crimesider

Manuel Pardo Execution: Fla. ex-cop scheduled to die for 1986 killing spree

Manuel Pardo Florida Department of Corrections

Manuel Pardo
Florida Department of Corrections

(CBS/AP) STARKE, Fla. - Manuel Pardo, a former Florida police officer convicted of murdering nine people in a 1986 rampage, is scheduled to be executed Tuesday by lethal injection.

Pardo, 56, is set to be executed at 6 p.m. at Florida State Prison in Starke. A federal judge denied Pardo's request for a stay Monday.

Officials said most of Pardo's victims were involved with drugs and were killed over the span of three months. Pardo contended that he was doing the world a favor by killing them in 1986.

"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," Pardo told jurors at his 1988 trial.

Pardo's attorneys are trying to block his execution, arguing in federal appeals that he is mentally ill. This is something his trial attorney believed more than two decades ago.

Pardo was dubbed the "Death Row Romeo" after he corresponded with dozens of women and persuaded many to send him money.

Regino Musa, the brother of one of Pardo's victims, said he and his elderly mother plan to attend the execution.

"It's about time. It's been so long, you just want to get it over with," said Musa, whose sister, Sara Musa, was killed by Pardo. "I still have nightmares and I don't have words to describe it. I can't believe that it's happening."

Pardo, a former Boy Scout and Navy veteran, began his law enforcement career in the 1970s with the Florida Highway Patrol and graduated at the top of his class in the academy. He was fired from that agency in 1979 for falsifying traffic tickets. He was soon hired by the police department in Sweetwater, a small city in Miami-Dade County.

In 1981, Pardo was one of four Sweetwater officers charged with brutality, but the cases were dismissed. He was fired four years later after he flew to the Bahamas to testify at the trial of a Sweetwater colleague who was accused of drug smuggling. Pardo lied, telling the court they were international undercover agents.

Then over a 92-day period in early 1986, Pardo committed a series of deadly robberies, killing six men and three women. He took photos of the victims and recounted some details in his diary, which was found along with newspaper clippings about the murders. Pardo was linked to the killings after using credit cards stolen from the victims.

  • Crimesider Staff

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