10 of the World's Most Prolific Serial Killers

Tiago Henrique Gomes da Rocha
Tiago Gomes da Rocha (C), suspected of killing 39 people, is escorted by police officers at the Department of Security, a day after his arrest in Goiania in the state of Goias, Brazil, on Oct. 16, 2014. EVARISTO SA/AFP/Getty Images

Rocha, a Brazilian who worked as a security guard, confessed to police that he killed at least 39 people between 2011 and 2014, according to a 2014 BBC World article.

Rocha had had a rough childhood in which he was sexually abused by a neighbor when he was 11 and bullied by other students at school. But neither really explains why the killer began his spree in his early 20s.

Rocha chose to hunt down mostly longhaired girls and women between the ages of 13 and 29. His method was to ride up to them on a motorcycle and shoot them. He finally was caught when police set roadblocks on the streets and intercepted him.

"I never heard of a person with such coldness," said Alexandre Barros Bruno, commissioner of the police unit involved in the investigation, to the BBC [source: Lissardy].

In 2016, Rocha was convicted of 17 of the murders, and received the equivalent of multiple life sentences [source: Goias, Diario de Goias].