Marcelo Costa de Andrade, a Brazilian pedophile
and serial killer, confessed the rape and death of 14 children in the
Brazilian cities of Rio de Janeiro and Niterói in 1991. His habit to
drink the blood of his victims earned him the nickname "O Vampiro de
Niterói" (The Vampire of Niterói).
Marcelo Costa de Andrade
The son of poor migrants, De Andrade grew up in
the slums of Rio De Jainero. Beaten regularly and sexually abused at the
age of ten, he began to prostitute himself at fourteen to make a living.
He was sent to a reform school but escaped and returned to his hustling
ways. At sixteen he began a long lasting relationship with an older man
but still tried to rape his own ten year old brother at the age of
In April 1991, by now deserted by his older
lover, Marcelo began his killing spree, which lasted nine months and
claimed fourteen victims, two of whose blood he drank. Marcelo did not
claim to be a vampire, but said he drank the blood of his victims simply
in order 'to become as beautiful as them'.
In December 1991, Marcelo fell in love with ten
year old Altair de Abreu, an intended victim, who happened to have his
six year old brother, Ivan, in tow when Marcelo met him. Marcelo
strangled Ivan in front of Altair then told the terrified youngster he
loved him and asked him to live with him. Too afraid to refuse, Altair
spent the night with Marcelo but made his escape the following morning.
Returning home, Altair lied about his missing
brother, saying he had lost him, but within a few days his sister had
gotten the truth out of him. The family went to the police and Marcelo
was arrested at work.
Police had thought that Ivan's murder was a
one-off until eventually Marcelo confessed and led them to the remains
of his other victims. Sent to the Heitor Carrilho Psychiatric Hospital,
Marcelo escaped on January 24th 1997, but was re-arrested on February
5th, apparently whilst making his way the Holy Land.
Andrade, Marcelo Costa de
(born in 1967) is Brazil's most famous and most notorious serial killer.
The son of poor migrants from the northeast, Andrade grew up in the
Rocinha Slum in Rio De Janeiro. He was regularly beaten by his
stepfather. When he was 10 he was sexually abused.
At 14 he began to
prostitute himself for a living. He was then sent to a reform school,
but escaped. Still hustling by 16, Andrade began a lasting homosexual
relationship with an elder man. At 17 he tried to rape his 10-year-old
When he was 23 years old his relationship ended and he came
back to live with his mother and his brother. He found a low-paying job
and started going to church four times a week. His life seemed normal
until April 1991, when he started to kill.
Over a period of nine months
Andrade brutally raped and strangled 14 boys aged 6 to 13. His victims
of choice were poor street kids whom he attracted to deserted areas. He
practiced necrophilia, decapitated one of them, crushed the head of
another one, and, in two occasions, drank their blood.
confessed that he did it to "become as beautiful as them". His mind
unbalanced by the sermons of a priest from the "Universal Church of the
Kingdom of God", Andrade declared that children would automatically go
to heaven if they died before they're thirteen and that he had done them
a favour by sending them to heaven.
In December of 1991, Andrade "fell
in love" with 10-year-old Altair De Abreu and spared his life. It didn't
prevent him, however, from abusing and killing Altairs 6-year-old
brother Ivan. Andrade then asked Altair to live with him and the boy
agreed to spend the night with him in the bushes. The next day, the
terrified youngster managed to escape and went to the police. Andrade
confessed to 14 killings.
The ABC of Serials Killer -
The Vampire of Rio
By James Marrison
Ex-rentboy turned religious maniac Marcelo Costade
Andrade made headlines in 1992 when he confessed to a nine-month murder
spree. Brazil's most infamous killer said he raped and slaughtered 14
boys from the slums of Rio so they "would go to heaven"
A million people live in the slums of Rio de Janeiro.
The most notorious ghetto is Rocinha, which sprawls down the hillside
and overlooks the elegant high-rises of So Conrado and some of Brazil's
most spectacular beaches. Perhaps nowhere in the world is the disparity
between the haves and have-nots more striking than here, and nothing a
more potent reminder than the thousands of homeless kids who constantly
roam its streets.
