Brazilian confesses to
29 March, 2004
mechanic in Brazil has confessed to killing at least 17 boys since 1991,
police have said.
das Chagas, 39, was arrested in the north-eastern city of Sao Luis de
Maranhao in December in connection with a string of murders.
Friday, police found two bodies buried beneath the floor of Mr das
say he is gradually confessing to the crimes and is suspected of having
killed at least 23 boys.
started confessing... and is still telling us details," investigator
Joao Carlos Amorim Diniz told Reuters news agency.
he had lost track of the murders and might have killed over 30 boys," Mr
said he killed his victims with blows to the head, police said.
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
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
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
"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."
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.
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
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
Chagas told judge Marcio Castro Brandao he didn't
"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
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."
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
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.
serial killer sentenced to 20 years imprisonment
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.
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
Confession at trial
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
say they charged Silva with Vieira's murder first
because it was the case in which they had the most
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
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
man accused of killing 42 boys in a series of
macabre Satanic murders was yesterday sentenced to
20 years and eight months in jail.
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
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.
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.
monster tried to help out the mothers of the
children he killed because he was looking for
victims," Mrs Vieira 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.
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.
say they charged Brito with Vieira's murder first
because it was the case in which they had the most
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
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.
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.
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.
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,"
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.
foreign and Brazilian human rights groups also
petitioned the federal government to intervene in