Teen confesses to 12 murders

March 28, 2008 5:47:38 PM PDT
A 16-year-old boy has acknowledged murdering 12 people in southern Brazil, according to a police investigator who described his chillingly calm confession. The teenager, whose identity was not revealed because he is a minor, allegedly told police he killed in fits of rage or out of revenge - or, in one case, because the victim wanted to date his sister, police inspector Enizaldo Jose Plentz said Friday.

Police have enough evidence to prove that the unemployed high school dropout killed at least six people with an initial shot to the head before riddling their bodies with bullets, Plentz said. Authorities were still working to determine if he killed the other six.

"The news stunned everyone," said Salete Lanius, a receptionist at a hotel in the teen's home city of Novo Hamburgo, a shoe manufacturing town where the killings took place. "For me, he is just an evil person, and the fact that people like him live among us is really scary."

The teen was arrested at home on Wednesday, as police investigated the murder of a 39-year-old shopkeeper.

"He told us he shot the storeowner because he had been slapped in the face during an argument the two had a few minutes earlier," Plentz said. "But we think he killed him during a robbery attempt."

"During interrogations, he spoke with the frightening cold-bloodedness of someone who enjoys killing people," the inspector said.

"The calmness with which he described the murders, and how he would have killed three more had we not arrested him, was scary," Plentz said. "He told us he only killed people who deserved to die, like the young man he shot dead because he wanted to date his sister."

The teen was taken to a juvenile detention center where he will undergo a battery of psychological tests for the next 45 days.