The Monster of the Andes: No One Knows Were this Serial Killer is Hiding Now

By Karen Harris

Pedro Lopez, also known as The Monster of the Andes, is a prolific serial killer and rapist who may have murdered as many as 300 little girls in several South American countries. Lopez was caught and tried for his crimes, but was declared insane and sent to a mental hospital. In 1998, he was released on good behavior and no one has seen the Monster of the Andes again. Is it possible that he is still continuing his reign of terror somewhere in the world?

Lopez had a Tumultuous Childhood as the Son of a Prostitute

A member of the Colombian Conservative Party during Colombia’s civil war, Pedro Lopez’ father, Midardo Reyes had a fight with his wife one December night in 1947 and stormed out into the darkness. He hired a prostitute named Belinda Lopez de Casteneda and spent the evening with her. She soon after discovered that she was pregnant with Reyes’ child. She was only three months along when Reyes was murdered by a rebellious mob. When Pedro Lopez was born six months later, he became the seventh of Belinda Lopez’s thirteen children.

Growing up with a Prostitute for a Mom Led to Lopez’s Bizarre Mental Issues

As a child, Lopez was witness to countless acts of prostitution, which he later claimed had damaged his psyche. He was only eight years old when his mother caught him sexually assaulting his younger sister, but Belinda Lopez didn’t let Pedro's young age stop her from kicking him out of the house for good. The youngster made his way to Bogota, Colombia’s capital, where he met a kindly older man. Lopez later recounted that this man took him to an abandoned building and repeatedly sodomized him. When he was 12 years old, an American family took pity on him and helped him to enroll in a school for orphaned children. He only lasted two years at this school before running away. He claimed that a male teacher had sexually assaulted him, but this was never proven. By the time he turned 18, Pedro Lopez supported himself by stealing cars and then selling them to chop-shops. The police caught him and sent him to prison.

Lopez’s Murder Spree began while He was in Jail

Pedro Lopez claimed that he was viciously gang-raped as a new prisoner. He remembered the faces of his attackers and, one by one, he hunted them down and killed each one before he was released from jail. This was Lopez’s first taste of murder.

Once he was released from prison, Pedro Lopez discovered his appetite for young girls. He began abducting, raping and killing little girls in villages across Peru. He later claimed that he had raped and murdered more than 100 girls by 1978 when he was caught in the act by members of a native tribe.

The Monster of the Andes was Nearly Executed by Elders in a Native Peruvian Tribe

When Pedro Lopez's perverted and deadly activities were discovered by a tribesman of a local Peruvian tribe, the tribe’s elders ordered his immediate execution. An American Christian missionary who was living and ministering to the tribe pleaded with the tribe leaders to spare Lopez’s life. The missionary stressed that the natives should turn over Lopez to the Peruvian police authorities and follow the country’s law, rather than taking a vigilante justice approach. They relented. Lopez left the tribe with the missionary, who handed him over to the state police. Once the missionary departed, the police let Lopez go free.  

Lopez Expanded His Murderous Activity to Colombia and Ecuador

After his close call with the Peruvian authorities, Pedro Lopez left Peru and relocated to Colombia, where he continued hunting innocent young girls to sexually assault and kill. He later moved to Ecuador, where his sinister activities picked up steam. He later bragged that he was killing approximately three little girls per week, claiming that the Ecuadorian youngsters were his favorites because they were “more gentle and trusting, more innocent.”

During a failed abduction attempt in 1980 in Ecuador, Pedro Lopez was caught. Traders at the local market cornered Lopez until police authorities could arrive to arrest him. During police questioning, Lopez confessed to more than 300 murders. Such a staggering number was hard for the police to believe, but a flash flood washed out a mass grave containing many of Lopez’s young victims. He later led police to 53 graves of more victims, all nine to twelve-year-old girls. The news reports of the time gave Lopez the nickname, “The Monster of the Andes” because of the horrific, widespread nature of his crimes.

Lopez stood trial for 110 murders, even though he confessed to many more. In 1983, he was found guilty yet clinically insane. He was sent to a psychiatric facility to serve his sentence under the help of mental health experts. In 1998, Lopez was released early on good behavior from the mental hospital. The Monster of the Andes left Ecuador and has not been seen since. One of history’s most depraved and dangerous serial murderers could still be alive today and continuing his murderous rampage elsewhere in the world.

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Karen Harris


Karen left the world of academic, quitting her job as a college professor to write full-time. She spends her days with her firefighter husband and four daughters on a hobby farm with an assortment of animals, including a goat named Atticus, a turkey named Gravy, and a chicken named Chickaletta.