Here's some nightmare fodder for you: CNN is reporting that a 26-year-old man has admitted to killing 39 women in the Rio de Janeiro area. If that body count is accurate (other outlets are reporting 42 victims), it would place the alleged killer high atop the list of Brazil's most prolific serial killers.

In an interview with Brazilian broadcaster TV Globo, alleged killer Sailson Jose das Gracas, said that he carried out the first slaying when he was 17 and continued to kill over the next decade. [He said he] didn't kill impulsively but stalked his victims, [and] described his need to kill as pathological. "When I didn't kill, I would get nervous," he said. "I would pace around the house, and then when I killed, it calmed me."

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Whoo boy. And it gets worse:

Police chief Marcelo Machado told TV Globo that Sailson is also suspected of killing a two-year-old boy, the son of one of the dead women.

Oh wait, and worse, especially when you consider prison terms in Brazil top out at 30 years:

The self-declared killer said he had "no regrets" about his actions and would kill again if set free. "What is done is done," he told the TV network. "If I leave here in 10, 15, 20 years, I'll go back to doing the same thing."

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As an aside, Brazil's most notorious serial killer is probably Pedro Rodrigues Filho, aka "Killer Petey" (his nickname is even more terrifying in Portuguese: "Pedrinho Matador"), rumored to have murdered 100-plus victims. His Wikipedia entry reads like an exploitation movie treatment, rife with revenge killings ("before he was 18 he had already left a trail of 10 bodies") and gruesome flair (he killed his own father, "cut out a piece of his heart, chewed it, and threw it away"). Brazil's

Top image via O Globo.