It’s kind of weird that I wrote about Pedro Rodrigues Filha and the latest facts I’d learned about him only days before his death. Or rather it seems that way to me because my sense of focus is upon myself.
In anycase, I’d had him in the back of my mind because the idea that a man who had once eaten a slice of his father’s heart and boasted about it had started a YouTube channel warning about the dangers of joining a gang and being a vigilante intrigued me.
He’s one of those serial killers that you catch yourself thinking was kind of ok… yeah… supposedly he was the inspiration for Dexter because he had a strict moral code. His moral code being he killed rapists. I mean, the thing is, he also killed other people, people who accused his dad of being a thief, people his gang needed him to kill… so maybe let’s not start thing he had a strict moral code against killing. Just, if you were a rapist and locked up with him your survival rate was not high at all.
I didn’t know if I was too cynical when I wondered if he only gave up his serial killer/gang lifestyle because he was in his seventies and couldn’t effectively live that way anymore. Turns out I was wrong though because apparently his gym routine indicated he probably still could have taken out a rapist had he a mind to.
What did take him out was being in the wrong place at the wrong time – he was caught in gang gunfire. Initial reports suggest he wasn’t the deliberate target but to be fair there’s not a lot of reports in English and my Spanish is not great.
People are complicated. Lately I’ve been reading a lot of books about trauma and therapy and such and I’m having a problem with people being described as abusers or toxic, this is by no means to say that I am suggesting that Pedro Rodrigues Filho was somehow a good guy. Not do I think being a gang member or killing people is somehow good. I think some people are abusers, that is to say they deliberately choose to target vulnerable people to enact abuse upon them.
I think probably a larger number of people behave toxicly, they, through situation, through lack of self awareness behave in a way that gets what they want from others because that’s what they think should be happening and they don’t interrogate the good and bad surrounding that. So if someone self interrogated and changes then they can become better, they can rehabilitate themselves. Of course if you’ve been the victim then it’s very important you don’t feel obligated to stay with that because that’s not going to be good for your sense of self either. So sure, réhabilitation from a serial killer. One with a very solid sense of justice, and now he reaped the death you’d have expected for him years ago.
I’m not going to say rest in peace, it seems disrespectful, I’m not going to wish his victims families feel like justice has been done because good gods what a mess. What a life, what a mess, some good some bad and some complicated weaving of it all together.