Header Image Source: Photo by Fernando Brasil on Unsplash
1. Pedro Rodrigues Filho
"Pedro Rodrigues Filho is one serious serial killer. He’s responsible for at least 70 murders, 10 of which he committed before he reached the age of 18.
When it comes to Pedro Rodrigues Filho though, being a good guy can actually pay off. Rodrigues targeted victims who, for the most part, weren’t just average everyday people. Described by one analyst as the “perfect psychopath,” Rodrigues went after other criminals and those who had wronged him.
Rodrigues’ life started out rough from the moment he came into the world. He was born in 1954 in Minas Gerais, Brazil with an injured skull as a result of a beating his mother took from his father while she was pregnant.
Rodrigues committed his first kill when he was just 14. The victim was his town’s vice-Mayor. The man had recently fired Rodrigues’ father, who was working as a school guard, for allegedly stealing food from the school. So Rodrigues shot him in front of city hall with a shotgun.
His second murder wasn’t long after. Rodrigues went on to murder another guard who was the supposed real food thief.
He fled to the area of Mogi das Cruzes in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Once there, Pedro Rodrigues Filho killed a drug dealer and participated in some burglaries as well. He also fell in love. Her name was Maria Aparecida Olympia and the two lived together until she was killed by gang members.
Olympia’s death spurred Rodrigues’ next crime spree. He tracked down several people related to her murder, torturing and killing them in his mission to find the gang member who took Olympia’s life.
The next notorious murder Pedro Rodrigues Filho committed was also one of vengeance. This time the target was his own father, the same man he committed his first murder on behalf of.
Rodrigues’ father had used a machete to kill Rodrigues’ mother and was doing time at a local prison. Pedro Rodrigues visited his father in jail, where he killed him by stabbing him 22 times.
Then, taking things to a whole other level, Rodrigues proceeded to cut out his father’s heart before chewing on it.
Pedrinho Matador was finally arrested on May 24, 1973. He was placed in a police car with two other criminals, including a rapist.
When the police opened the car door, they discovered that Rodrigues had killed the rapist.
It was the start of a whole new chapter. Being thrown in prison, where he was surrounded by convicts, well that was Rodrigues’ bread and butter..."
Source: “Meet Pedro Rodrigues Filho, The Real-Life “Dexter” — Serial Killer Of Other Criminals” by John Kuroski (All That’s Interesting) 2021
1. Portrait of Alexander Pushkin by Orest Kiprensky
2. Painting of Natalia Pushkina by Alexander Brullov
3. Drawing of George D'Anthès
"Those of eminent gifts killed in duels during the nineteenth century make for a grim harvest. The roll includes Alexander Hamilton, most brilliant of constitutionalists, John Scott, publicist, editor, champion of Romanticism, Evariste Galois, begetter of group theory and algebraic topology (gunned down at 21), Michael Lermontov, lyric poet, and master of narrative Ferdinand Lassalle, the most seductive of utopian socialists. Of all these, the most illustrious, the one whose death constituted irreparable waste, was Alexander Pushkin.
One aches at being informed that those of us innocent of knowledge of Russian are forever excluded from true access to Pushkin's genius, which is inextricably interwoven with the magic of sound, cadence and connotation in Russian and thus untranslatable. As with Racine, Pushkin's metamorphic mastery of his native tongue so profoundly exploited its genius as to make of translation helplessness (this is the haughty point Nabokov was making in his 'anti-translation' of Eugene Onegin).
None the less, even in more or less pallid form, as in the blurred but haunting winter light of St Petersburg, the sheer scope of Pushkin's achievement does filter through. One does gather something of the dimensions which, for so many Russians, set Pushkin next to Shakespeare. The diversity of formal inventions is, perhaps, unique in literature. Pushkin's verse extends from bitter satire to pure lyricism, from uttermost concision to the subtle largesse of the verse-novel, from short stories of matchless compactness and tension to novellas whose historical sweep prepares for Tolstoy. If Boris Godunov is creatively dependent on Macbeth, Pushkin's dramatic miniatures, such as the mesmerising Mozart and Salieri, are of enduring originality. Nothing his hand touched, be it private letters or hasty notes, is altogether unlit by a style, by the ironies and insights of a persona at once out of any common reach and yet intimately close (that Shakespearean duplicity).
Pushkin - Gogol after him - created the lasting wonder of Russian literature. His conception of the poet as the more or less clandestine, Aesopian voice of conscience under despotism, as the prime witness to the desolation's and hopes of the incredible fate that is Russian history, informs Pasternak and Brodsky as it did Dostoevsky.
In this 200th anniversary year of Pushkin's birth, his mercurial presence, his grip from within on the Russian language and national identity, have lost nothing of their almost demonic insistence. Nor has his death lost its edge.
The events leading up to the duel with Baron Georges D'Anthès on 27 January 1837, have been minutely investigated. Pushkin biographies and monographs are a minor industry. It appeared highly improbable that anything new, let alone significant, was left to discover. But it is just such discovery which informs Professor Serena Vitale's superb account (admirably translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein and Jon Rothschild). Given unprecedented access to the archives of one of the families involved, that of Baron de Heeckeren, empowered by scholarly detection and historical imagining, Vitale has deciphered an affair of cruel complexity whose consequences are with us still..."
Source: “Pushkin’s Date with Death” By George Steiner (The Observer)