Rocinha has an estimated population of 150,000.
Armies of children maraud their way through its labyrinthine alleyways,
and youngsters die in the shantytown in such numbers that Brazil has
been compared to a country at war.
Between December 1987 and November 2001, 3,937
children died violent deaths - the majority victims of an ever-escalating
drug war that has been raging in the slums since the cocaine trade took
hold there in the early 1980s. Employed as 'soldiers' by drug lords to
protect and expand their turf, armed teenagers murder each other in
pitched battles, and innocent bystanders get caught in the crossfire
almost every day.
Those who don't run drugs are forced to survive any
other way they can. They scavenge for food, sell gum, polish shoes, beg,
steal, mug people... and sometimes kill. Blamed for the spiralling crime
rate, and for making Rio one of the murder capitals of the world, the
children find very little sympathy among the citizens of Rio.
Universally shunned and despised, they are routinely beaten, abused and
The situation was made even worse in the 1990s, when
they were regularly being picked off by roving extermination squads.
Made up in the main of off-duty policeman and security guards, the
squads were on the payroll of normally law-abiding citizens, and their
mission was to clean up the streets. In 1991, at least four children
were being executed every day.
For a murderer, especially one with a liking for
young boys, the conditions on Brazil's streets could not have been more
ideal. Such was the daily death toll the Brazilian authorities didn't
even notice that somebody else, acting on their own, was slaughtering
young boys in the slums.
For Marcelo Costa de Andrade, who had spent almost
his entire life on the streets, it wasn't difficult to blend in and lure
the children away from prying eyes to abandoned spots and their
slaughter. While the children from the Rio slums were wary of the
dangers that constantly surrounded them, De Andrade seemed to be one of
the few adults they could trust. With a harmless appearance, a gentle
manner and a soft, childlike way of speaking, the 23-year-old lived with
his mother, regularly attended church, had a normal job, and when
talking to children made constant allusions to his faith in God.
Growing up poor in the Rocinha slum, De Andrade's
childhood was in many ways the same as that of the street kids: no food
on the table, no running water, constant abuse, and hardly any school.
De Andrade spent most of his time on the street hustling, and was just
10 when he ran away from home for the first time. At 14, he started
selling himself to adults for sex.
On the rare occasions he was at home, De Andrade was
beaten senseless by both his stepparents, and was sexually abused. At
16, he moved in with an older man, but when he was thrown out he went to
live with his mother in another nearby Rio slum. Aged 17, he tried to
rape his 10-year-old brother, and started listening obsessively to tapes
he had made of his brother crying.
But it was when he had left hustling for good and was
attending church regularly with his mother that his killing spree began.
According to De Andrade, it was an encounter with a young transvestite
that was the trigger. And once he'd begun there was no stopping him.
"One day when I was walking I met a 14-year-old boy.
A transvestite," De Andrade recalled in an interview with Epoca magazine
in 2003. "He propositioned me to go to a hotel with him. I had sex with
him and kissed him on the mouth. I paid him 50 Reais [£12]. I never got
to see him again. But it sparked the desire for new boys. As I didn't
find another one like him I ended up forcing myself on others. I always
took them to a deserted spot.
"The sadism went to my head. I ended up killing some
of them... I do not remember their faces very well. The first one I
caught was in Niter-i. I only know that his name was Anderson. I offered
him money. I said he could help me light candles in the church. I took
him to a deserted place. When we got there I raped him. I then strangled
him with his own shirt. I returned to the spot where the body was three
times, to see if anyone had discovered anything. Nobody ever suspected
De Andrade went on to murder 13 other street kids,
following the same pattern as the first. He lured them with sweets and
money to secluded spots, raped them, strangled them or beat them to
death and had sex with their corpses. He then buried them in shallow
In two instances he drank their blood. After sexually
abusing his victims, often for an entire night, he would crack their
heads open and collect the blood in a bowl to drink. De Andrade carried
the bowl with him everywhere he went. He drank their blood so that he
would be "as young and cute as them" and killed them so they "would go
to Heaven". He also removed his victims' shorts and kept them as
trophies. De Andrade targeted the "prettiest boys" he could find, always
hunting for "smooth legs, and a pretty face and body".
