Name: Luis Garavito
Moniker(s): La Bestia, Tribilin, Bonifacio Moreno Lizcano
Date of Birth: January 25, 1957
Date of Death: n/a
Victim Count: 138-300
Years Active: 1992-1999
Region Active: Colombia, Ecuador
Date of Arrest: April 22, 1999

Photo Credit : DarkZone

 

 

 

 

Born the first of seven children during Colombia’s tumultuous civil war, Luis Garavito’s early life was marked by cruelty and suffering. His father, Manuel, was a violent alcoholic who regularly abused Garavito’s mother, a drug-addicted prostitute, and forced his young son to watch as she slept with her clients. As Garavito and his siblings grew older, Manuel turned his abuse on them, causing them to hide in fear whenever their father came home from work.

Garavito, already unpopular at school, was prohibited by his father from playing with other children. He later became a frequent target of bullying due to his glasses and timid personality. However, a volatile temper built up within him, and he would sometimes lash out violently whenever he had enough. When he was eleven, Manuel forced him to drop out of school and get a job to support their large family by selling various wares on the streets.

From the time he was twelve to fifteen, Garavito was raped and tortured on numerous occasions by his father’s friends, though he kept these attacks to himself out of fear that Manuel would not believe him. Around this time, Garavito began molesting his younger siblings, and killed and mutilated small animals.

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When he was sixteen, he was arrested while trying to molest a boy at a train station in Bogota. He was soon released but was no longer welcome at the family home. Garavito became one of the countless homeless youths that wandered the streets of Colombia after the war.

Photo Credit : All that Interesting

In 1984, after losing a job at a bakery due to his increasing alcoholism, Garavito sought psychiatric help for what he claimed were malicious voices in his head. He stayed at a hospital for thirty days, but never once mentioned his pedophilic attraction to young boys, nor his sexual sadism.

After being discharged, he took a job at a supermarket and began a relationship with an older woman named Claudia. During Garavito’s two-hour lunch breaks, he would head to remote areas, lure boys to him with candy, rape them, and then torture them with razors.

Later, he went to Pereira and dated a woman with a teenage son. Interestingly, Garavito never harmed the sons of the women he dated. To avoid having to spend time at home with his female partners, Garavito traveled from town to town in search of work and sent the money back to them. In reality, the real purpose of these trips was so he could prey on homeless boys.

Locals regarded Garavito as a friendly man who enjoyed the company of children and even nicknamed him “Tribilin,” the Spanish name for the Disney character Goofy a far cry from the name he would eventually come to be known by: “la Bestia”, the Beast. Even more shocking, in retrospect, was the fact that many people recalled seeing him taking off with boys while he was heavily drunk. If anyone was suspicious of this behavior at the time, they did not intervene.

 

Photo Credit : HellHorror

On October 2nd, 1992, Garavito killed his first victim, a teenage boy named Juan Carlos, whom he had followed after seeing him pass by a bar. Garavito claimed that the sight of the moonlight awoke something evil in him, driving him to murder. The boy’s body was found three days later and showed visible signs of torture, including missing teeth and mutilated genitals.

Less than a week later, Garavito killed again. With each murder, his attacks grew more violent. To prolong his victims’ torture, he would stab the boys with knives and screwdrivers in non-lethal parts of their bodies, such as their hands. By the time he was back in Bogota the next year, he already had ten kills under his belt.

It was easy for Garavito to get away with his crimes as the violence in the country produced all kinds of victims, and people were less likely to notice the deaths of impoverished boys because they were so frequently at the fringes of society. People may have tended to think that the mutilated bodies pointed to Satanic cults; that missing children could have been taken by human traffickers; that the murders of homeless drug users or alcoholics could have been committed by political reactionaries.

 

Photo Credit : Talk Murder

He began to keep trophies of his kills, but by 1994, Garavito had been killing so frequently that he could no longer carry all his trophies with him and left a bag at his sister Ester’s house.

