It’s rightly said that a human mind is a mysterious place. We are always fascinated by mysteries, and we are curious to get answers about people who commit heinous crimes and what their motives are. There was a person who has committed heinous crimes. A serial-killer, or serial killer, as you like, called Diogo Alves, also known at the time as “O Pancada”.
Born in Galicia in 1810, Alves moved to Lisbon in search of work. This was a common practice at the time among the people of Galicia, humble people who traveled south in search of a better life. When none of the jobs Diogo Alves worked on satisfied him, he followed a path of crime. The criminal life was more profitable and satisfied Diogo Alves much more. Here is the story of a man whose bloodthirst has ended in an unusual way. Between 1836 and 1839, Diogo Alves committed several heinous crimes.
It wasn’t long before young Alves realized that a life of crime was better for turning a profit, and in 1836 he had himself transferred to work in a home located on the Aqueduto das Águas Livres, the Aqueduct of the Free Waters. Less than a half a mile long, the waterway allowed suburbanites and rural farmers to traverse the rural landscape from above, making their way into the city of Lisbon.
Awaiting their return home, he met them by nightfall along the Aqueduct, where he would rob them of their earnings. Afterward, Alves would throw them over the edge of the 213-foot tall structure, sending them falling to their deaths. Between 1836 and 1839, he repeated this process some 70 times. Local police initially attributed the deaths to copycat suicides, which led to a temporary closure of the bridge.
While the killings on the Aqueduct may have come to a stop, break-ins began sprouting up among private residences after Alves formed a gang of murderous robbers to target the wealthier residents of the city. The group was caught while killing four people inside the home of a local doctor, and Alves was arrested and sentenced to death by hanging.
Many regard Alves as the country’s first serial killer, and the last person to die by hanging, but this simply isn’t the case. A woman named Luisa de Jesus, who admitted to poisoning 28 children, is the first recorded serial killer in Portugal and was whipped, hanged, and burned in the streets of Lisbon for her crimes in 1772.
While the “laws” undergirding the discipline have since been debunked, researchers at the time were all too excited by the possibility that they might be able to understand what could make a person like Alves so undeniably evil. As such, his head was removed from his already lifeless body and moved into the glass jar where it can still be found in today, perfectly preserved for all to see.
Today, Diogo’s well-kept head remains in a glass vial at the University of Lisbon Medical School. The story of Diogo Alves was inspired by a comic strip written by André Oliveira and illustrated by Xico Santos, entitled “Vil – The tragedy of Diogo Alves”, and a film, still in black and white, in 1911.
It’s not sad to see a person’s head like this who wasn’t a human actually! This psychopath killer was really horrible. As we say, the human mind is a strange thing. For more strange tales read 5 Most Feared Serial Killers Of All Time.