The idea of a protagonist serial killer is something we usually see in film or TV and therefore can indulge without feeling too guilty.
But as it happens, there’s inspiration – in its own weird way – behind fictional characters like Dexter Morgan.
Take Pedro Rodrigues Filho, a Brazilian serial killer known by the alias Pedrinho Matador (Killer Petey).
From the 1960s to 2003, Pedro claimed at least 71 lives, both in and outside jail. But instead of picking innocent, random members of society, Pedro specifically targeted criminals.
Born with a damaged skull thanks to the extent of violence inflicted upon his mother by his father during her pregnancy, Pedro was 13 when he first realised his taste and propensity for aggression.
Following an incident aged 14 when an argument led to him trying to throw his cousin into a sugar cane press, Pedro murdered the Vice Mayor of Alfenas, who had fired his father prior to his killing.
Shortly after that, he wiped out a school guard who thought to be a thief, before killing another guard.
Pedro’s criminal activity continued when he moved to Sao Paulo, burglarising local slums, killing a drug dealer during one siege. It was in Sao Paulo that he would meet a woman who would go on to become his fiancée.
Tragically, she was savagely murdered by a gang. Seeking revenge, Pedro crashed one of the gang leader’s weddings and massacred seven people and injured sixteen others.
By age 18 he had already killed ten people, but Pedro hadn’t even started yet.
His most notorious murder was committed against his own father after he’d been sentenced for the killing of his mother.
Paying a visit to him in jail, Pedro proceeded to stab him 22 times, cutting out his heart, eating a piece of it and throwing the rest away.
At age 20 he was arrested and placed in a police car with two criminals, one of whom was a convicted rapist. By the time they reached the station, Pedro had killed him.
In what must have been the most least-monitored prison in history, Pedro went on to kill 47 of his fellow inmates who believed deserved retribution for their crimes. According to Pedro, the thrill of killing another criminal was ‘wonderful and satisfying’, his favourite method, like Dexter was stabbing and hacking them with blades.
One can only imagine what kind of time that gets you when you’re already inside confinement. Filho claimed to have taken over 100 victims, yet it is impossible to verify.
It later turned out that Pedro was handed a sentence of 128 years, of which he only served 30.
According to Brazilian law, the maximum sentence a prisoner can serve is just 30 years.
In 2007 he was released back into society, where he has since vowed to kill other criminals if the opportunity arises.