Cayetano Santos Godino, aliased "petiso orejudo" (in English "big ear pest") (Buenos Aires, October 31, 1896- Ushuaia, November 15, 1944), was a serial killer who terrified the Argentinian city of Buenos Aires when just sixteen. In the early 20th century he was liable for the murders of 4 children, the failed murders of other seven and arson of seven buildings.
Cayetano Godino was born on October 31st 1896, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He was the son of two Calabrese inmigrants, Fiore Godino and Lucia Ruffo, and had seven siblings. His father was an alcoholic physical abuser who suffered from syphilis. Cayetano attended several child-care organizations when he was between five and ten but always ended up ousted.
On September 28th 1904, he committed his first felony: he hit Miguel de Paoli (aging 21 "months old) in an abandoned area until a police officer saw it. In 1905, using the same modus operandi, Cayetano led his neighbour Ana Neri, 18 months, to an abandoned space where he stoned her until, again, a police officer stopped him and took him to jail from where he was released that same night.
On March 1906, he again led a girl to an empty area where tried to choke her and later buried her alive. Aged 10 years old he spent his days torturing animals, until his father found out and sent him to reformatory for more than two months.
On September 9th 1908 tried to choke Severino Gonzalez Calo, 22 months old, but was seized before he could kill him and released after less than 24 hours. On September 15 he tried to burn the eyelids of Julio Botte, 20 months. On December 6th his parents took him to authorities and under their care he remained for three years. On December 23rd 1911, he was released after his parents solicitude. They had found a job for him, but he remained there just for three months and spent his days wandering about the streets.
On 26th January 1912 Aurora Laurona, 13, was found dead in a abandoned house. On March 7th he set fire to the dress of Reyna Vainicoff, 5 years old, who did not recover and died some days later. On late September he set fire to a railway station, which was extinguished without extensive damage. On November 8th he tried to choke Roberto Russo, 8 years old. He was seized and charged with failed murder but released until the trial. On November 16th he hit Carmen Ghittoni, who suffered minor wounds before a police officer intervented. On November 20th he kidnapped Carolina Neolener, who cried out and was rescued by a neighbour. On late November he set fire to two large sheds which were extinguished quickly.
On December 3th 1912 he saw Jesualdo Giordano playing outside his house, offered him some sweets and convinced him to go with him. He bought the sweets and by offering more he got him to a country house. When they were inside, he threw him to floor and unsuccessfully tried to choke him with his belt. Then he cut his belt and tied his hands and legs. He started beating him and considered hammering his head. He left the house looking for a nail and saw Giordano's father, to whom he said he did not know where the child was. He then re-entered the house with the nail. He hammered it into the side of Giordano's skull and hid the corpse. The body was found by the father minutes later. At 8PM Cayetano went to the wake and touched the skull where he had fixed the nail. At 5:30 AM on December 4th he was seized by police, confessing his crimes.
On January 4th 1913 he entered a reformatory, where tried to kill some of the inmates. Due to medical reports, which declared him insane, the judge discontinued the case and ordered him to stay in the reformatory. On November 12th 1915 an appeal was approved ordering him to be moved to jail on November 20th.
On March 28th 1923 Godino was transferred to Ushuaia Penitentiary. On 1933 he spent some time in hospital for a beating he suffered from inmates due to having killed two cats which were mascots for them. From 1935 onwards he was always ill and received no visitors until he died on 1944 in strange circumstances.
- Santos Godino (web.Spanish)
- Leonel Contreras, "Leyenda del petiso orejudo", Leonel Contreras
- feature movie based on Cayetano Santos