But these were neither the first nor the last crimes committed by the "Petiso orejudo," as he was known. Towards the end of September 1904, he took 17 months-old Miguel Depaoli near Humberto I and Liniers St. to kill him. He beat the baby and pushed him violently against a century plant hurting him severely.

On September 9, 1908, he lead 2 year-old Severino González Caló into a yard situated in Victoria and Muñiz St. and submerged the boy in a water tank for horses. The owner of the place, Zacarías Caviglia, discovered him but Godino said the boy had been taken there by a woman he described. Six days later, on September 15, Godino burns 22 month-old Julio Botte on his lids with a cigarette in 632 Colombres St. The victim's mother spot him, but the offender could escape. On November 20 the same year, he took the girl Catalina Naulener from Muñiz and Directorio St. He looked for a vacant lot, but the girl will not go on. Godino lost his temper and beat her. Some neighbors helped her and Godino run away again. On 23 the same month, he tried to beat Carmen Gittone in Deán Funes and Chiclana. But neighbors helped her. The aggressor escaped as usual. He tried to kill 18 month-old Ana Nera near San Carlos and Loria, but a policeman caught him. After that, he was sent to San Carlos reformatory and released in December 1911.

The following month, a new series of murders -mentioned above- started and eventually lead him to prison. He also took pleasure in fire. By December 1912 he had set on fire the following places: the Anglo Argentina tram station, 3360 Estados Unidos St.; a brickyard, 3129 Garay St.; a wood yard, 3950 Carlos Calvo St; a yard situated in Corrientes and Pueyrredón St. At first, Godino was declared unchangeable and confined to Las Mercedes Asylum, in the insanes' pavilion. He attacked two patients there, so society asked for him to be imprisoned for good. On the one hand, this was a new situation for the judges that had to decide over his future. On the other hand, doctors knew that his feeblemindedness was incurable and that he was physically and psychically abnormal.

His impulses were conscious and he was extremely dangerous. Doctors' report suggested that he should be confined in Las Mercedes for the rest of his life. Either where he already was or in a special section for idiots. Finally, on November 12, 1915, the Appellate Court assembled and decided unanimously that Cayetano Santos Godino were confined (while there were no proper asylums) to a prison for an indefinite time. The prison of Ushuaia was chosen. He spent there the rest of his life and became one of the most famous convicts of the place. (Some of this information was extracted from the magazine Todo es Historia.)

Santos Godino's Life in Ushuaia

The following data are based on actions consulted thanks to the Penitentiary Museum. They are reports from 1935, asked on occasion of the first parole request and from 1938, when Godino asked again for it. After a short stay at the National Penitentiary, he was moved to the prison of Ushuaia, where he served the rest of his sentence. His behavior improved gradually till it became model (1938).

Anyway, he was punished on several occasions for unimportant faults. Little by little his violent explosions diminished and he became docile and disciplined, but still dangerous because he was easily influenced and suffered from automatism. He went to school, but could learn practically nothing. He managed to read and write, so he sent letters to his family. Anyway, he had stopped having news from them by the end of 1933. He was not trained for any craft, but he worked cutting slivers and was also employed in other light activities for medical prescription. He was willful but careless.

There is nothing worth mentioning in the medical report. He is considered to be in good shape for work. Medical treatment while imprisoned: November 4, 1927: he was operated on his "winged ears" as they were considered the source of his evil; July 21, 1933: gargling was prescribed to treat his pharyngitis; August 9, 1934: inhalations and quinine; December 23, 1935: thymol for intestinal worms; October 2, 1936: eczema on left leg; November 10, 1937: intestinal occlusion treated with opium; March 28, 1938: sodium carbonate for cerumen in right ear (this report does not mention he was in hospital in 1933 after his carpentry mates beat him because Godino had tortured a cat). The report concludes he is in good shape. Owing to his abnormal physical condition he cannot do hard labor. School's Report: He said he went to school for two years -since he was seven-, but failed.

He took first year twice at a private school in the Federal Capital. From 1908 to 1911 he went to the school in the National Colony for minors in Marcos Paz, where he learnt to read and write some words and to count up to three hundred. He learnt how to read, write, add up, subtract and multiply in the National Penitentiary from March 1915 to November 1922. In the Prison of Ushuaia he started school on September 17, 1934 and dropped out on October 4 the same year. He got a "b" for primary school (first year) in the entrance exam. Knowledge acquired in the establishment: none.

Workshops' Report: He has no former craft. Behavior and application: he willfully does what he is said; he has self-esteem, shows satisfaction for work, he is not lazy but he is absent-minded and careless; little efforts make him tired; he has worked regularly. His has enough knowledge. On entering the prison he was destined to cut slivers, later on worked in the quarry and nowadays (1935) he guards and cleans pavilions. This changes were due to medical prescription. Professional rank: worker. Daily average wage: 0.20 cents. In his day-off he could earn two pesos.

