Monster of Florence

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Il Mostro redirects here. For the 2008 book, see The Monster of Florence. For the 1994 Roberto Benigni film, see The Monster (1994 film). For the 1977 Italian film, see Il mostro (1977 film). For the yacht, see 2008–09 Volvo Ocean Race.
The Monster of Florence
Other names Il Mostro (The Monster), The Surgeon of Death, Il Mostro di Firenze, The Monster of Florence
Victims 14-16 (sources differ)
Span of killings
August 21, 1968–September 7–8, 1985
Country Italy
Date apprehended

The Monster of Florence (Italian: Il Mostro di Firenze) is the name commonly used by the media in Italy for of a series of 8 double murder cases that took place between 1968 and 1985[1] in the province of Florence, Italy. Prosecution offices carried on several investigations into the cases for many years. The courts reached the conclusion that the murders were not committed by a single person but by a group of at least four perpetrators, who became later known as "the picknick comarades", and were definitively convicted. The 1968 murder was found to be a case unrelated to the others, albeit that the gun, that probably originally belonged to small local criminality, might be the same involved in the actual Monster cases. The victims were young couples parked in lovers' lane or camping in the surroundings of Florence in dark areas and on New moon periods, the murderers always used multiple weapons (both a cal .22 gun and a knife), they excised sexual parts of the bodies of female victims, and the intent to obtain such fetishes appeared to be the motive of the crimes.


Barbara Locci
Antonio Lo Bianco
  • August 21, 1968: Antonio Lo Bianco (29) mason worker, recently immigrated from Sicily to Tuscany and Barbara Locci (32) homemaker. Lovers, shot to death with a .22 Beretta in Signa, a small town to the west of Florence, while Locci's son Natalino Mele (6) lay asleep in the back seat of the car. The child woke up and, finding his mother dead, fled in fright. At 2 a.m. he arrived at a house nearby and knocked on the door, telling the landlord: "Open the door and let me in, I'm sleepy and my Daddy is sick in bed. Then you have to drive me home, because my Mommy and my uncle are dead in their car." Natalino initially said he had run away alone, then changed his story and stated that his father – or maybe an uncle of his, as he used to call his mother's lovers "uncle" – had driven him to the house where he asked for help. Years later he said again that he was alone, but was too shocked to remember exactly what happened on that night. Locci, immigrated from Sardinia, was famous in the town because of her multiple love affairs, and so she had received the nickname Ape Regina (queen bee). Locci's husband, an ingenuous man named Stefano Mele, about 20 years older than her, was eventually charged with the murder and spent six years in jail, However, while he was in prison, more couples were murdered with the same gun. Several lovers of Locci's were suspected to be perpetrators of the crime and even Stefano Mele stated on several occasions that one of them had killed "my lady", as he used to call Locci.
Pasquale Gentilcore and Stefania Pettini
  • September 15, 1974: Pasquale Gentilcore, barman (19), and Stefania Pettini, accountant (18), teenage sweethearts. They were shot to death and stabbed in a country lane near Borgo San Lorenzo while having sex in Gentilcore's Fiat 127. They were not far from a notorious disco called Teen Club where they were supposed to spend the evening with some friends. Pettini's corpse had been violated with a grapevine stalk and disfigured with 97 stab-wounds. Some hours before the murder, Pettini said something to a close friend about a weird man that terrified her. Another friend of Pettini's recalled that a strange man (perhaps a voyeur) had followed and bothered the two of them during a driving lesson, a few days before. Several couples of lovers who used to "park" in the same country area where Gentilcore and Pettini were murdered stated that particular area was frequented by voyeurs, a pair of them acting very oddly.
  • June 6, 1981: Giovanni Foggi, warehouseman (30), and Carmela Di Nuccio, shop assistant (21), engaged. Shot to death and stabbed on a Saturday night, near Scandicci, where they both lived. Di Nuccio's body was pulled out of the car and the killer cut out her pubic area with a notched knife. The next morning, a young voyeur, Enzo Spalletti (30) a paramedic, father of two young children, went around speaking about the murder before the corpses had been discovered. He spent three months in jail, charged with murder, before the killer exonerated him by killing again.
  • October 23, 1981: Stefano Baldi, workman (26), and Susanna Cambi, telephonist (24), engaged and due to be married in a few months' time. Shot to death and stabbed in a park in the vicinity of Calenzano. Cambi's pubic area was cut out like Di Nuccio's. An anonymous person phoned Cambi's mother the morning after the murder, to "talk to her about her daughter". A few days before the homicide, Susanna told her mother that there was somebody tormenting her and even chasing her by car.
  • June 19, 1982: Paolo Mainardi, mechanic (22), and Antonella Migliorini, dressmaker (20), engaged and due to marry very soon, nicknamed Vinavil (a brand of superglue) as they were inseparable. Shot to death in Mainardi's car while parked on a country road in Montespertoli. This time the killer did not mutilate the female victim. Mainardi (although he had serious injuries) was still alive when found. Police and ambulances were called immediately but Mainardi died some hours later at the hospital. A new reconstruction of the events suggests that, after shooting the couple, the Monster drove Paolo's car for few meters to hide the vehicle and the corpses in a woodland area nearby. Then he lost control of the car and he abandoned it where it was finally discovered.[2]
  • September 9, 1983: Wilhelm Friedrich Horst Meyer (24) and Jens Uwe Rüsch (24), German, both seniors at faculty of Fine Arts in Osnabrück, traveling in Italy to celebrate an important scholarship Meyer had just won. Shot to death in their Volkswagen Samba Bus, in Galluzzo. Rüsch's long blond hair and his small build could have deceived the killer into thinking he was a female. Police suspected that they were gay lovers, based on pornographic materials found at the scene.
  • July 29, 1984: Claudio Stefanacci, law student (21), and Pia Gilda Rontini, barmaid and cheerleader (18), sweethearts. The pair were shot to death and stabbed in Stefanacci's Fiat Panda parked in a woodland area near Vicchio. The killer removed the girl's pubic area and left breast. There were reports of a strange man who had been following them in an ice cream parlour some hours before the murder. A close friend of Pia Rontini recalled she had confided that she had been bothered by "an unpleasant man" while working at the bar.
  • September 7–8, 1985: Jean Michel Kraveichvili, musician (25), and Nadine Mauriot, tradeswoman (36), lovers, both from Audincourt, France, on a camping vacation in Italy. Nadine was shot to death and stabbed while sleeping in their small tent in a woodland area near San Casciano. Jean Michel was killed a short distance away from the tent while trying to escape. Nadine's corpse was mutilated. Because the killer had murdered two traveling foreigners, there was not yet a missing persons report. The killer sent a taunting note, along with a piece of Nadine's breast, to the state prosecutor, Silvia della Monica, stating that a murder had taken place and challenging local authorities to find the victims. A person hunting mushrooms in the area discovered the bodies of Mauriot and Kraveichvili a few hours before the letter arrived on the prosecutor's desk.