But there was also a religious motive for his murders.
The church he attended was the controversial Universal Church of the
Kingdom of God. Founded by a state-lottery employee turned American-style
evangelist, Edir Macedo, it is the fastest-growing religion in Brazil.
As well as offering protection from voodoo and
witchcraft, the church claims that 'demons' are responsible for people's
problems (including homosexuality, which is viewed by the church as a
disease). De Andrade's church would cast out these 'demons', and to this
day the murderer claims he was possessed by evil spirits who forced him
to kill because "they like children's blood".
In the midst of his killing spree the devout De
Andrade was going to church four times a week, for up to five hours at a
time. De Andrade claimed later that a priest had told him that boys who
died under the age of 13 automatically went to heaven. He misunderstood
the priest's message, interpreting it as meaning that by killing the
boys he was not only ending their awful existence in the slums but also
ensuring them a one-way ticket to paradise.
It was for this reason that De Andrade never targeted
girls. Girls, he claimed, were different from boys because they didn't
go to heaven and, of course, boys were "prettier".
Dr Helen Morrison, a forensic psychiatrist and well-known
serial-killer profiler, went to interview De Andrade in Brazil in
November 2001. She recounts the experience in her book My Life Amongst
The Serial Killers Of The World's Most Notorious Murderers. Through an
interpreter, De Andrade reiterated his claim that he had been doing his
victims a favour by killing them. "The children have bad lives here," he
told her. "If they are children when they die they go to heaven. A
But De Andrade went much further than gently sending
them on their way. After raping and killing 11-year-old Odair Jose Muniz,
whom he had met near a football pitch, he returned later in the night
with a machete, which he told his mother he was taking to cut some
bananas. Back at the scene of the crime, he hacked the boy's head off. "Why?"
asked Morrison. In order, De Andrade told her, that the other children
in heaven would make fun of him because he wouldn't have a head. After
all, the kids used to make fun of him at school.
De Andrade's killing spree was prolific but
mercifully short-lived. According to Morrison's account of the case, on
11 December 1991 brothers Altair (10) and Ivan Abreu (six) were picked
up by De Andrade, who offered them $20 if they both accompanied him
while he lit candles in a nearby church. The boys readily agreed. But as
soon as they were away from public view, De Andrade turned on Altair and
made to kiss him. Altair tried to run, but his molester was too quick
for him, grabbing the boy and throwing him to the ground.
Then he turned his attention to Ivan and started
strangling him. "I was so paralysed by fear I could not run away,"
Altair later recalled. "I watched in horror, tears streaming down my
cheeks, as he killed and then raped my brother."
When it was all over, De Andrade moved towards Altair,
opening his arms wide. According to Morrison, the terrified boy could
smell his dead brother all over De Andrade's clothes and was convinced
the monster looming above him was going to kill him. Instead, De Andrade
embraced him. "I have sent Ivan to heaven," the killer told him. "I love
Too terrified to try and make a run for it, Altair
agreed to spend the night with De Andrade, sleeping rough in the bushes
behind a petrol station. The next morning, De Andrade even took the boy
to work with him in the tourist district of Copacabana. However, Altair
managed to escape and find his way home. He told his mother what had
happened and De Andrade was arrested two days later.
In the meantime, the killer, who often revisited the
scene of his crimes and left trays of food and other offerings to his
victims, had returned to Ivan's corpse to tuck the tiny boy's hands into
his pockets so the rats wouldn't chew on his fingers.
