Roberto Succo

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Roberto Succo
Born Roberto Succo
(1962-04-03)3 April 1962
Mestre, Venice, Italy
Died 23 May 1988(1988-05-23) (aged 26)
Vicenza, Italy
Cause of death Suicide
Span of crimes
Country Italy, France

Roberto Succo (3 April 1962 in Venice – 23 May 1988 in Vicenza) was an Italian serial killer who committed several murders and other violent crimes mostly in Italy and France in the 1980s.


Succo committed his first known murders on 9 April 1981, when he fatally stabbed his mother and his father, a police officer, who had refused to lend him their car. He then escaped, hiding his parents' bodies in the bathtub covered in water and lime to delay the discovery of the murders, and taking away his father's service pistol. After Succo was caught, he was judged mentally ill and he was sentenced to ten years in a psychiatric prison in Reggio Emilia. While serving his sentence, he studied geology at the University of Parma.[1]

On 15 May 1986, after serving five years of his sentence and on freedom privileges, Succo escaped from the psychiatric hospital. He evaded police and left the country to travel to France by rail. In the next few years, Succo committed numerous crimes ranging from burglary to rape to murder; in France, he killed two women, a physician, and two police officers.[2]

He kidnapped, hijacked, and terrorized people across three European countries. He was considered Public Enemy number one by France, Italy, and Switzerland.

On 28 February 1988 he was caught in his hometown of Mestre (on the Italian mainland across from Venice and within the Venetian region known as the Veneto). On 1 March 1988, during the course of an escape attempt he fell off the roof of the prison in which he was detained, having tried another attempt at an escape that only resulted in him showing off bravado to a casual audience who had gathered in front of the prison. He committed suicide in his cell on 23 May 1988.


In 1988, Bernard-Marie Koltès wrote a play (Roberto Zucco) inspired by Succo's life and crimes. However, there are many differences, such as the nature, time and aftermath of the murders. At the same time, French journalist Pascale Froment was working on a non-fiction book entitled Je te tue. Histoire vraie de Roberto Succo assassin sans raison (1991) about Succo's life, and she and Koltès corresponded on the subject.[3] Je te tue later became the basis for the film Roberto Succo, directed by Cédric Kahn. The film triggered a controversy, with French police officers criticizing it for allegedly glorifying Succo[4]. In the wake of the film, Froment's book was reissued in 2001 under the title Roberto Succo.


  1. ^ Vergès, Jean-Pierre (2007-09-26). Les tueurs en série (in French). Hachette Pratique. ISBN 9782012301573. 
  2. ^ Pelletier, Eric (2008-04-03). "La cavale de Roberto Succo". (in French). Retrieved 2018-01-02. 
  3. ^ Note by Froment in Bernard-Marie Koltès, Roberto Zucco, translated by Martin Crimp, Methuen 1991
  4. ^ "Cédric Kahn: Inside the mind of a killer". The Independent. 1 June 2002.