***Warning: this article mentions topics of sexual assault.***
The worst serial killer in modern history could be released from prison in a few months.
For years, Luis Garavito wreaked havoc, murdering more than 190 boys and young men.
The depraved killer, raped and tortured his victims, eventually becoming known as La Bestia - 'the beast'.
To this day, he is thought to have the highest number of victims of any murderer in the world.
At the time of his capture, he initially confessed to killing 140 people between 1992 and 1999, a number which eventually rose to 193.
The ages of Garavito's victims ranged from six to sixteen years old.
And despite his confessions, the 66-year-old is suspected of murdering upwards of 300.
However, while his crimes are utterly disgusting, under Colombian law, he can only be imprisoned for 40 years.
And what's more, when he has served half of his sentence this year, he will be eligible for parole, meaning he could be free in a matter of months.
In 2021, there was widespread outrage when Garavito applied for early release.
Speaking at the time, President Iván Duque said it was out of the question.
"I have profound indignation at the possibility that anyone would suggest that that beast leave prison," he said.
“The national government neither sponsors or supports that."
The judge eventually denied the murderer's request, citing an unpaid fine to his victims, which totalled $41,500.
When he was captured in 1999, Garavito confessed to many more killings and pleaded for forgiveness.
"I ask you to pardon me for all I have done, and all I will confess," he said in a tape from his confessions. "Yes, I killed them — and many others."
Garavito would mostly target street kids, pretending to be a monk or priest to gain their trust, offering them money and something to drink.
He claimed that he would then feel an urge inside him that forced him to murder the children.
During the investigation into his crimes, police uncovered a mass grave over 35 children.
According to reports, almost every one of the victims there had suffered sexual assault and prolonged torture.
During his incarceration, Garavito has tried to demonstrate that he has changed.
In an interview with journalist Guillermo Prieto La Rotta back in 2006, he said he had ambitions of starting a career in politics, adding that he wanted to help abused children.Featured Image Credit: Police handout/YouTube