Friday, March 27, 2009

Peru: Court annulls sentence of anti-gay serial murderer, orders new trial

A Peruvian appellate court has dismissed an earlier conviction against Pedro Pablo Nakada Ludeña - known as Perú's worst serial murderer - which called for 35 years in jail for the murder of nine individuals. Nakada, who is 35, had actually confessed murdering from twelve to twenty-five people between the years of 1990 and 2006 (depending on accounts), saying that God had called upon him to clean the city streets of gays, drug addicts and prostitutes.

After the May 2008 verdict, an appeal was submitted alleging that Nakada was mentally ill and suffered from schizophrenia (claims that were introduced during the civil court trial but rejected by the jury). They also claimed that the verdict was unconstitutional since the ruling did not specifically assign a motive for the murders as reacquired by law.

This week the appellate court agreed and annulled the jail sentence. They also ordered a new trial under a 'security process' system specifically addressing cases in which someone who is accused of a crime is found to have mental disabilities. If found guilty, Nakada would face confinement in a mental health institute but avoid a jail sentence.

In a 2006 police interview, a couple of days after his arrest, Nakada confessed to many of the murders without showing guilt or remorse. Excerpts culled from a transcript, as published then by La Republica, are chilling:
Authorities: You assert being an envoy from God to purify the earth, do you regret committing so many crimes?
Nakada: What do I have to feel sorry about? Those people shouldn't exist.
Authorities: So, if you had another opportunity, would you kill again?
Nakada: I had the mission of cleaning the streets of drug-addicts, homosexuals and thieves. I still have a pending job...
Authorities: Didn't you think about your family, your wife, your children?
Nakada: I love my wife, María [...] and my three sons.
A report released along with the transcript said that Nakado claimed to have been sexually abused by family members when he was four, that he'd begun killing animals at at five and that his oldest sister forced him to wear girl's clothing when he was six. During his teens, he said, he killed cows, horses and bulls and took great pleasure in seeing them suffer.

In 1990, Nakada enlisted in the Peruvian armed forces but only served two months. Military psychiatrists recommended his discharge, calling him a 'dangerous to society.' They reported that Nakara listened to voices giving him Divine mandates and labeled him a psychopath. Nakada was never referred to any treatment and was said to be suicidal after being rejected by the military. By then he had learned how to use firearms. It was around that time, at the age of 17, that he said that he killed his first human victim when he caught someone stealing a watermelon from a fruit cart. He would confess to murdering another 19 persons and called himself "The Apostle of Death".

Not all his claims have proved credible. News reports still report his initial claim that he belonged to the Peruvian Air Force, which has proven false. There are also reports that his name of birth is Pedro Pablo Mesías Ludeña and that he changed his last name to Nakada in 2003 to acquire a Japanese sounding last name in hopes to moving there someday.

Families of the victims claim that Nakara is faking mental illness to escape a jail sentence and that he should serve a sentence in jail for his crimes. It's unclear if a new trial might bring a similar imprisonment rem in a mental health facility but some psychologists have also expressed concern that mental institutions might not be ready to integrate a mass murderer into their facilities.

[Photo above from Caretas magazine]

1 comment:

libhom said...

This reminds me of how in the US, police and prosecutors tend to be sloppy on cases involving hate crimes. I don't know if that is what is happening in Peru, but it did strike a familiar chord.