hrough his lawyer Brazilian serial killer Francisco de Assis Pereira, confessed he is Sao Paolo's feared Park Maniac. "My client is guilty. My client is sick," lawyer Maria Elisa Munhol told reporters in comments broadcast by Globo Network television. This sweet-talking, roller-blader is believed to have charmed his way to mirdering nine young women and burying them in a wooded park in Sao Paolo. Pereira, 30, told investigators he was about to start eating his victims had his six-month killing spree not been uncovered.
Targeting women between the ages of 18 and 24, he strolled through the city's vast Parque do Estado, passing himself off as a fashion photographer. Pereira flattered his victims, telling them they had a bright future in modelling and drew them into secluded areas of the park for a "photo shoot." There, he is said to have strangled the women with shoelaces or scarves after sexually abusing them.
Pereira informally confessed to his lawyer and two others on the night of August 7, 1998. The next day he told police he was responsible for the eight bodies found in Sao Paolo's State Park. He also confessed to have killed Isadora Fraenkel and led police to her remains, a partly covered skeleton that he had burned with gasoline three days after the murder. He also tried to locate a tenth body, of a 15-year old girl, but failed. He testified about each killing in detail, but said he may have lost the actual count of his victims.
After his arrest the former motorcycle courier was nearly lynched by a mob of 200 people as police escorted him to a maximum security prison. Authorities say Pereira will be held in an isolated cell, saying he would almost certainly be killed if jailed with other prisoners. Pereira was caught on August 4 in Itaqui, state of Rio Grande do Sul, near the Argentine border after a frantic 23-day manhunt. He initially proclaimed his innocence, saying that he was unaware of that he was wanted by police and was heading to a skating competition, but later confessed to journalists and took police to the bodies, all of which were buried in the park. Nine women who escaped the killer's clutches helped police identify him.
On December 18, 2000, inmates at the Taubate House of Custody and Psychiatric Treatment tried to kill Pereira during a prison riot. Four inmates died in the disturbance. Authorities moved Pereira to another psychiatric facility to spare his life.