A 26-year-old man has confessed to killing at least 39 people in a three-year rampage that makes him one of the world's most prolific serial killers, police in Goiania, Brazil, say. Thiago Henrique Gomes da Rocha, a security guard who lives with his mother, cruised the streets and gunned down his victims—young women, homeless people, and transvestites—from his motorcycle, say police, who were "shocked by his coldness" during interrogations, the BBC reports. Investigators say he would shout "Robbery!" when approaching his victims before shooting them dead and leaving without their valuables. A gun linked to the killings of at least six women was found in his home, an investigator tells the AP.
Police say Gomes da Rocha—who has given them details of each murder and referred to his victims by the numbers 1 to 39—has told them he killed his victims to release the "fury" he felt "against everything." The spate of unexplained killings in the city in central Brazil provoked public anger and panic, with family members and friends staging demonstrations to up the pressure on police, and the suspect was caught by a special task force after he was stopped while riding a motorcycle with a fake license plate, reports the Daily Mail. Authorities say that after his arrest earlier this week, he tried to kill himself by smashing the light bulb in his prison cell and slitting his wrists. His lawyer claims the confessions were coerced. (In August, a hit man who killed 300 was freed.)