Brazilian man says he pushed 30 needles into toddler as revenge against wife

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — A Brazilian man publicly confessed to pushing dozens of needles into his 2-year-old stepson, saying Sunday in a jail cell interview that he intended to kill the boy out of spite for his wife and didn’t think he would be discovered.

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — A Brazilian man publicly confessed to pushing dozens of needles into his 2-year-old stepson, saying Sunday in a jail cell interview that he intended to kill the boy out of spite for his wife and didn’t think he would be discovered.

Speaking to Globo television’s “Fantastico” program from the northeastern state of Bahia, 30-year-old bricklayer Roberto Carlos Magalhaes described mixing water with wine to dope the child before he and his lover held the boy down and stuck sewing needles into him.

“I did this two or three times a week during one month,” Magalhaes said.

The boy was too drunk on the wine mixture to cry while he inserted the needles, he said, but felt the pain after the alcohol wore off.

“It was truly an unbearable suffering,” said Magalhaes. “It was to get back at the boy’s mother. I thought the needles would work their way through his body and kill the boy. It was a way to kill without anyone discovering.”

But the pain led the toddler to complain to his mother, and on Dec. 10 she took him to a hospital where X-rays revealed about 30 needles lodged throughout his body.

The boy underwent a five-hour operation in the northeastern city of Salvador on Friday to remove four rusty needles that most threatened his life, near his heart and in his lungs.

Doctors said Sunday the child is doing well and will likely undergo two more surgeries, the next one on Wednesday at the earliest, to extract needles up to 2 inches (5 centimetres) long from his abdomen and spine.

Suzy Moreno, a spokeswoman for Hospital Ana Nery, said hundreds of people across Brazil have contacted the facility to inquire about the boy.

“Many people are coming by to bring Christmas presents,” she said. “Many are also calling us to express their outrage. … The support has been incredible.”

Along with Magalhaes, police believe his lover, Angelina Ribeiro dos Santos, was also seeking revenge on Magalhaes’ wife.

The bricklayer told detectives that dos Santos would enter into trances and give him commands to insert the needles, police inspector Helder Fernandes Santana said.

Magalhaes and dos Santos were both arrested, though no charges have yet been filed. They were taken to an undisclosed location for their own protection after a mob threw stones at the police station where they were being held.

Dos Santos is not believed to be a member of any religious or occult group, and authorities believe the pair came up with the idea on their own.

The boy’s name is not being released because of his age.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

File photo
Gov’t of Alberta identifies estimated 300 new COVID-19 cases Sunday

Online COVID-19 dashboard unavailable as upgrades being completed

The Central Alberta Freestyle Ski Club is hoping to win $50,000 through the Mackenzie Investments Top Peak contest. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta ski club trying to win $50K in online contest

A central Alberta ski club has entered a contest where it can… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Red Deer dips below 300 active COVID-19 cases

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Red Deer continued to drop… Continue reading

Ben King scores for the Red Deer Rebels during the third period of a Western Hockey League game against the Calgary Hitmen at the Westerner Park Centrium Saturday. (Photo by Rob Wallator/Red Deer Rebels)
Rebels complete comeback to pick up first win of season

Rebels 3 Hitmen 2 (OT) The Red Deer Rebels were able to… Continue reading

Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan takes part in a year-end interview with The Canadian Press at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa on December 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Conservatives to call top Sajjan, Trudeau aides to testify on Vance allegations

OTTAWA — The federal Conservatives plan to summon two senior Liberal aides… Continue reading

Elvira D'Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Several provinces were preparing to loosen COVID-19 restrictions on Sunday, as Canada’s… Continue reading

Mount Pearl Senior High in Mount Pearl, N.L., remains closed on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. The provincial health authority says there were 185 cases at 22 schools, including 145 infections among staff and students of one high school in Mount Pearl that was an early epicentre of the outbreak. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Daly
In Newfoundland and Labrador, three ingredients made for explosive COVID-19 outbreak

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — With her classes, three part-time jobs and a… Continue reading

A passenger places a tag on luggage at the departure terminal at Toronto Pearson Airport, in Mississauga, Ont., Friday, May 24, 2019. The economic and life disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted many recent immigrants to leave Canada and return to their countries of origin, where they have more social and familial connections. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
COVID-19 pandemic prompts recent newcomers to leave Canada for their home countries

OTTAWA — The economic and life disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic… Continue reading

Rail cars wait for pickup in Winnipeg, Sunday, March 23, 2014. The fierce debate over cross-border pipelines is putting more Canadian oil and gas on trains destined for the United States — a country experts fear is ill-equipped for the potential consequences. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
As debate rages over cross-border pipelines, U.S. analysts brace for more oil by rail

WASHINGTON — The fierce debate over cross-border pipelines is putting more Canadian… Continue reading

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

VICTORIA — Legal experts and a mother whose ex-partner was convicted of… Continue reading

Radio and television personality Dick Smyth is shown in an undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO
Dick Smyth, Canadian maestro of news radio commentary, dies at 86

TORONTO — Radio and television personality Dick Smyth, whose booming commentary filled… Continue reading

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Funeral for Walter Gretzky to be held Saturday in home town of Brantford, Ont.

The funeral for hockey legend Wayne Gretzky’s father Walter will take place… Continue reading

Most Read