Page last updated at 15:23 GMT, Saturday, 29 March 2008

Brazil teen 'killer' investigated

Minor arrested in Novo Hamburgo, Brazil, 27 March
The boy will undergo psychological tests for 45 days

Police in Brazil are investigating claims by a 16-year-old boy that he has murdered 12 people.

The boy made the claim after being arrested on suspicion of murder last week in the southern city of Novo Hamburgo, its police commissioner said. The teenager's identity has not been revealed because he is a minor.

Police said the boy claimed he had killed in fits of rage or to get revenge and in one case because someone wanted to date his sister.

'Trivial reasons'

The boy was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of killing a 39-year-old shop owner.

Police commissioner Enizaldo Plentz said: "The number of murders could be higher or lower.


"As of now we know that he is implicated in at least six murders. Perhaps he invented some of the murders."

Mr Plentz said the unemployed school dropout killed the six people with a shot to the head and then followed it with more shots to the body.

He said the boy had given "trivial reasons" as justification for the killings.

"He told me that he killed one man because he flirted with his girlfriend. He shot another who gave him a blow to the ear," Mr Plentz said.

"During interrogations, he spoke with the frightening cold-bloodedness of someone who enjoys killing people."

The teenager lives in a violent neighbourhood of Novo Hamburgo in Rio Grande do Sul state.

He will undergo psychological tests for the next 45 days.

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