Instead of making a run for it, De Andrade carried on
as if nothing had happened, and was arrested at work in Copacabana,
where he handed out fliers for a jewellery shop. Initially, he confessed
to only the murder of Ivan, but when his mother was called in for
questioning two months later, she reluctantly told police about how her
son had once asked for the use of her machete and had come back the next
morning with it smeared in blood.
De Andrade finally confessed to 13 other murders and
led police to the burial sites. Declared insane on 26 April 1993, the
murderer was placed in the Heitor Carrilho psychiatric hospital in Rio.
He is evaluated annually; each year since then, he has been declared
Bizarre talked to Ilana Casoy, an expert on Brazilian
serial killers, who has met and interviewed De Andrade many times. Casoy
is well known for her work as a profiler in the investigation into
Brazil's most prolific serial killer, Francisco das Chagas Rodrigues de
Brito, who killed and castrated 42 boys over a 12-year period.
"Many serial killers in Brazil kill children, but
each one has their own way of doing it," Casoy explains. "Each one of
them has his own fantasies and symbolism, his own ritual way of killing
someone. But my meeting with De Andrade was different to my meetings
with other killers in many ways, because by meeting him I could really
understand what it is to be an insane person. De Andrade has this mental
illness and you get the feeling he doesn't know the true scale of what
he did, the difference between right and wrong. There is no cure. Nobody
knows what treatment he should receive, so they give him drugs to keep
him under control, and that's about all they can do."
In her chapter on De Andrade in Serial Killers: Made
In Brazil, Casoy changed the names of his victims to biblical names, so
the mothers who read it would never know which child was their own.
While she has met and interviewed some of Brazil's worst serial killers,
meeting Andrade is something Casoy will never forget:
"Meeting someone like Marcelo Costa de Andrade is
very hard for any human being. I was sick in bed for four days after I
talked to him. He is like a wolf dressed in sheep's clothing. Look at
him and you would never for a single second imagine what he is capable
of doing with children. As soon as he told me that he took the shorts
off every child he killed and kept them as trophies he asked me to bring
him a gift - a pair of new shorts. I'd never give them to him. I hope he
stays in the lunatic asylum for his entire life."
De Andrade managed to escape from the asylum in
January 1997 when a guard accidentally left a door open. He was on the
run for 12 days until frantic police finally managed to catch up with
him in the town of Guaraciaba do Norte in the northeastern state of
Ceara. He had managed to hitchhike his way more than 3,000km to visit
his father and was, when he was picked up, "on his way to the Holy Land".
He told police that by killing the children he was now purified.
De Andrade now resides in the Henrique Roxo hospital
in Rio de Janeiro. He claims to be an evangelist and expresses his hope
that one day he will be back on the streets. All he needs, he says, is
the love of a good woman to keep him on the straight and narrow. He asks
God to light the way. But according to Casoy, his so-called religious
convictions are a sham.
"De Andrade is not a religious guy and he never was,"
she said. "He just heard a priest who said that a child under 13 years
old goes straight to paradise if he dies without sins. He believed it
As one of Brazil's sickest criminals, De Andrade
relishes his moments in the spotlight and has been known to demand
Hollywood-level fees for interviews. 'The Vampire of Niteroi', as he is
sometimes known, even phoned up Dr Morrison in her hotel room in Sao
Paulo in 2001 and demanded $10,000 for an interview, a request Morrison
Now that his fame is fading, and his exploits have
been outdone, De Andrade, according to Casoy, loves talking with anyone
who pays him attention. His mother is the only relative who visits him,
and that's only once a year. He shows absolutely no remorse.
"His mind is more or less the same as that of a 12-year-old,"
says Casoy. "He dreams of going to Disneyland or Moscow, winning a
million dollars and having plastic surgery on his face so he would never
be recognised by anyone. He never feels bad about what did, just worried
that it screwed up his life. He wasn't happy telling me what he did, but
he wasn't sad about it either. It's something that doesn't make any
difference to him either way...
