The boy's body was a horrible sight to see. Wrapped around his little neck was a cord tied so tightly that the police struggled to untangle it. Ultimately, they would just leave it wrapped around Jesualdo Giordano in fear that removing it may do more damage to his face and neck.
Three-year-old Jesualdo had no real chance against his attacker, who was several years older than him. At first, leaving his mother's side was a good idea. The older boy who took his hand had offered him candy—a rare delicacy in his part of Argentina. Still, Jesualdo might have recognized his fatal mistake when the older boy led him further away from the crowds and into the desolate wilderness.
The torture Jesualdo sustained must have been of excruciating horror. His small hands and feet were tied and his body and face battered. A large rock planted next to his cold carcass explained why his head was caving inwards. But by far the worst, unspeakable act of sadism the boy had experienced was when the boy who offered him candy pinned him down and drove a large nail into his skull.
When the police found the rotting corpse down a weeded ditch, the mother grieved. The priest helped comfort her—saying that God has a plan for everyone—but he knew differently. There was no plan for this boy and surely, no truly loving God would allow such a small innocent creature to endure the agonizing death that three-year-old Jesualdo Giordano had endured.
At his wake, the entire town paid their respects. The dead boy laid peacefully in his casket—makeup dabbed to cover the hole in his head. The police officers investigating the crime knew that Jesualdo's killer would be in attendance. However, they didn't expect him to be brazen enough to walk up to the open casket. Much less to brush his fingers over the boy's forehead. The killer, Cayetano Santos Godino, wanted to see if the nail he shoved inside the child's head was still there.
Cayetano Santos Godino was sixteen-years-old when he slew Jesualdo Giordano. Local police had suspected him of the awful crime, but had nothing but their speculations until his unusual actions at the wake confirmed their suspicions correct.
They knew of Cayetano's violent past—everyone around town knew—and suspected him of at least three other equally brutal murders. He eventually confessed everything.
Known as 'El Petiso Orejudo (Tiny Ears)', or 'The Big-Eared Midget', Cayetano spent most of his childhood inflicting pain on those smaller and more vulnerable than himself.
Italian born but Argentina raised, Cayetano lived an extremely unhappy existence as the last of eight born to a syphilitic drunk father and an equally drunk and worthless mother. The miserable parents were no better than Cayetano as they too inflicted pain on those—their own children—smaller and more vulnerable than themselves.
In 1904, Cayetano was only seven got his first taste of violence, which he throughly enjoyed. The two-year-old Miguel de Paoli didn't die, but that wasn't Cayetano's goal. Miguel was lucky that a passing police officer witnessed his big-eared bully toss the battered boy down the embankment.
Since Cayetano was a minor, he was not charged and released the same day. His father, in his usual drunken stupor, retrieved his offspring from the station, whipped him, and then dumped him out on the street. When his mother asked why he had disowned his own son, he showed her the two shoe boxes he found stashed under the boy's bed. Inside were several dead pigeons. Their wings were snapped in several pieces. Their eyes had burned their eyes out with cigarettes.
Cayetano didn't kill all of his victims in his sixteen years of terror, and at least seven would live to recount of their horrifying experience. Much like the dead pigeons stuffed under his bed, some of the victims had had their eyes burnt out, their limbs broken, and some were even buried alive.
Ultimately, Cayetano Santos Godino admitted to four murders, two of which were burned alive. Doctors agreed that Cayetano was "mentally unbalanced" and his "ears were to blame for his wickedness".
For his crimes, El Petiso Orejudo spent the rest of his life locked in a prison cell. That is, until another inmate murdered him in 1944 at age forty-eight, after Cayetano strangled to death his pet cat and strung the body up from his bunk bed.