Suspects and reaction[edit]

Four local men were arrested, charged, and sometime convicted of the crime at different times. Their names were Stefano Mele (husband of victim Barbara Locci), Pietro Pacciani, Mario Vanni, and Giancarlo Lotti. Critics suggest that the real killer or killers have never been identified. Several other suspects were arrested and held in captivity at various times, but they were later released when subsequent murders using the same weapon and methods cast doubt on their guilt.

Particularly, Pacciani, a farmer known to be a "peeping Tom" (he and his friends Lotti, Vanni and Pucci became known to the chronicles as the "picnic companions", in italian "compagni di merende", by an odd and bizarre expression told in court by Vanni), was suspected to be guilty according to the modus operandi similarities between monster's victims and a man murdered by Pacciani in 1951 who loved his old-time girlfriend. Pacciani served 13 years in prison for this crime; following, he was sentenced to other years of prison for her daughters' rape and domestic abuse on his wife. Pacciani was convicted also for Monster's crimes and condemned to life imprisonment, but the court overturned the verdict at the request of the attorney himself, then annulled by supreme court of cassation. Pacciani died before the new trial. Vanni and Lotti were instead convicted and condemned to life imprisonment. However, these convictions have been criticized and ridiculed in the media.

In 2001, the Monster case made headlines again. Michele Giuttari, chief inspector for the police unit GIDES (Investigative Group for Serial Crimes) announced that the crimes were connected to a satanic cult allegedly active in the Florence area. This conclusion was based, in part, on the discovery of a pyramidal stone near a villa where suspect Pietro Pacciani had been employed. The stone, Giuttari suggested, was indicative of cult activity. Critics, such as journalist Mario Spezi, found this idea laughable, given that such stones are commonly used as doorstops in the surrounding area.[3] For Giuttari and Giuliano Mignini, it was possible that a pharmacist, Francesco Calamandrei, was involved, but he was then exonerated. It was possible that a physician from Perugia, who may had committed suicide in a lake the same year as the last murder, named Francesco Narducci was the killer. The truth to these claims have never been confirmed.

On July 26, 2017, some daily newspapers announced that for the crimes of the Monster in Florence there would be new investigation involving environments of neo-fascism and some close to the strategy of tension. (but categorically denied by the Procurator Capo della Repubblica di Firenze Creazzo)

In any case, a former legionary, Giampiero Vigilanti, 86, resident in Prato, appears to have been enrolled in the register of the suspects, who was already marginally involved in the past as he possessed 22 caliber rifles with the sadly known letter H punched on the back And four guns, then disappeared. The Vigilants, as explained, knew Pietro Pacciani: as in 1951 he lived in Vicchio, in Mugello, when the latter killed the former rival surprised with his girlfriend; Shortly after, he went to France and joined the legion. Vigilants would have been heard by Canessa several times over the last few months and led to places where killers were killed. He had been marginalized by the surveys in the 1980s and 1990s. The black track was taken from the mass media after an attorney-in-law Vieri Adriani, lawyer of Nadine Mauriot's family member, one of the monster victims. [207] In interrogation, the man named the former medical practitioner, Francesco Caccamo, who was 86 years old and was investigated as a freelance as possible. [208]

