Pedro Alonso López: Stare into the eyes of pure evil
The terror of true evil is that it doesn’t have a recognisable face. It is nondescript; one of us. You won’t necessarily know it when you meet it. One example is of a dark-haired, bearded man staring out from a black-and-white photograph taken by Ron Laytner. There is nothing obviously remarkable about the subject, save his slightly crooked nose and the squinting stare that reaches at the camera from behind the prison bars.
The lighting is harsh on his cocked, cautious face and behind the small gap in the cell door he seems forgotten, insignificant. Pedro Alonso López, sadly, is anything but. After interviewing him Laytner stated that López is huge, with a crushing grip that could break a man’s fingers, but on this photograph he appears average: neither handsome nor unduly life-scathed nor saucer-eyed. He is as near to conventional ideas of evil as we are likely to understand.
López killed little girls. What’s more, according to Laytner, he did it following the pattern set by his own abused childhood, stating: “I decided then to do the same to as many young girls as possible.” Rather than simply bragging about his terrible deeds, he chose to inflict pain on innocents as a form of retaliation as well as, it is suggested, some form of horrific expertise. He said he hoped it would make him “[the] man of the century,” that “no one will ever forget,” and he chose as his targets impoverished children. López saw his murders as much as a social service as a sin that would make him famous.
Bragging is what egotistical serial killers are sometimes known for. Goodness knows there are enough filmed interviews to attest this. As Laytner saw, López put his plans into action. Their meeting was accompanied by the governor’s daughter, whose job it was to translate. López refused to continue the interview unless allowed to touch her, and Laytner described how López slithered his fingers across the woman’s arm.
Only afterwards did López casually admit that he was in no way attracted her. At 26 years of age, the governor’s daughter was too old for him. López was just purposefully trying to upset the woman and breach the company’s standards of decency as much as possible, just because he could. That no one present intervened to prevent the pervert from placing his fingers on her flesh speaks of the petrifying power of the presence of one so wicked that normal social rules can no longer apply.
Today, Jeffrey Dahmer is dead and Edmund Kemper is imprisoned, but no one knows where Pedro López is. He was released after serving his sentence and then vanished. He may have been murdered by families avenging their loved ones, or he may have allowed himself to be swallowed by a big city, taking his pickings from the unfortunates who drift into its teeth.