CRIME FOUR: ‘Pedro Rodrigues’ (Intermediate English Lesson)

Essas aulas de inglês são para alunos intermediários e avançados de inglês como segunda língua. Eles incluem “Ler”, “Ouvir” e “Escrever”. Basta seguir a lição respondendo às perguntas à medida que as encontra.

Todas as vagas em negrito devem ser traduzidas para seu próprio idioma para ajudar na compreensão do novo vocabulário.

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This English lesson will take two hours to complete.

Jesse James, Ned Kelly and Dick Turpin’s crimes seem to   ‘pale into insignificance’   compared to Pedro Rodrigues of Brazil.

What does the expression  ‘pale into insignificance’  mean?


After researching the first three criminals in this series first from The United States, Australia and The UK  in the form of Jesse James and then Ned Kelly from Australia and finally Dick Turpin from England I tried to find a similar notorious criminal from Brazil and instantly found none from the recorded same historical time period.  There doesn’t appear to be a popular criminal in folklore. However, after further research I found a serial killer that sent the first three into insignificance in terms of their brutality.

Pedro Rodriques was and still is a 20th century vicious killer who confessed to over 100 murders both outside of the penal system and inside the penal system and admitted to a further 37 murders whilst inside the prison he was being kept. Today and after 34 years in prison for his crimes he is a Brazilian celebrity and YouTuber. Which in my mind says it all about why this society has so many security and anti-social issues today. In UK law if you were to murder a person and planned to do it, it’s called premeditated murder in cold blood, which means that you planned it and had no feelings afterwards about it.  In this case a person would be locked away for multiple life sentences. At least a full life sentence for each and every life you took. In effect you would never see the light of day.  In the case of Pedro Rodrigues not only was he freed after 37 years (less than one half of a life sentence)  in the penal system, he is famous and people watch his YouTube channel (  and listen to his podcasts as if he was a celebrity. This leaves me speechless. However, here is his interesting story.

VOCABULARY:   never see the light of day,  speechless, penal system, premeditated murder, in cold blood, life sentences, whilst


Watch the video and then read the following six sections and then do the writing exercise at the end of the lessoon.


Pedro Rodrigues Filho (born 17 June 1954), also known as Pedrinho Matador (Killer Lil’ Pedro, Killer Killer Petey, or simply Killer Petey), is a Brazilian convicted serial/spree killer known for pursuing and killing exclusively criminals as a teenager, between the age of 14 and 19, in particular an entire gang in response to the murder of his pregnant girlfriend. Officially sentenced for 71 murders but claiming to have killed over 100 drug dealers, rapists, and murderers, he served 34 years in prison before his release in 2007. In 2011, Filho was imprisoned again on charges of inciting riot and deprivation of liberty while initially imprisoned and sentenced for to a further eight years of prison, before being released again in 2018 after seven years on good behavior. His victims included 47 prisoners (primarily rapists) whom he murdered inside the prisons in which he was imprisoned.

VOCABULARY:  serial killer, pursuing, spree killer, convicted, rapist, 


Since his second release from prison in 2018, after announcing himself to be reformed from his self-declared vigilantism as a youth, and committed to not committing any more crimes, Filho is considered a Brazilian celebrity and YouTuber, maintaining a YouTube channel of a quarter of a million (250,000) watchers and supporters called Pedrinho EX Matador (later renamed 2P Entretenimento), commentating on modern crimes while educating the public that criminal acts are not something to be proud of.

VOCABULARY:  announcing, vigilantism, youth, crimes, committing, celebrity,  commentating


Following Filho’s initial planned 2003 release, author Jeff Lindsay began publishing a novel series about a fictional American serial killer of killers inspired by Filho, named Dexter Morgan. The series’ success, along with that of its 2006 television adaptation and 2022 revival of the same, led to widespread retrospective media attention being brought to Filho, with him becoming internationally known alternately both as the “Brazilian Dexter” and the “South American Punisher” (after the Marvel Comics character of the same name). 

VOCABULARY:  release, initial, fictional, widespread, adaptation, brought, media attention


Rodrigues was born on a farm in Santa Rita do Sapucaí, south of Minas Gerais. His skull had been bruised as a result of his father kicking his pregnant mother’s belly during a fight. He claimed he felt the urge to kill for the first time at age 13—when in a fight with an older cousin.  He pushed the young man into a sugar cane press, almost killing him, and had considered leaving him there to die before deciding to save him.

VOCABULARY:  bruised, sugar cane


At age 14, Filho shot the deputy mayor of Santa Rita do Sapucaí in front of the city hall for having fired his father, a school guard, over accusations of stealing food from the school kitchen, preventing him from gaining new employment, before shooting the security guard whom he suspected as the actual thief, using his grandfather’s shotgun for both. On the run, Rodrigues took refuge in Mogi das Cruzes, Greater São Paulo, where he began robbing drug dens and killing drug traffickers, making him a celebrity in the news media as the vigilante “Pedrinho Matador” (Lil’ Petey Killer).

VOCABULARY:  fired,  accusations, stealing, gaining, shooting, suspected, shotgun, refuge, drug dens


Filho soon met Maria Aparecida Olympia, nicknamed Botinha, and they began living together. Rodrigues took on the duties of the deceased in a local street gang and was soon “forced” to eliminate some rivals, killing three ex-cronies. Botinha became pregnant with his child but was murdered shortly thereafter by a rival gang leader. Still underage, Rodrigues escaped, going on a revenge killing spree by tracking down and butchering every member of the rival gang.

VOCABULARY:  nicknamed, deceased, eliminate, ex-cronies, underage, revenge, tracking down, butchering



Write 150 words summerising the reading and giving your opinion about this story.

NEW GRAMMAR LESSON: (prepositions of direction)

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