Latin America & Caribbean

Brazil 'serial killer' das Gracas alleges 42 deaths in a decade

Media captionBen Bland reports on the arrest of Sailson Jose das Gracas

Brazilian police have arrested a man who has confessed to the killing of 42 people over the last decade in the city of Rio de Janeiro.

Police say they arrested Sailson Jose das Gracas on Wednesday, shortly after he stabbed a woman to death in a city suburb.

He then confessed to killing another 37 women, three men and a two-year-old girl.

The police are searching for alleged victims and say they have found four.

In a police interview broadcast on Brazil's TV Globo, the man said he would go out hunting, and he killed for the adrenaline.

He told police that if he was ever released from prison he would kill again.

'Watched for months'

He said he preferred victims who were white females, whom he strangled.

His three male victims had been killed when he was operating for hire, he added.

Das Gracas said: " I would wait for an opportunity to break into the house and kill," adding that he would watch his victims for months before making his move.

Experts said Das Gracas appeared to be a psychopath who enjoyed the media spotlight and warned that what he said needed to be carefully checked.

Police said they had begun cross-referencing his confession with police reports and had already found four of his victims.

In October a security guard in the Brazilian city of Goiania confessed to killing 39 people.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Sailson Jose das Gracas, 26 said he began a life of crime at the age of 15 and killed his first victim at 17

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