Luis Garavito: A Colombian serial killer who killed 189 children

Luis Garavito: A Colombian serial killer who killed 189 children

Luis Garavito: A Colombian serial killer who killed 189 children

The Colombian Serial Killer Luis Alfredo Garavito Cubillos sexually abused and killed 189 children. He created fear and horror in the hearts of Colombians during the 1990s. Behind his deceptively simple attitude exists a monster responsible for one of Colombia’s most horrible series of crimes.

Luis Garavito’s story is full of sorrow, darkness, and terrible crimes. He has a nickname “La Bestia” meaning “The Beast”. He was convicted of sexually abusing and murdering at least 189 children.

Colombian Serial Killer Luis Garavito who killed 189 children | Source: Evil Among Us

Early Life

Luis was born on January 25, 1957, in Genova, Colombia. He was born into an abusive family. His father was known to beat his pregnant mother. Luis claimed to have been sexually assaulted by both his parents. His father sexually abused him and his younger siblings.

Luis Garavito had an abusive childhood | Source: Evil Among Us

Beginning of Dark Era

Luis was arrested for the first time when he was 16 years old. He was accused of abusing a young boy at Bogota station but was released after claiming that he had no intention of committing any crime.

Police arrested Luis for the first time when he was 16 years old I Source: Evil Among Us

He had already been kicked out of the house, so he became somewhat of a nomad. Luis tried to get a career and start a family. But he kept returning to Colombian locations famous for child sex trafficking for most of the 1970s.

His sexual addiction became more severe in the 1980s. He not only went out of his way to sexually abuse children, but he also tortured them.

Luis was not happy with his crimes. He even checked himself into a mental hospital for a month. Despite his unwillingness to accept any of his misdeeds, he went for treatment for depression. For several hospital stays, he was prescribed medication for depression and psychosis. None of these visits stopped him from committing even more horrible crimes.

Luis Garavito went to a mental hospital and stayed for months I Source: Evil Among Us

Horrible Crimes of “The Beast”

The victims of Luis were mostly young boys with fair skin. His victims ranged in age from 6 to 16. He would sometimes approach them dressed as a salesman, a priest, or other type of authority person. He would stalk his victims in broad daylight, always dressed in a different custom.

Columbian Serial Killer Luis Garavito who killed 189 children I Source: Evil Among Us

Luis would lure the child with money, food, or jobs and take the child to the outskirts of town where no one could witness his horrific crimes. Typically, he chained the children during sexual molestation. Children were bitten, burned, and otherwise mistreated.

Between 1986 and 1992, he became increasingly fascinated with mass murderers like Hitler (who committed a massacre of Jews in 1933). This interest in murderers pushed him over the line. Luise has reportedly claimed that a “Satanic force” prompted him to commit his first murder in 1992.

Luis claimed “Satanic force” compelled him to murderI Source: Evil Among Us

1992-1997 unveils tragic acts of Luis Garavito

Luis first noticed his murderous victim, Juan Carlos, as he was drinking in a bar. He followed the young kid in the middle of the night carrying a butcher knife. He lured him in the same way he lured his other victims. But this time was different. When authorities discovered Juan’s body, they found that his genitals had been cut and his front teeth knocked out.

Luis Garavito brutally murdered his first victim Juan Carlos I Source: Evil Among Us

The Beast Luise would stop murdering children for short periods. This occurred sometimes when a victim fought back or victim injured Luise.

But from 1992 until 1997, he returned to his homicidal habits. He would travel around Colombia carrying out his misdeeds filling a bag with “trophies”. Luis considered the remaining parts of dead children as “trophies”. He would eventually leave off trophies at the home of his girlfriend when the bag became too full.

Capture and Arrest of Luis Garavito

The bizarre and barbaric reign of Luis came to an end when he attacked his last innocent prey John Ivan Sabogal on April 22, 1999. Police didn’t have to wait long to capture him. Because he was taken into custody with the help of an eye-witnessed young man. During custody, Luis confessed to murdering 140 children on October 28, 1999.

Luis Garavito confessed to the murder of 140 children | Source: Evil Among Us

Legal Proceedings and Jail Sentence

Luis Garavito was sentenced to 1,853 years and 9 days in jail for his crimes on May 27, 2000. However, he won’t serve the full sentence. Colombian law only allowed convicts to serve up to 40 years in prison at the time of their punishment.

Furthermore, in both the United States and Colombia, criminals who cooperate with authorities may receive a reduced sentence. The confession of Luis led authorities to the bodies of many victims. This brought his sentence down to 22 years.

The Colombian Court sentenced him to 22 years imprisonment I Source: Evil Among Us

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Luis went on medical leave in 2020 after being diagnosed with cancer. Throughout the year, he was transferred back and forth from hospitals to maximum security prisons. He was serving his sentence till October 12, 2023, when he died.


Despite the imprisonment of Luis Garavito, he left the scars on collective psyche of Colombia. The tragedy of Luis Garavito is a terrible reminder of human tyranny and the fragility of the innocent.

The terrible realm of Luis was years ago, yet the memory of his horrors persists. Colombia is still dealing with the fallout from his actions.

As the sun sets in Colombia, there is a collective desire that the victim’s spirits find rest and that the darkness of Luis’s legacy fades. So that it allows the country to hear; and rebuild from the horrific tragedies they witnessed.

Nonetheless, the narrative of “La Bestia” is carved into history as a terrifying reminder of the human soul’s capacity for evil.

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