Hialeah killer had interest in explosives, hacking

Pedro Vargas resigned from Miami Dade College over downloads

MIAMI - The man who killed six people in Hialeah late Friday may have had an interest in explosives and hacking, records show.

In Dec. 2008, 42-year-old Pedro Vargas resigned from Miami Dade College for downloading 24 files deemed inappropriate during work hours. He worked there as an instructional support specialist.

"I'm glad that the college took the action that they needed, that they did the investigation, and that they gave him the opportunity to resign," said Elmo Lugo, Vargas' supervisor at MDC. "He was somebody who was not too well into change, who was very introverted, who couldn't really relate to a lot of the staff, and he kind of lived in his own world."

Read: Miami Dade College records on Vargas

The college's IT department reported he downloaded a file titled "1000 Hacking Tutorials." The file had chapters on how to kill someone with your bare hands, dynamite, making plastic explosives from bleach, and details on electronic terrorism.

Before killing six people, police said Vargas burned about $10,000 in cash. According to the college's records, he may have had an interest in counterfeit money.

Vargas also downloaded files such as the Complete Idiot's Guide to Amazing Sex and Easily Hypnotize Any One.

"When you find anybody in any environment that you're in, it's the type of stuff makes you stop, think, and say, 'Maybe this person should be somewhere else,'" said Lugo.

In a letter of response, Vargas claimed that the only websites he visited were those to enhance his skills as a graphic designer.

"The allegations in this paper are false they have been done arbitrarily are unclear, vague and incomplete [sic]," Vargas wrote. "I do not have any desire to work under such intoxicating environment that has been created in the department."

Lugo said months later, Vargas began sending him threatening messages, including a text reading "Soon you are going to be in a world of pain" and an image showing Lugo decapitated. Lugo said the messages continued for four and half years.

"We cannot forget this is one individual that we are still trying to figure out what caused him to act the way he did," said Hialeah Police Chief Sergio Velazquez. "It is not reflective upon the community. This is a community united behind our victims."

Here is the list of files Vargas downloaded while he worked at Miami Dade College:

1) 1000 Hacking Tutorials
2) Easily Hypnotize Anyone
3) eBay Hacks 100 Industrial
4) Electronic Gaming
5) Electronics Projects
6) Employment Personality Test
7) Essential Guide to
8) Fast Seduction
9) Hacking Myspace
10) Hacking PSP
11) How to Talk to Anyone
12) How to handle tough situations
13) 1RC Hacks
14) Make Woman Laugh
15) Men s Sexual Health Fitness
16) Oreilly Getting Started with
17) PC Magazine Linux Solutions
18) Secrets of Speed Seduction
19) Textbook 2008
20) The Complete Idiot s Guide to Amazing Sex
21) The Complete Idiots Guide to Reflexology
22) WI Fi toys Cool Wireless Projects for Home
23) Wiley Lifehacker
24) Windows Vista Customization Manual

These are the files in the hacking tutorial download:

001 Counterfeiting Money
002 Credit Card Fraud
003 Making Plastic Explosives from Bleach
004 Picking Master Locks
007 Solidox Bombs
009 CO2 Bombs
010 Thermite Bombs
011 Touch Explosives
012 Letter Bombs
016 Phone related vandalism
018 Smoke Bombs
019 Malt Box Bombs
022 Fertilizer Bomb
024 .Diskette Bombs
032 Phone Taps
040 How to Kill Someone with your Bare Hands
051 Electronic Terrorism
053 Dynamite
065 Breaking into Houses
072 How to Grow Marijuana
088 How to get a New Identity
174 Stealing

The shooting

Neighbors described Vargas as a lonely man who spoke about having pent up anger.

On Friday night, Vargas set a combustible liquid on fire in his apartment, sending the unit into flames, police said. Building manager Italo Pisciotti and his wife went running toward the smoke. Vargas opened his door and shot and killed both of them, Lt. Carl Zogby, a spokesman with the Hialeah Police Department said.

Vargas then went back into his apartment and began firing from his balcony. One of the shots struck and killed Carlos Javier Gavilanes, 33, who neighbors said was returning home from his son's boxing practice.

Vargas then stormed into a third-story apartment, where he shot and killed a family of three: Patricio Simono, 64, Merly Niebles, 51, and her 17-year-old daughter.

For eight hours, police followed and exchanged gunfire with Vargas throughout the five-story apartment complex as terrified residents took cover in bathrooms and huddled with relatives, sometimes so close to the gunfire they could feel the shots. In the final hours, Vargas took two people captive in a fifth-story unit. Police attempted to negotiate with him, but the talks fell apart and a SWAT team swarmed in, killing Vargas and rescuing both hostages.

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