'Deadliest serial killer in the world' nearing parole despite murdering nearly 200 children

26 September 2023, 09:48 | Updated: 26 September 2023, 09:52

Luis Alfredo Garavito murdered nearly 200 children
Luis Alfredo Garavito murdered nearly 200 children. Picture: Alamy/Getty

By Kit Heren

A murderer dubbed the 'world's deadliest serial killer' is nearing the possibility of parole despite a series of horrific crimes against nearly 200 children.

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Luis Alfredo Garavito, also nicknamed 'The Beast' and 'The Monster of Genova', could be set free from prison early despite having raped, tortured and murdered more than 190 children in Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador.

Garavito was sentenced to a total of 1,853 years behind bars, but sentences can be 'consolidated' in Colombia, resulting in a maximum sentence of 40 years. Colombian law also allows for prisoners to gain their freedom after serving 60% of their sentence.

The serial killer, 66, has been in jail since 1999 - meaning he has been behind bars for 24 years out of the maximum 40, which is 60%.

He would be subject to a probationary period that would involve behaving well, making sure to report any changes in residence, not committing crimes, and being at court hearings.

Read more: 'I didn't do this': Man convicted of gruesome 1996 hammer double killings pleads innocence, blaming another murderer

Read more: Mum, 27, who hung pictures of serial killers in her home 'stabbed lover to death and showed friend his body on FaceTime'

Luis Alfredo Garavito
Luis Alfredo Garavito. Picture: Alamy

Garavito would also be barred from voting, serving in government, working in any schools or universities, and travelling without permission.

He committed his crimes during the unsettled period of the Colombian civil war, when many children were displaced.

Garavito used costumes to disguise himself as a priest or farmer to lure in children. Authorities caught onto him when they discovered a mass grave of 25 children, and he was soon locked up after being found trying to hurt another child.

Garavito, who is still in a high-security prison, is now suffering from cancer in his left eye, as well as lymphocitic leukaemia.

A forensic psychologist who injured Garavito described him as a "friendly" psychopath.

"He is one of the most friendly and soft-spoken persons I have ever met," Dr Mark Benecke told the Mirror. "[He was] very manipulative towards me in a friendly way. He is a typical serial killer who acts out his fantasies. He is a typical paedophile - soft, mild-mannered and friendly to kids and others."

Investigators working at one of Garavito's mass graves
Investigators working at one of Garavito's mass graves. Picture: Getty

Garavito suffered a difficult upbringing himself, being sexually and physically abused, and forced to work instead of go to school by his alcoholic father.

Dr Benecke added: "He is a mild-mannered, friendly, soft-spoken man and, like many psychopathic persons, very honest and open if he wants to or if you do not judge them.

"Garavito told me that he even pitied a kid he killed because the kid had told him of [being abused], and Garavito could relate to that due to him being sexually abused as a child all the time."