Francisco de Assis Pereira began his string of crimes in the late 1990s, he would take his victims to Parque do Estado, in the capital of São Paulo, due to his way of acting he became known as Maníaco do Parque, in English The Park Maniac. The case became popular in 1998, however in 1996 Francisco was already raping women, but not yet killing them.
Francisco seduced his victims with false promises of a job at a modeling agency. He would select women in public places, such as subway stations and supermarkets. The main characteristic he looked for was physical similarities to an old girlfriend, while other sources say that Francisco was looking for women who had sad looks.
Mode of action
According to the description of the victims who survived, the maniac would have acted in a similar manner to the one described above. With pleasant speech, a good way of conducting conversation and great persuasive skills, he would hand out compliments and convince the victims that an advertising team was waiting for them at the State Park, to take photo tests as a model and possibly even pursue a great art career.
Francisco worked as a motorcycle courier, so he had a motorcycle. What was most striking is how he could convince women to get on the back of a motorcycle and go into the middle of a thicket with a man they had just met. It is clear how persuasive and convincing the criminal was.
On arrival at the park, Francisco would show his real intentions, physically and psychologically torturing the women through offenses and assaults, even taking a tour of the woods to show the corpses of his previous victims. Police later found the corpses buried in pairs.
During the crimes he would stop somewhere, and with the victim’s own objects, such as shoelaces and belts, or even instruments found in the undergrowth, he would asphyxiate the girls and sexually abuse their bodies.
Between January and August 1998, the bodies of the victims began to be found in the State Park. They were kneeling, in a bowed position, and with signs of sexual violence and bite marks.
It was a real media soap opera. Bodies began to appear on varying days and even months. That began to conjure up the idea of a serial-killer. Always with some pretext of sexual violence against the victims.Report of the prosecutor Edílson Mougenot.
Discovery of the killer
Before the serial crimes investigation, Francisco had already been subpoenaed by the police to clarify the use of a checkbook in Isadora Fraenkel’s name. She was missing and Francisco had used two checkbooks in her name. The killer told the police that she was his girlfriend, the officers accepted the story for a while. It was later discovered that Isadora was actually another one of Francisco’s victims.
An anonymous tip led to the suspect’s name, and his history of crimes strengthened the hypothesis that Francisco was the perpetrator. In 1995 the motorcycle courier was arrested for attempted rape, but posted bail and was released. In addition to the Isadora case already mentioned.
The first material evidence against Francisco was obtained on July 24, 1998, when the identity of one of the victims was found in a clogged toilet at the company where the delivery man worked, but due to the popularization of the crimes he had already resigned.
Frightened by the strong media reaction to the case, he fled.
He was recognized by a fisherman’s family to whom he asked for lodging, promptly they triggered the police. The motorcycle courier was captured in early August 1998, after fleeing for 23 days, in the city of Itaqui, on the border with Argentina and approximately 1500 km from the scene of the crimes.
At total, 23 women suffered attacks in that park, of which 11 were murdered. The remaining victims made it out alive, not because they were lucky, but because Francisco had not reached the peak of his most violent phase.
Currently, by Brazilian law, a person cannot spend more than 40 years in jail, however at the time of the crimes, legislation did not allow a person to spend more than 30 years in jail, so he is expected to be released around 2028, even though he was sentenced to more than 280 years in prison.