Always in the same period is announced the finding of a genetic trace that can not be traced back to the victims in a forgotten find of the last crime, a bloody handkerchief found at the time (a few days after the crime of the Scopetti) in a bush along with gloves from Surgeon, on which Professor Riccardo Cagliesi of the Institute of Legal Medicine of Florence, on November 7, 1985, had compiled a 13 page report, indicating that the material was human group B blood (compatible, for example, with the blood group of Mario Vanni But not that of Pacciani) and the hair fragment of a human hair, brownish, like the hair found on the bodies of Susanna Cambi and Stefano Baldi, victims of 1981. The find was then forgotten; At the end of July 2017, the prosecution of Florence conducted the DNA examination, to be compared with that of suspects and convicts definitively. Reliable genetic finds were also extracted from the envelopes sent to the magistrates by the killer [209], as well as a new forensic-ballistic analysis of all the preserved bosses was ordered. [210]

Books, film and television[edit]

  • The Monster of Florence, a 1983 non-fiction book by Mario Spezi, was the basis for a 1986 Italian film of the same name written and directed by Cesare Ferrario, and co-written by Fulvio Ricciardi.
  • L'assassino è ancora tra noi, an Italian giallo loosely based on the case, was also released in 1986. It was written and directed by Camillo Teti, and co-written by Giuliano Carnimeo and Ernesto Gastaldi.[4][5][6]
  • The 1996 book The Monster Of Florence by Magdalen Nabb doubted Pacciani as Il Mostro and was based on actual and extensive case documents. Although the book is a work of fiction, Nabb states that the investigation in the novel was real and the presentation as fiction was a protective measure.
  • The 1999 novel Hannibal, the 2001 film adaptation, and the television adaption have all used the Il Mostro case as the basis for a sub-plot of the scenes set in Florence. In the novel, supporting antagonist Inspector Rinaldo Pazzi was professionally disgraced when he arrested the wrong man for the Il Mostro murders. In the film, Il Mostro is a janitor at the Palazzo Vecchio; the killer witnesses Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) murdering Chief Inspector Rinaldo Pazzi (Giancarlo Giannini) before fleeing the city. All sequences relating to Il Mostro were dropped from the film before its release, but were available for viewing on the DVD release.[7]
  • The 2008 book The Monster of Florence: A True Story by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi casts doubts on the culpability of Pacciani as Il Mostro. Writer/producer Christopher McQuarrie purchased the screen rights to the book.
  • In 2009, a six-part television film, Il mostro di Firenze, was produced and broadcast by Fox Crime.
  • The 2011 e-book The True Stories of the Monster Of Florence by Jacopo Pezzan and Giacomo Brunoro (April 2011) gives a detailed account of all the murders and the different investigative theories.
  • In the third season of Hannibal, Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) is implied to have been Il Mostro.
  • In 2012, book "Delitto degli Scopetti - Giustizia mancata"[8] written by Vieri Adriani[9] (lawyer), Francesco Cappeletti and Salvatore Maugeri reanalyze the ascertaining facts about the crimes committed by the serial killer named the Monster of Florence. The book offers an extensive and a very well-researched information about the investigative errors and procedure gaps that led to missing justice. The detailed reconstruction and the presentation of the current modus procedendi of Justice in Italy bring the readers closer to the truth.
  • In the TV series Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders Season 2 Episode 2, "Il Mostro", the killer is identified as a surgeon (played by Paul Sorvino) who left Florence after having been a suspect, to continue his spree elsewhere in Europe and Asia; he returns to Florence as he is terminally ill, and then manipulates his son (played by Luca Malacrino), from an incestuous relationship with his sister, into becoming a copycat killer for him.


  1. ^ Lohr, David. "The Monster of Florence". Crime Library. p. 10. 
  2. ^ Pezzan, Jacopo; Brunoro, Giacomo (2011). The True Stories Of The Monster Of Florence. LA CASE ISBN 978-88-905896-9-0
  3. ^ Preston, Douglas (2006). The Monster of Florence: A True Crime Story, The Atlantic, July/August 2006 issue; URL accessed May 1, 2017
  4. ^ Capolino, Gabriele (5 January 2011). "George Clooney sarà il protagonista de Il mostro di Firenze". (in Italian). Cineblog. Retrieved 15 January 2017. 
  5. ^ Gasparroni, Marta (28 April 2014). "Il mostro di Firenze diventa un film con George Clooney produttore". (in Italian). Excite. Retrieved 15 January 2017. 
  6. ^ Facchin, Andrea (28 April 2014). "The Monster of Florence, il regista Christopher McQuarrie a Firenze per alcuni sopralluoghi". (in Italian). Best Movie. Retrieved 15 January 2017. 
  7. ^ "Hannibal". 9 February 2001 – via IMDb. 
  8. ^ "Il delitto degli Scopeti" (in Italian). 
  9. ^

External links[edit]