Behavior During Confinement

The report concludes that he was punished on many occasions at the Prison of Ushuaia.

December 12, 1923: five days of solitary confinement for being disobedient;

December 22, 1923: twenty days of solitary confinement for writing insolent words;

January 25, 1924: one day in isolation for being connected to an escape;

December 23, 1924: a fortnight of simple discipline for speaking against the Direction and for trying to provide a convict with vices;

November 11, 1925: ten days' solitary confinement for insulting an employee;

September 28, 1926: two breaks canceled for trying to smuggle a pot with fat; May 27, 1928: five days incommunicado in his cell for being disobedient;

December 14, 1929: three days in a dark cell for fighting with another convict;

July 3, 1930: a fortnight confined in a dungeon for insulting a member of staff and not obeying;

September 18, 1930: ten days incommunicado in a dungeon for smuggling;

May 4, 1932: five days' confinement in a dungeon for being disobedient;

May 31, 1934: a fortnight without breaks for keeping forbidden things in his cell;

May 7, 1935: three days incommunicado in a dungeon for trying to give a written paper to another prisoner.

His parole request was rejected on September 21, 1936. The judges in charge of the decision came to the following conclusions: "the psychiatric criterion must be accepted, i.e. either he is an imbecile with all the characteristic anti-social reactions or he is just a hereditary degenerate, instinctive pervert, we consider that he must be set apart from society definitively since his pathological psychology has no possible cure. This has been proved during his long confinement. For all these reasons we are of the opinion that he must stay indefinitely where he is." The document was signed by José María Paz Anchorena and Osvaldo Loudet. There is another illegible signature.

In 1938, a new report is prepared on occasion of another parole request. Further details are found in the section related to work: "No occupation; cutting of slivers and quarry up to 1929. He dropped for medical prescription. Since 1929 he works cleaning the 'roundabout.' As the former report states, he still works willfully. He earns 0.20 cents daily. He has saved about $ 800. He does not draw." As for discipline, it had changed completely. From 1935 on, his behavior was model according to the Classification Court. He was docile and disciplined, but dangerous for being easily influenced and for his automatism. He had now news from his family since 1933. He went on writing regularly, but he received no reply." The Prison's report says: "a difficult personality. He is unsociable. He must remain confined."

The day of his death and the causes are included in this report. He died of an internal hemorrhage caused by a gastroduodenal ulcer. But in Ushuaia it is said that the hemorrhage appeared after some convicts beat Godino. Apparently, the quarrel begun when he threw a cat into the firewood stove. Alfonso Lavado, born in Ushuaia on May 18, 1921, lived with his family near the prison, facing the sea. He tells us prisoners went out to work in town helping the Municipality. "They went out to fix streets and sidewalks, which were of soil, with shovels. They also fixed the light poles that were in the middle of the street. Sometimes they fixed the yards of some houses.

People gave them tobacco and chocolate in exchange." "Santos Godino, 'el petiso orejudo,' was one of the prisoners that used to go out alone. He used to take mate for the convicts working at the pier..." Lavado remembers seeing him and usually accompanied him as if he were another boy. When he returned from the pier, Godino gave him the bread left. "We were not afraid of being with convicts. Santos Godino was not dangerous at all, but his mates beat him to death because he used to burn cats in a large stove that was in the main hall of the prison. He also used to attract pigeons by offering them bread, then he jabbed their eyes and let them free. He died young and suffering from TB because of the blows he had received." Although there were dangerous criminals, boys were not afraid of them. There were thieves, swindlers, doctors, lawyers, everything.

There was Guillermo Mac Hannaford, a major that had had a problems relating some papers with Paraguay; Mateo Banks killed his whole family to get all their land in Azul, but he was not allowed to go out. Vinti and Capuano brothers, the ones that murdered Ayerza's son in Córdoba; the German Bracht, who was the head of one of the first robberies at the Jeweler-watchmaker Trust in Buenos Aires; the Paraguayan Pereira that was terrible... many of them were famous. Galván was also famous, he was from Santa Cruz and had been sentenced to life imprisonment for killing seven workers. Lavado's father was a guard and worked from 8 to 12 a.m. and from 1 to 8 p.m. Warders worked 12 running hours. They stayed at a reserve with eight beds that included a stove, telephone, everything. They had a day-off every 12 hours.

(Extraído del Libro "El Presidio de Ushuaia" del Lic. Carlos Pedro Vairo. Pág. 141)

 

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