Serial Killer That Only Killed Criminals – Thought Catalog
6. Meet Pedro – All That’s Interesting
7. Brazil’s Biggest Serial Killer Dies in Shootout – Le Monde
8. Brazil’s Bloodiest Killer Murdered ‘For Pleasure’ – Toronto Sun
9. The Serial Killer That is Now a Youtuber – The Grunge
10. Serial Killer Opens Up – Daily Star
11. Pedrinho Matador – Globo.com