A matter of honor
In a 14-hour rampage, former army soldier Genildo
Ferreira de França, 27, terrorized São Gonçalo do Amarante, a little
town in the interior of Rio Grande do Norte, in a methodical, personal
revenge mission that left 15 people dead. Surrounded by police, he
released Valdenice Ribeiro da Silva, 16, and his own five-year-old
daughter whom he was using as hostages, and then killed himself.
França had a list of 20 people who he believed had in
some way offended him and who deserved to die, among them a driver who
killed his little son two years ago, and his second wife with whom he
lived. He accused her of starting a rumor that he was homosexual. After
killing his wife, he made Valdenice write: "I dare anyone to prove
that I was homosexual. I wasn't and I will not be. All this tragedy was
caused by such a commentary." He also asked forgiveness for not
having vindicated the son's death.
The massacre started around 7 PM on May 21 when França
took a taxi, shot and killed its driver, and then used the car to put
his plan in action. Some people he killed after drinking with them, a
policeman who tried to stop him was also shot dead. Before killing Edílson
Nascimento, he screamed, "Now I want you to see you saying that you
Genildo Ferreira de
Pissed off at being called homosexual
by his former father-in-law, Genildo Ferreira de Franca, a former
soldier, went on a 22-hour murderous rampage killing 15 people in São
Gonçalo do Amarante, a town on the outskirts of Natal, 1,800 miles
northeast of São Paulo. The dead included his ex-wife, her parents, his
current wife and his mother-in-law.
Genildo, 27, armed with automatic pistol, a .38-caliber
revolver with a silencer and wearing the customary mass-murdering
camouflage, started his shooting spree the afternoon of May 21, 1997, when he killed a taxi driver he suspected of being the lover of his
former wife. After stuffing the body in the trunk of the car, he visited
and killed his ex-wife, her parents and took his 5-year-old daughter
Nayara hostage. With another hostage going along for the ride, 16-year-old
Valderice Ribeiro da Silva, he lured people into the cab to go to a
party and instead took them to a wooded area to kill them.
Police believe 16-year-old Valderice Ribeiro da Silva
was more of an accomplice than a hostage in the killings. "She was with
him the whole time and was carrying the ammunition. They were both on
drugs," the police spokesman said. "We believe she may have been helping
him." According to the girl the rampager, after sharing several joints
with her, forced her to have sex with him threatening that it would be
her last time.
Valderice said Fanca had a list of 25 people he
wanted to kill. He was selective about his victims, crossing them off
his list after each kill. Those fortunate enough not to be in the hit
list were told, "You may go, you're a good person, you don't deserve to
die." Franca was also despondent over the death of his 1-year-old son,
who had been run over by a taxi two years ago. A friend and associate of
Franca said: "He used to be a calm kind of guy, but ever since his son
was run over by a car, he became a bit strange."
Army buddy Francisco de Assis dos Santos, 22,
confessed to aiding Genildo with the first five slayings. According to
police Dos Santos, a drug addict, confessed to holding the arms of the
victims as Franca shot them. He also said that after each kill the ex-soldier
would laugh as if possessed by the devil. He stopped helping with the
carnage because the laughing was starting to bother him.
In a three-page letter found on Franca after he was
killed by police, he said his purpose in "writing these few lines is not
to justify the wrong I have done, but it is only in this way that I can
... challenge those who wanted to prove I was a homosexual." Franca's
mother, Maria do Carmo said her son "was always kind and gentle with
everyone." But when his baby Iuri was killed, "he opened himself to the
enemy the devil." She thought her son got worse when his ex-father-in-law
started telling everyone Franca was a homosexual. "But that was not true.
My son was a womanizer."
Franca met his end at one in the afternoon the day
after he started his rampage. He was cornered by 140 police officers in
a ceramic tile factory where he shot himself before police riddled his
body with bullets. The two hostages, Valderice and his 5-year-old
daughter, were unharmed. Apparently, three months before, Ferreira went
to buy a coffin, telling the undertaker he was going to commit suicide.
Two days after the rampage only 15 people attended his funeral. Sadly
only one relative showed up who, curiously, was on his hit list.
Former soldier on rampage
May 23, 1997
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil - A former soldier
killed his ex-wife, her parents and at least 12 other people before
being gunned down by police. He left behind a note indicating he was
upset that he had been called a homosexual.
Genildo Ferreira de Franca, 27, began the shootings
Wednesday night in a town on the outskirts of Natal, 1,300 miles
northeast of Rio. "The reason I am writing these few lines is not
to justify the wrong I have done, but it is only in this way that I can
...challenge those who wanted to prove I was a homosexual," de
Franca wrote in a three-page letter found after he was killed Thursday.
It was not clear who made the allegations.
The killings began late Wednesday when de Franca,
armed with two pistols and wearing a bullet-proof vest, shot his wife
and her parents, said Gustavo Mariano, a spokesman for Rio Grande do
Norte state. Franca then went to his former wife's home and shot her.
Later, police believe de Franca used a 16-year-old girl to lure men into
a wooded area where he killed them, Mariano said. The girl, Valderici
Ribeiro da Silva, was first thought to have been de Franca's hostage but
police later believed she was working with him, Mariano said.
