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Francisco Das CHAGAS RODRIGUES DE BRITO

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Rape - Sexual mutilation
Number of victims: 30 - 42
Date of murders: 1989 - 2003
Date of arrest: December 2003
Date of birth: 1965
Victims profile: Boys aged between 4 to 15 years
Method of murder: Strangulation - Stabbing with knife
Location: Maranhao/Para, Brasil
Status: Sentenced to 20 years in prison in one count in October 2006. Sentenced to 217 years in prison
 
 

 
 

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Brazilian confesses to 17 murders

Monday, 29 March, 2004

A car mechanic in Brazil has confessed to killing at least 17 boys since 1991, police have said.

Francisco das Chagas, 39, was arrested in the north-eastern city of Sao Luis de Maranhao in December in connection with a string of murders.

On Friday, police found two bodies buried beneath the floor of Mr das Chagas' house.

Police say he is gradually confessing to the crimes and is suspected of having killed at least 23 boys.

"He started confessing... and is still telling us details," investigator Joao Carlos Amorim Diniz told Reuters news agency.

"He said he had lost track of the murders and might have killed over 30 boys," Mr Diniz said.

Mr Chagas said he killed his victims with blows to the head, police said.


Brazilian serial killer behind bars

Sunday, 21 November, 2004

Thirty-nine-year-old Francisco das Chagas is a bicycle mechanic and a self-confessed serial killer.

He says that, starting in 1989, he murdered 41 boys and teenagers in the states of Maranhao and Para in northern Brazil. All of the victims were castrated.

For the last six months, Chagas has been supplying details to the police. He agreed to a BBC interview, which took place at a police station in Sao Luis, the state capital of Maranhao.

"I did this because something was guiding me, directing me," he explained. "It was like a voice in my head. And it was that thing - the voice - that determined what happened."

Grisly murders

For the interview, Chagas was wearing a green polo shirt, jeans and handcuffs.

He spoke softly but deliberately. I asked whether he was telling the truth about these crimes. Could he possibly be confused?

"I'm not confused, and I am telling the truth," came the reply, "and you're hearing it from me personally."

He is likely to face trial early next year. Since he has made a full confession to the police and a judge, what is at issue is not his innocence or guilt - but whether he understood his actions.

If a jury accepts Chagas' contention that he was not mentally in control of his actions, and that outside forces were guiding him, he will be confined to psychiatric care. If not, he will go to prison.

The police are sceptical about his explanation. Twenty minutes' drive from Sao Luis, Detective Joao Carlos Diniz shows me the rural plot where Chagas' home once stood. Officers found three bodies buried here - and the detective explains that Chagas volunteered his confession only after the grim discovery.

"What happened here is what I call the 'chameleon effect'," says Diniz. "Chagas was clever - he blended into the scenery. And from the outside, it was almost impossible to spot him."

The detective's comments carry an implicit admission: that the police were slow in catching Chagas. In Maranhao alone, there were 30 murders before he was caught. Ten of the bodies were found in fields near Chagas' home.

Police negligence?

Failings by the police have prompted legal action by Brazilian human rights groups.

A complaint has been filed with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington. It alleges that the Maranhao state authorities were negligent in investigating the killings.

"Chagas should have been caught after one or two murders," says Rita da Silva, whose 15-year-old son Jonathan was the last of the victims.

"But for 30 boys to die here - it means the police didn't do their job. Why? Because the victims were all poor."

Until now, the case has gone largely unreported in Brazil, but in the coming months, it will have far-reaching ramifications.

Already, five men are serving prison sentences for murders which Chagas now says he committed. Four of them are in the state of Para, where Chagas lived before moving to Maranhao.

Back at Sao Luis police station, the self-confessed murderer says he simply wants people to hear his story. "Sometimes I'm revolted by what I did," he says, "but you must understand that something was using me to do this. Good people will understand that."


Mechanic accused of murdering 42 boys in Brazil confesses to teen's murder in first trial

October 23, 2006 - The Associated Press

A 41-year-old bicycle mechanic accused of killing dozens of young boys and castrating many confessed Monday to the 2003 murder of a 15-year-old boy during his first day of trial in the case, a court official said.

In his testimony Monday, Francisco das Chagas Rodrigues de Brito confessed to killing Jonathan Silva Vieira in December 2003. He said sexual abuse he suffered as a child drove him to kill, court spokeswoman Andrea Collis said by telephone from Sao Jose do Ribamar, some 2,250 kilometers (1,400 miles) northeast of Rio de Janeiro.

Chagas told judge Marcio Castro Brandao he didn't remember details.

"He said he knows he killed him but didn't remember anything and that he was acting in revenge for when he was sexually abused when he was 6," Collis said.

Chagas was arrested in 2004 and charged with the murders of two young boys whose remains were found buried beneath the dirt floor of his shack in a poor neighborhood in Sao Jose do Ribamar.

