Brazilian man confesses killing 42 people ‘for pleasure’

Alleged serial killer made statement after arrest in Rio de Janeiro

A man arrested by police in Rio de Janeiro on suspicion of murder has confessed to killing 42 people over the past decade. Photograph: Getty Images

A man arrested by police in Rio de Janeiro on suspicion of murder has confessed to killing 42 people over the past decade. Photograph: Getty Images

 

A man arrested by police in Rio de Janeiro on suspicion of murder has confessed to killing 42 people over the past decade, making him potentially one of the country’s most prolific serial killers.

Sailson Jose das Gracas (26) was arrested and told reporters at a police station in the state of Rio that he killed for pleasure and the accompanying adrenaline rush. He said he also operated as a killer for hire.

He said his preferred victims were white females, whom he strangled. Among the 42 victims, 39 are thought to be women.

The arrest comes just months after a security guard confessed to killing 39 people, mostly homeless people and transvestites, in the Brazilian city of Goiania.

“I would wait for an opportunity to break into the house and kill,” Mr Das Gracas told reporters, adding he would often watch his victims for months before making his move.

“When I didn’t do it I would get nervous, then I would go hunting [for other victims].”

Police made Mr Das Gracas available for reporters to question in a give and take session that’s not uncommon in Brazil.

Mr Das Gracas said he would often remove the nails of his victims to avoid marks or scratches from a scuffle. He said his wife was aware of the murders.

Mr Das Gracas committed his first crimes at the age of 15, snatching handbags. At 17 he allegedly killed his first victim.

Media spotlight

Experts say Mr Das Gracas is likely a psychopath who enjoys the media spotlight and warned that what he said should be checked carefully.

But police said they were convinced by his account and were cross-referencing his confessions with past crime reports. Four crimes had already been matched, they said.

Reuters