Marcelo Tobar, the story of the psychopath who terrorized Coquimbo in the 90s

In the month of August 1992, the first warnings began to emerge from young people, mainly students, who denounced having been attacked by a subject, young and thin. Some report that he threatened them with a knife and left several injuries on their arms and one of them cuts on one of her breasts.

A little more than two years after these first complaints, Marcelo Gabriel Tobar Venegas, 23, was arrested at his home in the Tierras Blancas sector by Carabineros, after his partner, Bárbara Matus, went to the barracks with some doubts after finding a bloody leather jacket.

A few days later, the lawyer for the family of Andrea Villa Toro, one of her victims, Daniel Magna, filed a criminal complaint against Tobar and his partner for concealment, but she would finally be considered innocent.

Finally, after a series of inquiries and interviews with witnesses, the minister of the Court of Appeals of La Serena, José Pavicic, (now deceased), sentenced him to 57 years in prison and sent him to the local jail.

This was the first image of the “Psychopath of Coquimbo”, Marcelo Tobar, that the community knew, one day after his arrest. (PHOTO: File The Day)

Some time later, by determination of the Gendarmerie and due to several death threats that had been made to him inside the penitentiary, Tobar was transferred to the Colina prison in Santiago.

Currently there is not much history of Marcelo Tobar, but he would remain confined in Colina 1, where he has already served 29 years of confinement and must remain internal until 2050, but in 2030 he could be eligible for some type of prison benefit, that is, in 8 More years.

In his first years of confinement he approached religion, something he would maintain to this day, and began to write poetry. He also finished his high school studies.

Years later, in 2013, it was found that he had joined social networks by opening a Facebook page, where he confessed to being an admirer of the model Jessica Leigh and a follower of the Los Prisoners group, but currently said account is no longer active. .

He also made some reflections there, such as, “that life changes is what is sometimes intended. But life goes on the same, full of intrigue and loneliness”.

Inside Colina 1, he would be a person with a calm demeanor, maintaining links with few inmates and would have shown remorse for the events he was involved in.

But this is not new, in the only interview he gave to a local media outlet, which was daily El Día, while he was in La Serena Prison, he stated that “I am aware that one reaps what one sows, despite I will always repeat that I am sorry”.

In that same interview he mentions that “what I did has no forgiveness. Deep down, I deserve what is happening to me.”

Marcello Tobar’s first attacks were carried out in the Sindempart sector, near Route 5 and along the CMP railway that still crosses the area.

There, he approached mainly young schoolchildren and according to what El Día confessed daily and also in court, he chose those who saw a shine or a light in their eyes, he did not look for any particular physical characteristic.

As the first attacks occurred in that area, he was first baptized as “The Sindempart Psychopath”, later, when he expanded his radius of action, he was renamed “The Coquimbo Psychopath”.

For more than a year he was acting with impunity and one after another victim of his adventures was known. And although initially, both the police and the local authorities pointed out that the attacks did not correspond to a single person, but that they were different events, the community began to organize and demand that the police clarify the attacks.

In fact, the visiting minister himself, José Pavicic, who was pursuing the case, stated in August 1993 that “there could be another person involved in one of these crimes.” However, the judge himself would corroborate in the investigation that Tobar had acted alone.

Although Marcelo Tobar attacked many women for two years, he murdered two of them, while he believed a third dead and made the only mistake that meant he was arrested, stealing a garment.

It was around five in the morning in mid-November 1992, after more than a year of attacks on women, in the vicinity of Avenida Juan Antonio Ríos, in the Baquedano sector of Coquimbo, Tobar approached Hilda Navarro, a supplementary woman, that like every day, he went to the dependencies of the newspaper El Día at Calle Borgoño 431, to pick up the copies that he would sell during that day, a place he would never reach.

According to her victimizer’s own account, the woman defended herself, but her murderer managed to give her a thrust to reduce her and then others that meant her death in the same place.

Six months later, on May 1, 1993, in front of the San Pablo Hospital in Coquimbo, crossing Route 5 North, at the height of the train line, he approaches and threatens 14-year-old scout Andrea Villa with a knife. Bull. Thus, threatened with death, he embraces her, pretending to be her boyfriend, and forces her to accompany him to a vacant lot near the train line and some local houses. There she not only stabbed her youngest, but also cut her throat

This murder caused a tremendous impact and fear in the Coquimbana population, which had already taken to the streets countless times demanding that the perpetrator of the attacks be caught.

Most of these marches culminated in the front of the Investigative Police barracks or the Second Carabineros Police Station, which in those years was on Calle Videla, today it is in Guayacán.

Two months later, in the El Llano sector, Marcelo Tobar approaches Patricia Jofré, a young worker who was on her way home on Avenida Alessandri.

He also threatens her with a knife and takes her to a vacant lot near the place. Jofré was shocked, because she knew that a subject was attacking women and she defended herself, both falling to the ground. At that moment, Tobar picks up a piece of cement that she had thrown at her and repeatedly punches her in the face. Believing her dead, he abandons her on the spot, but before her, due to a situation she never knew how to explain, he takes off the leather jacket that her victim was wearing and takes her away. That clothing is what her cohabitant finds days later in the house and goes to the Police. Moments later, the Coquimbo Psychopath was arrested by uniformed officials.

The key names of these events, in addition to Marcelo Tobar, are Jorge Acuña, Police Commissioner of Coquimbo; Hugo Montenegro, prefect of the PDI of Coquimbo, both police officers had carried a tremendous social burden for not being able to arrest the murderer and were, many times, beaten by the neighbors. Patricia Jofré, who survived the attack after spending 15 days in a coma. Her statements were essential for the conviction. And Judge José Pavicic, who sentenced him.

Marcelo Tobar, the story of the psychopath who terrorized Coquimbo in the 90s