If I asked you who you thought was the worst serial killer, names like Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, or Jeffrey Dahmer would likely come to mind.
There's no question that all three of those men were horrible individuals who committed atrocious crimes, but all of their victims combined don't even come close to the number of people that Luis Garavito murdered in the 1990s.
In 1999, this man admitted to raping, torturing, and killing 140 young boys over a five-year period in Colombia, making him the country's worst serial killer.
Garavito, also known as "The Beast," preyed on poor and homeless children between the ages of 8 and 16.
He lured them away from crowded areas with promises of money and other gifts, then tied them up. After he molested and tortured the young boys, he slit their throats and dismembered their bodies.
Police first suspected that a serial killer might've been on the loose in Colombia when they found the remains of 36 bodies in Pereira. More bodies were discovered in 11 other states.
When Garavito was arrested for attempting to rape a 12-year-old boy, police searched the apartments of his girlfriend and another of his friends. They found multiple newspaper clippings about his victims' disappearances.
Soon after he was apprehended in April 1999, he confessed to murdering 140 children. He was ultimately charged with 172 murders, but he was found guilty of 138.
Unfortunately, Garavito only received 22 years in prison because he helped police locate some of the bodies. The maximum prison sentence in Colombia was only 30 years at the time.
Because of public outrage over his sentence as well as the possibility of early release for good behavior, that limit has increased to 60 years in prison by law. However, life sentences and the death penalty still don't exist in Colombia and that increase to 60 years will not be applied to Garavito's case.
The fact that this monster could soon be released back into the world makes me absolutely sick and terrified.
Twenty-two years in prison is a complete joke in light of the horrors he put all of those innocent children through. He deserves to spend the rest of his miserable life there.