Vieira's body was found later in a wooded area.

The trial, expected to last two days, was being held in the auditorium of a local club, Collis said, because the courtroom wasn't big enough to hold the hundreds of victims' relatives.

"Even if he is convicted, that won't heal anything, because I lost a son and he will never return," the victim's mother, Rita Cassia Viera, said in a televised interview with Globo TV.

Prosecutors, who say Chagas killed 42 boys, charged him with Vieira's murder first because it was the case in which they had the most evidence, Collis said. If convicted by the jury of four men and three women, he could be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison for aggravated homicide. No date has been set for future prosecutions.

Chagas repeatedly has confessed and then retracted his confession to the killings of 30 boys in Maranhao state and 12 others in neighboring Para state between 1991 and 2003.

The murders stirred terror in the two states, where many speculated the victims had been killed in black magic rituals because most of the victims had been castrated.

Local human rights groups had long charged local police were not doing enough to solve the crimes because most of the victims were poor.

Several other people have been convicted in connection with some of the killings.

In 2003, four members of an alleged satanic group were convicted in Para state in connection with some of the same murders. The group's leader, however, was acquitted amid charges of jury rigging.

It was not immediately clear whether those convicted had since been released.

If convicted of all murders, Chagas would be Brazil's most prolific serial killer. To date the worst known serial killer is Marcelo Costa de Andrade, known as the Niteroi Vampire, who was convicted in 1991 of killing 14 children in a city near Rio de Janeiro.


Brazil 'serial killer' on trial

Tuesday, 24 October 2006 - BBC News

A man whom officials believe to be one of Brazil's worst serial killers has gone on trial for killing a teenager.

A court spokeswoman said that, in his opening testimony, Francisco das Chagas Rodrigues Brito had confessed to the murder of a 15-year-old boy.

Mr Chagas reportedly told the judge he had killed 30 boys - not the 42 the police say he has confessed to.

The 41-year-old added he had been driven to acts of violence because he had been sexually abused as a child.

In a 2004 interview with the BBC, Mr Chagas said he had killed the boys because "... something was guiding me, directing me. It was like a voice in my head. And it was that thing - the voice - that determined what happened."

"Sometimes I'm revolted by what I did," he said, "but you must understand that something was using me to do this. Good people will understand that."

Sentence

Mr Chagas was arrested in April 2004 after police found the remains of two minors buried in his yard.

Prosecutors say they have charged him in connection with one killing - that of Jonatham Silva Vieira - because it is the one for which they have the most evidence.

Mr Chagas, a bicycle mechanic, told the court in the state of Maranhao that he had strangled Jonatham - but he denied hitting him, raping him, mutilating his body or using his blood.

Reports have suggested that all his victims were castrated.

If convicted, Mr Chagas faces a possible 30-year sentence. But his jail term could be reduced if the judge accepts the defence's argument that he suffers from psychological problems.

The trial, which started on Monday, is expected to last three days.


Brazilian serial killer sentenced to 20 years imprisonment

2006_10_25

A Brazilian man believed to be one of the country's worst serial killers has been convicted of murder. Francisco das Chagas was sentenced to 20 years in jail for murdering 15-year-old Jonathan Silva Vieira. He pleaded guilty to the charge, but is yet to stand trial for the deaths of another 41 people.

In court, Chagas said he had been the victim of sexual abuse when he was a child, and that the memory of his abuser had driven him to kill. The case has been vigorously pursued by human rights groups, who have accused the police of negligence. They say officers would have acted with greater urgency if the victims had been rich rather than poor.

Earlier in the week, Chagas, a bicycle mechanic, told the court in the state of Maranhao that he had strangled Jonathan - but he denied hitting him, raping him, or mutilating his body.

He also reportedly told the judge he had killed 30 boys - not the 42 the police say he has confessed to. The other 41 victims Chagas is accused of murdering were all boys and teenagers. Reports have suggested that all his victims were castrated.

In a 2004 interview with the BBC, Chagas said he had killed the boys because "... something was guiding me, directing me. It was like a voice in my head. And it was that thing - the voice - that determined what happened". He will stand trial for other killings early next year.

 


Man accused of killing 42 boys is sentenced

Brazilian gets 20 years in first of what could be more trials

AP - Oct. 25, 2006

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil - A man accused of being Brazil's most prolific serial killer was sentenced on Wednesday to more than 20 years in prison in the first of 42 possible trials for the slaying and mutilation of boys.

Francisco das Chagas Rodrigues de Brito, a 41-year-old bicycle mechanic, was given 19 years for homicide and 1 year and eight months for hiding the body of the 15-year-old victim, the court said in statement.

Chagas now faces trial for 41 other murders committed between 1991 and 2003 in Maranahao and the neighboring Amazon state of Para. Prosecutors say several victims were castrated. No date has been set for the next trials.

