A former police officer who was found guilty of nine murders in the late ’80s is scheduled to be executed tomorrow night despite a plea from his lawyer for a stay.
The Florida man, Manuel Pardo, enjoyed a good career as a highway patrolman–even earning accolades from his co-workers–but marred his record with a termination due to the falsification of traffic tickets. He was later involved in a police brutality case with four other officers in Sweetwater, and by 1986 he had been fired again for lying to a judge on behalf of one of his colleagues, saying they were undercover officers after a drug bust. That was the beginning of a shocking downward spiral for Pardo; that same year, over a 3-month span, he killed nine people and committed a string of robberies. His penchant for taking photos of the violent aftermath–and recording the details in his journal–ended up being his downfall. He reportedly took up a heavy fascination with Adolf Hitler and later told prosecutors that he had been doing his victims a favor by killing them.
“He was very cold,” retired prosecutor David Waksman said. “He was doing robberies and went home and slept like a baby. He was proud of what he did.”
Pardo said he modeled himself after Hitler because he was an “activist” and showed no remorse for the murders.
“They’re parasites and they’re leeches, and they have no right to be alive,” he said. “Somebody had to kill these people.”
A plea for a stay of execution was forwarded last Friday (under claims that he is mentally ill), but unless it comes as a last-minute decision on the judge’s part, Pardo will be given a lethal injection on Tuesday night.
Image: Florida Dept. of Corrections