Pedro Rodrigues Filho, Brazil’s most prolific serial killer

Pedro Rodrigues Filho was a notorious Brazilian serial killer and vigilante turned YouTuber who became infamous for his brutal crimes against suspected criminals during his teenage years.

He is considered the most prolific serial killer in Brazil and was convicted of 71 murders although he claimed to have killed over 100 people. He was sentenced to more than 400 years in prison.

Early Life and Vigilante Justice

Pedro, also known as Pedrinho Matador, was born on a farm in Santa Rita do Sapucaí, south of Minas Gerais, Brazil, on 29th October 1954.

His skull had been damaged before birth as a result of his father kicking his pregnant mother’s belly during a fight.

At the age of nine, Pedro ran away from home and went to live with his godparents in Santa Rita do Sapucaí, but he later fled to São Paulo where he started committing robberies in the city.

He claimed that at the age of 13, he felt the urge to kill for the first time when he pushed an older cousin into a sugar cane press, almost killing him.

At the age of 14, Pedro shot the vice-mayor of Alfenas, Minas Gerais, in front of the city hall, using a shotgun that belonged to his grandfather.

The vice-mayor had fired Pedro’s father, who was a school guard, for allegedly stealing food. Pedro also killed a security guard, whom he suspected to be the real thief.

On the run, Pedro fled to Mogi das Cruzes, Greater São Paulo, where 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).

Life with Maria Aparecida Olympia

While in Mogi das Cruzes, Pedro met Maria Aparecida Olympia, nicknamed Botinha, and they began living together.

Botinha was the widow of a drug lord and Pedro took over Botinha’s husband’s illegal activities and was “forced” to kill at least three men who were considered to be his rivals.

Botinha became pregnant with his child but not long after, Pedro found her dead with gunshot wounds.

Pedro tortured and killed several people to find out who had killed Botinha. When he found out that it was a rival drug dealer, he and four friends invaded a wedding party and killed not only Botinha’s killer but also six other people and injured 16. At the time, he was still a minor.

Pedro’s arrest

Pedro was arrested for the first time in 1973, at the age of 19.

After his first arrest, Pedro spent most of his adult life in prison, with a violent reputation among other inmates and guards.

He even killed another prisoner while being transported, claiming that the man was a rapist.

Pedro’s father

At the age of 20, Pedro killed his own father in prison after finding out that he had killed his mother with 21 blows of a machete.

In an interview with journalist Marcelo Rezende on a TV Record program, Pedro stated that he killed his father out of revenge, saying, “He gave my mother 21 stabs, so I gave him 22.”

Pedro also claimed that he cut out a piece of his father’s heart, chewed it, and threw it away.

He further explained that he had a revolver attached to his waist at the time of the murder, but chose to use a knife instead. When asked how he had obtained the revolver, he claimed to have imprisoned a police officer and taken his weapon.

Prison sentence

Despite being sentenced to 126 years in prison, he was set to be released in 2003 due to the maximum sentence limit in Brazilian law at the time, which was 30 years.

Pedro was eventually released on 24 April 2007 after serving 34 years in prison.

He reportedly moved to Fortaleza in Ceará, where he continued to receive attention from the media and the public for his notorious crimes.

In 2011, he was arrested again at his rural home in Balneário Camboriú for charges including riot and deprivation of liberty, which he committed while detained in São Paulo.

He was sentenced to eight years in prison and was released on good behaviour after serving seven years in December 2018.

After his release, Pedro became a Brazilian celebrity and YouTuber, running a channel called Pedrinho EX Matador, where he discussed modern crimes while advocating against vigilantism and educating the public that criminal acts are not something to be proud of.

The inspiration for Dexter

In addition to his notoriety in Brazil, Rodrigues’ story gained international attention after the release of a novel series by Jeff Lindsay, featuring a fictional American serial killer named Dexter Morgan who kills other killers, inspired by Rodrigues.

The series became a hit and was adapted into a successful television series.

As a result, Rodrigues became known as the “Brazilian Dexter” or the “South American Punisher” (after the Marvel Comics character of the same name).


Pedro was shot and killed on 5th March 2023, in Mogi das Cruzes, Greater São Paulo, at the age of 68.

He was found shot in the Ponte Grande neighbourhood while holding a child in his arms, who was not injured in the attack.

The police were called to the scene and began searching for the black car that was seen fleeing the scene. The vehicle was later found abandoned, and the police believe that the killer switched to a white car to escape.

No arrests have been made over Pedro’s death.