Chagas could have been sentenced to up to 30 years in prison for killing Jonathan Silva Vieira, but Judge Marcio Castro Brandao took account of testimony from psychologists that the defendant suffered from a mental disorder and was not completely in control of his actions, the court said.

The sentence was handed down following a trial that lasted just over two days.

Confession at trial

At the trial's opening, Chagas confessed to killing Silva in December 2003, saying sexual abuse he suffered as a child drove him to kill. Chagas told judge he didn't remember details.

Chagas was arrested in 2004 and charged with the murders of two young boys whose remains were found buried beneath the dirt floor of his shack in a poor neighborhood. Vieira's body was found later in a wooded area.

During the trial, the victim's mother Rita de Cassia Vieira told the court her son had said he was going to pick fruit with Chagas on the day he was killed.

"The monster tried to help out the mothers of the children he killed because he was looking for victims," Vieira testified Tuesday.

She added that she showed Chagas a picture of her son after he disappeared and Chagas laughed and told her he hadn't seen him: "It seemed like he was laughing at my suffering."

The trial was held in the auditorium of a local club in Sao Jose de Ribamar, some 1,400 miles northeast of Rio de Janeiro, because the courtroom wasn't big enough to hold the hundreds of victims' relatives.

Case had most evidence

Prosecutors say they charged Silva with Vieira's murder first because it was the case in which they had the most evidence.

Chagas repeatedly has confessed and then retracted confessions to the killings of 30 boys in Maranhao state and 12 others in neighboring Para state between 1991 and 2003.

The murders created terror in the two states, where many speculated the victims had been killed in black magic rituals because most of the boys had been found castrated.

Local human rights groups accused police of not doing enough to solve the crimes because most of the victims were poor.

To date, Brazil's worst confirmed serial killer is Marcelo Costa de Andrade, known as the Niteroi Vampire, who was convicted in 1991 of killing 14 children in a city near Rio de Janeiro.


Brazilian 'Satanic' killer jailed for boy's murder

26-Oct-06

A BRAZILIAN man accused of killing 42 boys in a series of macabre Satanic murders was yesterday sentenced to 20 years and eight months in jail.

Francisco das Chagas Rodrigues de Brito, 41, was found guilty of killing one of the boys, Jonathan Silva Vieira, 15, who disappeared in northern Brazil in December 2003. The motor mechanic still faces a host of other charges related to the other killings, as well as to sexual abuse.

Police in the Amazonian states of Para and Maranhao believe Brito sexually abused the boys, and in some cases cut off their genitals, before decapitating them and burying the bodies. He is also suspected of participating in black magic rites before killing some of the victims.

During the trial, Jonathan's mother, Rita de Cassia Vieira, told the court her son had said he was going to pick fruit with Brito on the day he was killed.

"The monster tried to help out the mothers of the children he killed because he was looking for victims," Mrs Vieira said.

She said she had shown Brito a picture of her son after he disappeared, and the killer laughed and told her he hadn't seen him. "It seemed like he was laughing at my suffering," she said.

The trial was held in the auditorium of a club in Sao Jose de Ribamar, 1,400 miles north-east of Rio de Janeiro, because the courtroom was not big enough to hold the hundreds of victims' relatives.

Prosecutors say they charged Brito with Vieira's murder first because it was the case in which they had the most evidence.

Brito was arrested in April 2004 after neighbours complained of a stench coming from his ramshackle house in Sao Luis. Officers dug up the dirt floor and found two skeletons, one of a four-year-old boy named Daniel and the other of a child Brito said was called Diego.

According to police, Brito quickly confessed to the killings and those of at least 18 other young boys. The methods he used were similar to those used in the spate of murders that ravaged Para and Maranhao between 1989 and 2003, police said, and an investigation found Brito lived in both states at the times the killings took place.

The series of killings shocked even Brazil, where violence is common and the murder rate is one of the world's highest. Reports that Brito sexually assaulted the boys and then castrated them added to the outrage, as did allegations that some of the earlier killings that took place in Para between 1989 and 1993 were related to a satanic cult.

Brito originally told police he did not remember castrating the dead bodies or attacking the boys because his memory went at the moment of the killing, but he offered another version in this week's trial.

He and other witnesses, including his sister, testified that he had been abused as a child by his grandmother and a man named Carlito. Brito told the court that when he murdered Jonathan, he did so with a pent-up rage stemming from those juvenile experiences. "I was seeing Carlito in front of me," he said.

The killings were so brutal and the lack of action so shocking that the Organisation of American States launched a campaign to pressure local authorities into more rigorously investigating the cases.

Several foreign and Brazilian human rights groups also petitioned the federal government to intervene in the investigation.

Scotsman.com

 

 

 
 
 
 
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