On Thursday morning, de Franca began walking down the
street and killing people at random. Around noon, police surrounded de
Franca and two hostages in a wooded area. In the ensuing shootout, de
Franca was killed and the hostages were released unharmed. The number of
dead could climb as high as 20, as police still are expected to find
more bodies, Mariano said.
In Brazil, search is on for shooting-spree victims
May 23, 1997
RIO DE JANEIRO - Police said they were
searching Friday for more victims of the former soldier who ran amok in
a small town in northeastern Brazil, killing at least 17 people before
dying in a shootout.
"All we know is that he killed a lot of people,
at least 17, but there could be more," a police spokesman said.
"Officers took up the search again this morning."
Genildo Ferreira de Franca, armed with two automatic
weapons and a handgun, started his shooting spree Wednesday afternoon,
killing a taxi driver he suspected of being the lover of his former
wife, the spokesman said. The 27-year-old ex-soldier, who left the armed
forces five years ago, was wearing a military camouflage uniform and a
He then drove the taxi of his first victim through the
streets of Sao Goncalo do Amarante, in Rio Grande do Norte state, until
midday Thursday, armed with a hit list. He shot to death at least
another 16 people, including his former wife, his former in-laws, his
current wife and his mother-in-law. Three people were injured.
"Ferreira heard his (former) wife was having an affair and that
people were saying he was homosexual. That's when he went crazy and just
started shooting," the spokesman said.
Ferreira left a letter listing 25 people he wanted to
kill and giving some indication of his motives. "This was a
premeditated crime," the mayor of the town of 65,000 people,
Francisco Potiguar Cavalcanti Jr., said. "We consider this an
isolated case. Our town is a town of peace. The mood here is of sadness
and consternation." Sao Goncalo do Amarante is 1,550 miles
northeast of the capital, Brasilia.
Ferreira took two hostages, his 5-year-old daughter
and a 16-year- old girl police suspect of being an accomplice in the
killings. "She was with him the whole time and was carrying the
ammunition. They were both on drugs," the police spokesman said.
"We believe she may have been helping him and are still questioning
A former friend and colleague of Ferreira's, who
identified himself only as Genival, said that Ferreira had been
threatening to kill 25 people since his son died a year ago. "He
used to be a calm kind of guy, but ever since his son was run over by a
car, he became a bit strange," Genival said. Ferreira, who was
finally cornered by 200 police officers in a ceramic tile factory, where
he was hiding with his hostages, died in the ensuing gunfight. The
hostages were unharmed. It was not clear whether Ferreira committed
suicide or whether police killed him. The 16-year-old hostage said
Ferreira had shot himself before police riddled his body with bullets.
Genival said that three months ago, Ferreira went to buy a coffin,
telling the undertaker he was going to commit suicide.
Brazil killing-spree accomplice
San Jose Mercury News
May 24, 1997
A man who went on a 22-hour shooting spree that left
15 people dead in northeastern Brazil ''would laugh as if possessed by
the devil'' after each killing, an accomplice said Friday.
Francisco de Assis dos Santos, 22, was arrested Friday
and confessed to aiding ex-soldier Genildo Ferreira de Franca in
carrying out the slayings, police Inspector Sergio Leocadio Teixeira
said by phone from the northeastern town of Sao Goncalo do Amarante. Dos
Santos was described as a drug addict by police. Franca, 27, was gunned
down by police Thursday in Sao Goncalo do Amarante.
Crazed homophobe commits mass
murder in Brazil
Up to 20 People Killed by Distraught Husband
May 27, 1997
In a tragedy fired by motives similar to those which
gave rise to the post-Jenny Jones talk-show disaster, a one-time
Brazilian soldier went berserk after being called "a
His killing spree began late last Wednesday in Natal,
a town 1,300 miles northeast of Rio de Janeiro. The post-Jenny Jones
Show incident differed principally from this Brazilian calamity in
the number of persons killed, though motives, according to a letter left
by the murderer, were nearly identical.
Brazilian police estimate that before the distraught
assailant was gunned down, he had killed at least twelve people and,
perhaps, the death toll may still rise to as many as twenty, according
to Gustavo Mariano, a spokesperson for Rio Grande do Norte state.
The motive for the killings was found in a note left
behind by the 27-year old gunman, Genildo Ferreira de Franca. He wrote:
"The reason I am writing these few lines is not
to justify the wrong I have done, but it is only in this way that I
can...challenge those who wanted to prove I was a homosexual."
No indication was given in the 3-page letter as to
precisely who were those who had "challenged" de
Franca's heterosexual credentials. He managed, however, to kill his
ex-wife and her parents, after which he moved swiftly to shoot his
current wife and her parents as well.
Arming himself with two pistols, de Franca donned a
bullet-proof vest before going on his rampage. Initially it appeared
that he had kidnapped a 16-year old girl, planning to use her as a
shield against police assaults.
After de Franca was gunned down by police, the girl,
Valderici Ribeiro da Silva, fell under police suspicion for having
helped him kill several men who were lured into the woods. de Franca,
reportedly, had used the young woman as bait.
The remainder of de Franca's victims were murdered at
random Thursday morning as he strolled down a main street in Natal
firing upon bypassers. He took hostages and forced them into a harrowing
flight, with police in quick pursuit. The group were detained in a
wooded area where de Franca shot it out with police.
At noon on Thursday de Franca was struck by police
gunfire and killed. His hostages, in shock, were released unharmed.
"We expect to find more bodies," said
Ferreira de França, 27