In a 1986 killing spree that lasted three months, Manuel Pardo killed nine people. Most of his victims were involved with drugs, said authorities, and Pardo claimed to be doing the world a favor by killing them. After a request for stay was denied Monday, Pardo is set to be executed by lethal injection today at Florida State Prison in Starke.
Before he turned to murder, Pardo, 56, had a career in law enforcement. First a Boy Scout, then a Navy Sailor, Pardo eventually became a Florida Highway Patrolman. He was fired for writing phony tickets, and found another job as a cop in the town of Sweetwater. Pardo and three other policemen on his squad were accused of brutality in 1981 but the cases against them were dismissed. He was fired in 1985 after falsely testifying at the trial of a colleague accused of smuggling drugs in the Bahamas. Shortly after losing his job, Pardo embarked on his murderous rampage which ended with six men and three women dead.
During his transformation from cop to killer, Pardo became obsessed with Hitler and Nazi memorabilia. His Doberman Pinscher, the breed of choice for Nazi officers, had a Swastika tattoo. During his time in prison, Pardo became known as the “Death Row Romeo” for having multiple female pen pals.
At his trial in 1988, Pardo asked for execution: ”I am a soldier, I accomplished my mission and I humbly ask you to give me the glory of ending my life and not send me to spend the rest of my days in state prison.” Today at 6 p.m., 24 years later, he will finally get his wish.