Dionathan Celestrino, a.k.a. “The Cross Maniac”, is a Brazilian necrophiliac serial killer and cult leader who gained notoriety for committing “The Cross Murders” when he was only sixteen years old.
Before committing the murders, Celestrino was already considered a strange individual. He slept in cemeteries and had an unusual interest in necrophilia, blood, and serial killers. He also became the leader of his own cult of Satan worshipers at some point in his life. Celestrino was inspired to kill after reading about the infamous Park Maniac, who he considered his idol and even had a poster of him in his room. Celestrino also considered him to be his rival and promised that he would surpass his body count. On the night of July 24, 2008, Celestrino murdered a mason named Catalino Gardena, posed his body in the position of a cross, and wrote the word “INRI” on his body, as a reference to Jesus, King of the Jews. Next month, Letícia de Oliveira was on her way to meet with a couple of friends when she was approached by Celestrino, who took her to a cemetery at knife point. There, she was strangled to death and her body was found not far way from her home. The crime scene left police officers and the population shocked, for her nude body was above a grave and in the position of a cross. At this point, the existence of a serial killer active in the town was considered a possibility and this sparked immense panic in the population. Next month, despite warnings against this, a girl named Carla left her house in the middle of the night and was approached by Celestrino while attempting to make a phone call. Celestrino threatened Carla at knifepoint, took her to an abandoned building, interviewed her, and ultimately released her after two hours.
A month later, Celestrino broke the cycle and strangled Gleice da Silva on October 6. Found next to her body was a note comprised of scrambled letters that, when read correctly, spelled out the word “INFERNO”. After her body was found the next day, rumors began to spread across the town, such as the existence of a “must-kill list”, but these rumors were denied by police. During the investigation, a comment on Silva’s social media profile page, posted by an user named “Dog Hell 666”, was found, saying, “THE DEAD CAN’T RECEIVE SCRAPS YOU SICKOS!” Police also discovered that an unknown number kept calling Silva’s cellphone. They soon realized that Dog Hell and the individual calling Silva were Celestrino. He was discovered and arrested shortly after; he quickly confessed to the murders. Members of his cult were also arrested, as they were aware of Celestrino’s murders. In his house, police found a bloody pocket knife, Silva’s clothes, Oliveira’s bracelet, and newspaper clippings about Celestrino’s murders. According to Celestrino, he killed people because he wanted them to find God but also claimed that he was an atheist, despite worshiping Satan. While in prison, he was diagnosed with schizophrenic tendencies and bipolar disorder. Years later, on March 3, 2011, Celestrino managed to escape from prison and went to Paraguai, but was arrested again.
Celestrino would roam the streets in the middle of night until he found a suitable victim in 24th of each month. He would also wear a black coat and face make-up to install fear in his victims. When he found a victim, he would take them to an non-populated area while threatening them with his pocket knife. At the location, he would interview the victim and decide if he or she deserved to live or die; if the victim was considered “unclean”, Celestrino would kill the victim. He stabbed his first victim in the heart and asphyxiated him with a trash bag, but strangled his later victims to death. After killing them, he would remove their clothing for unspecified reasons, most likely due to his necrophiliac tendencies and thoughts. He would then pose his victims’ bodies in a position resembling a cross, hence his nickname.
July 24: Catalino Gardena, 33 (stabbed in the heart and asphyxiated with a trash bag)
August 24: Letícia Neves de Oliveira, 22 (manually strangled)
September 24: Carla, 17 (surname unrevealed; abducted and intended to kill; was rescued)
October 6: Gleice Kelly da Silva, 13 (manually strangled)
Celestrino is very similiar to Gina King. Both were young gothic and schizophrenic serial killers who strangled their victims to death for delusional purposes and wrote messages in blood on their victims post-mortem. Also, King licking the blood coming out of her victims is an allusion to Celestrino licking his own blood.
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