"He believes he was utterly tender to the children he
killed and saved them from hell. He doesn't know it was really wrong or
awful. He told me all of it as if he was talking about simple everyday
things, but with specific and cruel details, and the tone in his voice
never changed - never changed for a single moment."
Marcelo Costa de Andrade
This mama's boy and religious
psychopath of inoffensive appearance is Brazil's most famous serial
killer. The son of poor migrants from the Northeast, Marcelo grew up in
the Rocinha Slum in Rio de Janeiro. He lived without running water and
was beaten with regularity by his grandfather, his stepfather and his
stepmother. When he was 10 he was sexually abused. At 14 he began to
prostitute himself for a living. He was sent to a reform school, but
escaped. Still hustling by 16, he began a long lasting homosexual
relationship with an older man. At 17 he tried to rape his 10-year-old
When he was 23 his homosexual relationship ended and
he came back to live with his mother and brothers who had moved to
Itaborai, another slum on the other side of the polluted Guanabara Bay.
There he found a a low-paying job distributing flyers for a shop in the
district of Copacabana. He also joined the Universal Church of the
Kingdom of God and started going to church four times a week. Despite
some idiosyncrasies and his odd and incoherent laughter, his life seemed
normal. That is, until April 1991, at age 24, when he started to kill.
Over a nine-month period Marcelo tallied 14 dead. His
victims of choice were poor street urchins whom he attracted to deserted
areas, raped and strangled. He also practiced necrophilia, decapitated
one of the boys, crushed the head of another, and, in two occasions,
drank their blood. Later he confessed his vampiric thirst was merely "to
become as beautiful as them." Violence in Rio is common and the daily
body count is so high that authorities never suspected the growing
number of disappearing street urchins to be the handywork of a serial
killer. Usually they are the victims of choice for warped vigilante
groups trying to clean up the streets. Quite the humanitarian Andrade
later confessed, "I preferred young boys because they are better looking
and have soft skin. And the priest said that children automatically go
to heaven if they die before they're thirteen. So I know I did them a
favor by sending them to heaven."
In December of 1991 his killing spree came to an end
when he "fell in love" with ten-year-old Altair de Abreu and spared his
life. Marcello met the young beggar and his six-year-old brother Ivan in
the Niteroi bus terminal. He offered them money to help him light
candles for a saint in Saint George's church. The lucky survivor later
told police, "We were heading for a church, but as we crossed a vacant
lot, Marcelo suddenly turned on Ivan and started strangling him. I was
so paralyzed by fear I could not run away. I watched in horror, tears
streaming down my cheeks, as he killed and then raped my brother. When
he was finished with Ivan, he turned to me, hugged me, and said he loved
me." Then he asked Altair to live with him. Scared to death, the boy
agreed to spend the night with Marcelo in the bushes.
The next morning, the lovestruck killer took Altair
to work with him. When they arrived the office was closed. The terrified
youngster was able to escape. He hitchhiked his way back home and told
his mother that he had got lost of his brother. A few days later,
pressed by his sister, the boy told the truth. In the meantime Marcelo,
A truly considerate killer, had returned to the crime scene to tuck the
hands of his victim inside his shorts, "so that the rats couldn't gnaw
When young Ivan's family went to the police, Marcelo,
who had maintained his daily routine, was calmly arrested in the Rio
shop where he worked. "I thought you would come yesterday," he told the
arresting officers. At first, police thought Ivan's murder was an
isolated case. However, two months later Marcelo's dotting mother was
called to testify about her son's strange behavior. One night, she said,
he left home with a machete "to cut bananas." Apparently he returned the
next morning with no bananas. Eventually Marcelo did confess to 14
killings and led police to the remains of his other victims. As Brazil's
star killer, he asked police if anywhere in the world there was a case
like his, and stated he killed because: "I liked the boys and I didn't
want them to go to hell."
M RACE: H TYPE: T MOTIVE: Sex./Sad.
Raped/kllled boys, age six to thirteen, and drank their blood.
Confined to lunatic asylum; escaped/recaptured, 1997.