Serial Killer Vigilante, Pedro Rodrigues Filho

The annals of crime history are often marred by the gruesome tales of serial killers whose deeds leave a chilling trail of fear and disbelief. One such name that continues to haunt the minds of those acquainted with the macabre world of true crime is Pedro Rodrigues Filho. His twisted journey from victim to perpetrator, driven by a relentless thirst for revenge and a depraved sense of justice, paints a horrifying picture of a man consumed by darkness.

Early life: A seed of violence

Pedro Rodrigues Filho’s story begins in 1954, in the Brazilian town of Santa Rita do Sapucaí.

At the tender age of 14, Filho committed his first murder—he shot the deputy mayor whom he believed was responsible for his father’s loss of employment.

On the run, he began robbing drug dens and killing drug traffickers, making him a celebrity in the news media as the vigilante “Pedrinho Matador” (Lil’ Petey Killer).

Rodrigues took on the duties of the deceased in a local street gang and was soon “forced” to eliminate some rivals, killing three ex-cronies. Botinha became pregnant with his child but was murdered shortly thereafter by a rival gang leader. Still, underage, Rodrigues escaped, going on a revenge killing spree by tracking down and killing every member of the rival gang.

The next notorious murder Pedro Rodrigues Filho committed was also one of vengeance. This time the target was his own father, the same man he committed his first murder on behalf of.

Rodrigues’ father had used a machete to kill Rodrigues’ mother and was doing time at a local prison. Pedro Rodrigues visited his father in jail, where he killed him by stabbing him 22 times.

Then, taking things to a whole other level, Rodrigues proceeded to cut out his father’s heart before chewing on it.

Twisted sense of justice

What sets Pedro Rodrigues Filho apart from other serial killers is his twisted sense of justice. He didn’t confine his murders to random acts of violence; rather, he saw himself as a vigilante of sorts, targeting those he believed had wronged him or society. After escaping from a juvenile detention center, he embarked on a mission to kill criminals, primarily other murderers. His vigilantism often led him to clash with the law enforcement agencies that pursued him relentlessly.

First prison sentence

At the age of 19, Rodrigues was arrested for the first time on 24 May 1973, and lived in prison most of his adult years. Police records show that he was once transported in a vehicle with another prisoner, both handcuffed.

During transport Rodrigues killed the other inmate without the police noticing. When they opened the car door and saw the other prisoner was dead Rodrigues said he did it because the man was a rapist. Although he was sentenced to 126 years’ imprisonment, he was to be released in 2003, because Brazilian law at the time prohibited anyone from spending more than 30 years behind bars.

During his incarceration, he continued to kill people in prison, claiming the lives of 47 inmates. He sometimes killed inmates because of his past as a killer of criminals, which caused a majority of the prison population to hate him. In one attack by other inmates, Rodrigues was ambushed but he killed three of his attackers and injured the other two. Other inmates were chosen randomly: one of his victims, a cellmate and career criminal, was killed simply because he snored too much. Some of his victims were killed because, according to him, the thrill of killing another criminal was wonderful and satisfying.

After staying in prison for 34 years, Rodrigues was released on 24 April 2007, and he was reported to have moved to Fortaleza in Ceara.

Second prison sentence

On 15 September 2011, Rodrigues was arrested at his rural home in, where he worked as a caretaker. He was sentenced to eight years on charges such as riot and deprivation of liberty, committed while he was detained in São Paulo. He was released for good behaviour on 10 December 2018, after seven years.


Following his second release from prison in 2018, after announcing himself to be retired from his self-declared vigilantism as a youth, and officially committed not to commit any more crimes, Rodrigues became a YouTuber, maintaining a YouTube channel called Pedrinho EX Matador, commenting on modern crimes, campaigning against gang violence and teaching the public to not be proud of criminal acts.


At about 10 a.m. on 5 March 2023, Rodrigues was shot and killed by two men firing from a car in Mogi das Cruzes, who then fled in another car. No suspects have been arrested.

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