Born: October 31, 1896
Number of victims: 4
Date of murders: 1906 - 1912
Method of murder: Strangulation / Bludgeoning
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to a couple of abusive alcoholics, Cayetano Santos Godino showed an early propensity for violence. He started by setting fires and killing cats and birds. Then, at the age of just seven, he severely beat a two-year-old and threw him in a ditch. Fortunately, someone witnessed this latter action and informed the police. Godino was arrested but released with a warning. A year later, he beat another child and was again let off.
Taking advantage of the lenience shown him, Godino embarked on a crime spree in January 1912. First, he set fire to a warehouse. Then, on January 26, 1912, he beat 13-year-old Arturo Laurona to death, leaving his body in an abandoned house. Less than two months later, on March 7, 1912, he set fire to the dress of Reyna Vainicoff, aged 5. The little girl died of her injuries.
On November 8, 1912, Godino tried to strangle an 8-year-old and was arrested and charged with attempted murder. Again he was released with no more than a firm rebuke. Assaults on two more children followed but fortunately adults were at hand to intervene. During this time Godino also continued his arson campaign, torching several buildings.
On December 3, 1912, Godino lured 3-year-old Jesualdo Giordano to an abandoned house. There he choked and beat the toddler before driving a nail into his head. The body was found soon after and when a witness recalled seeing Godino with the little boy, Godino was arrested. He quickly admitted to four murders.
Godino was sent to a reformatory, but after attacking several of his fellow inmates, he was declared insane and ordered to be incarcerated indefinitely. He died in prison in 1944.
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