Dennis Garcia: The 'Psycho Killer' of Pasig and Rizal That Turned Out to Be a Hoax

Nothing more than "kwentong barbero."
ILLUSTRATOR WARREN ESPEJO

Our parents used every trick in the book to get us to behave when we were kids. They’d threaten to take our toys and gadgets away, give us death stares, or ground us in our rooms. In some extreme cases they’d hand out light corporal punishment, make us do backbreaking chores, or scare us with stories of monsters real or imagined. 

For kids (and even adults) who grew up in the mid-2000s, the bogeyman was a guy named Dennis Garcia.

It all started when wanted posters of a creepy looking man started popping up around the Pasig and Rizal areas in early 2008. The grainy, black-and-white posters featured two images of the same guy: the one on the left with a round face, slit-for-eyes and a buzzcut, and the one on the right with thicker hair. Text at the top said: Wanted: Psycho Killer and his name (Dennis Garcia) at the bottom, along with the police hotlines. 

Contributed photo.
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Stories soon started to circulate among residents of those two areas about what this “psycho killer” was doing. According to various posts on blogs and social media, the suspect was a dangerous madman who indiscriminately killed anyone he came in contact with. They said he would usually knock on doors, and spray whoever opened it with some kind of chemical. He would then supposedly kill everyone inside in cold blood, often in gruesome, violent ways, such as disemboweling them, and even eating the body parts. 

In some stories, the suspect would first rape his girl victims, throw acid on her face, and proceed to mutilate her private parts.

As late as 2012, there were still reports circulating about this supposed psycho killer, some even claiming he was a black belter in martial arts and an expert in hand-to-hand combat.

Because his posters were scattered around residential neighborhoods and stories traveled fast, there had been a full-on alert in communities around Pasig and Rizal about Dennis Garcia. Residents, especially women and children, were advised never to go out at night and to travel in groups to keep safe. Police and barangay officials were also on high alert for any signs of the suspect.

But a TV news report claimed the story of the psycho killer was nothing more than a hoax. 

GMA News broadcast journalist Emil Sumangil interviewed police and barangay officials in Pasig and Rizal who said there was no truth to the rumor of a serial killer on the loose.

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Matulog kayo nang maayos,” said Supt Romeo Aninag, deputy chief of police of Pasig City. “Wala po niyan dito. Hindi po natin papayagan na magkaroon ng ganyan dito. (You can sleep in peace. The killer doesn’t exist. We won’t allow someone like that to come here).”

Watch the news report here: 

However, Sumangil later found out that the man in the wanted poster was actually named Dennis Garcia, and that he was a former security guard who hails from Nueva Ecija. Garcia was wanted for allegedly murdering a woman named Kennely Calisura in Tanay, Rizal in December 2007, but police said it was an isolated incident and that he was not a “psycho killer” as described by the rumors going around the area.

There have been reports that Garcia was eventually arrested in Nueva Ecija and is currently serving time in Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa.

While there are those whose fears were assuaged, there are still people who believe that there once was a madman knocking on doors and targeting innocent victims in the dead of night. For them, the name Dennis Garcia will forever be tied to the alleged “psycho killer” roaming the streets of Pasig and Rizal.

 

 

 

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