Cayetano Santos Godino

Cayetano Santos Godino was an Argentinian who became a serial killer at just the age of 16.

Cayetano Santos Godino

Early Life

Cayetano Godino was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on October 31st, 1896, and was one of eight boys. His parents, Fiore and Lucia Godino, were abusive and alcoholic. It was also revealed that his father Fiore had contracted syphilis before his birth, and this caused serious health problems for Godino.

As a child, Godino began killing cats and birds, and even enjoyed playing with fire. His behavior was extremely violent and he had no interest in learning, and therefore was moved from school to school.

When he was 7, Godino beat up a two year old named Miguel and threw him into a ditch. This incident was witnessed by an official, and the boys were taken to the police station where their parents picked them up a few hours later.

A year later, Godino beat another child named Ana Neri, and this time he used a rock for this assault. A police officer intervened, but Godino was released from jail because of his age.

When Godino was 10, his parents discovered his compulsive masturbation. They were not sure of what to do about this, so his mother told the police, and Godino spent two months in jail. Masturbation was illegal at that time.


On January 17th, 1912, Godino set a warehouse on fire. Upon his arrest, he told police, "I like to see firemen working. It's nice to see how they fall in the fire." A few days later on January 26th, 13 year old Arturo Laurona was found dead in an abandoned house. A few months later, on March 7th, he set fire to the dress of 5 year old Reyna Vainicoff, who died from her injuries a few days later.

In September 1912, Godino set fire to a railway station, and the fire was soon extinguished with minimal damage. He tried to choke an 8 year old named Roberto Russo on November 8th, 1912. He was arrested and charged with attempted murder, but was released until the trial.

On November 16th, 1912, he assaulted a 3 year old named Carmen Ghittoni. A police officer was able to intervene, and Ghittoni only suffered minor injuries. On November 20th, Godino attempted to kidnap a 2 year old named Carolina Neolener, but she was able to cry out and be rescued by a neighbor. Later that same month, he set fire to two large sheds, and the fires were quickly put out.

On December 3rd, 1912, Godino saw 18 month old Jesualdo Giordano playing outside of his home and offered to buy the boy candy to convince him to go with him. Godino provided a few sweets and upon offering more, he took Giordano to a country house. After they got inside, he threw the child to the floor and tried to choke him with his belt, but was unsuccessful. Godino cut the belt and tied the boy's hands and legs. He then started to beat him and considered hammering his head.

Godino left the house to look for a nail and ran into Giordano's father, to whom he said he did not know where the child was. He returned to the house with the nail and hammered it into the side of Giordano's skull, then promptly hid the body. Giordano's father discovered his child's body just moments later. At 8:00 pm that night, Godino went to the boy's wake and touched the place of the skull where the nail was embedded. At 5:30 am on December 4th, he was arrested by police and confessed to his crimes.

Jail and Death

Godino entered a reformatory on January 4th, 1913, and soon tried to kill some of his fellow inmates. Medical reports declared him insane, so the judge discontinued his trial and ordered him to stay at the reformatory. An appeal was made to have him moved to jail, and on November 12th, 1915, this appeal was approved.

On March 28th, 1923, he was transferred to Ushuaia Penitentiary. He spent some time in the hospital during 1933 after he was beaten by some of his fellow inmates for killing two of their pet cats. Godino died under suspicious circumstances on November 15th, 1944, at the age of 48.