Biographies of Famous Pirates
Captain Benito de Soto
In 1830, while enroute to Europe, he overtook a small East Indian traders brig named the Morning Star. They plundered her of all its cargo and tortured most of the crew, raped the women aboard as well. When the pirates were ready to sail on, they locked everyone in the cargo hold then set this ship on fire and left it to burn. Fortunately the survivors aboard were able to free themselves from below and extinguish the fires. They were later picked up by a passing ship the next day. De Soto continued to pillage and plunder like this on his way back toward Spain. After arriving in Spain and disposing of much of their booty, the pirates set sail for Cadiz. Bad weather forced the ship upon the coastal rocks near Cadiz and the crew had to abandoned the ship. Intending to sell what they could salvage from their ship in Cadiz, the authorities began to suspect the nature of the men in their midst, and the pirates were forced to flee. Six were arrested, de Soto and one other pirate fled to Gibralter.
Unfortunately for de Soto, he arrived in Gibraltar about the same time that the plundered Morning Star survivors arrived in port. He was quickly recognized by one of the passengers from that ship, and his fate was then sealed. He was quickly arrested, tried and sentenced to hang. It is said that de Soto proved himself to be just as defiant in facing death as he was in his acts of piracy. Rather than allow somebody to hang him, he calmly reached for the gallows rope at the last minute and adjusted the noose around his neck. He smiled to the gathered crowd and exclaimed "Adios Todos!" (roughly, so long everybody") as he jumped to his slow painful death. His head was then stuck on a pike and displayed as a warning to others.