In 1995, somewhere on his travels, Garavito experienced a bad fall that left him with a broken leg. For a while, he was on crutches and made his living by begging on the streets. Now in his late 30s and continuously on the move, Garavito’s injury healed improperly and left him with a noticeable limp. Despite this, Garavito’s urge to kill remained as strong as ever.

By now, he had taken to disemboweling his victims and even decapitating some of them. Many of his victims, such as four boys he killed in Valle found in 1996, had their mutilated bodies left out in the open, concealed only by tall plants.

In the summer of 1996, Garavito arrived in Tunja, a city northeast of Bogota. There, he came across a boy named Ronald Delgado, whom he lured away. The boy’s body was found decapitated and showed signs of rape and torture. Many witnesses told police that they had seen Ronald in the company of Garavito. He was captured, but he quickly convinced police of his innocence.

In 1997, a group of children in Pereira made a horrifying discovery.

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A mass grave containing the corpses of over thirty young boys was found right outside the city. Though they had all been killed at different times, and some showed more advanced stages of decomposition, the similarities they all shared were alarming. Their arms and legs were tied with the same kind of nylon rope.

They all showed signs of torture and rape. They had all been stabbed, some up to forty-six times.

When news of this find hit the headlines, people across the nation began to make the connection between these corpses and the increasingly large amount of missing boys throughout the country. The sheer amount of bodies led the public to believe that this had to have been the work of Satanic cults or organ traffickers. To further complicate things was the fact that many of the bodies were unidentifiable, and even today, their true identities remain unknown, making it impossible to trace any of their family members.

 

Photo Credit : Talk Murder

A few months later, in 1998, authorities were alerted to another disturbing discovery in the city of Buga. A boy’s corpse had been found bearing all the same marks of Garavito’s previous victims, but ashes surrounded this body. There had been a fire on the night of the boy’s murder, and luckily, this helped provide more evidence.

Garavito left behind his pair of red glasses that were scorched on the left side, empty bottles of cheap brandy, a screwdriver, documents including some money and a note with an address, and a pair of men’s shoes. The glasses revealed that the culprit likely suffered from an eye condition that mostly affected only men around forty to forty-five years of age. The burns suggested that the wearer could have been burned as well, meaning their killer likely had burns on the left side of their body. The shoes were heavily worn, more so on one side. The man they were looking for likely had a distinctive limp caused by an injury to his left leg.

Unfortunately, despite these insights, it still left room for error. When a boy went to the authorities to report an attempted rape, police believed they had their man. His name? Pedro Pablo Ramírez García, also known as Pedro Pechuga.

It’s easy to see why police were so easily convinced that this was the killer. Pechuga had a limp and a history of sexual assault. Not only that, but he also sold honey in the same kind bottles of cheap brandy so often found at the crime scenes. Pechuga was only cleared when four more bodies were found while he was incarcerated.

Around this time, Garavito, who was on the list of suspects for his past close calls with the law, began to fear capture and fled to Ecuador. He was unable to stop himself from killing more boys, but this time, he was easily suspected due to being a foreigner. Garavito had no choice but to return to his native country.

Meanwhile, a task force had been created to track down la Bestia, who by now had killed children in over seventy places in Colombia and Ecuador. One particularly dogged investigator, Aldemar Duran, used the note collected in Buga to track down Garavito’s sister in Bogota. At last, they had a name.

On April 22, Garavito lured twelve-year-old John Ivan Sabogal away from a park in Villavicencio, tied him up, and tried to rape him, but then a homeless teenager passed by. The teenager began throwing stones at Garavito, and he and John Ivan escaped to a nearby scrap yard.

Garavito was arrested and claimed his name was Bonifacio Moreno Lizcano, though DNA evidence eventually revealed his real identity. Confronted with the evidence, Garavito broke down and confessed to his crimes. Thanks to his cooperation and legal loopholes, Garavito was sentenced to serve only thirty years for over a hundred murders in Colombia’s Valledupar, where he remains to this day.

Luis Garavito, considered to be one of the most prolific serial killers of all time, is reportedly a model prisoner. He hopes to be free soon and plans to become an advocate for children’s welfare.

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Written by : Team Seven

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