- NAME: The Monster of Florence
- OCCUPATION: Serial Killer
- BIRTH DATE: 1968
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Italy
- AKA: Il Mostro di Fierenze
Best Known For
The Monster of Florence was an Italian killer who targeted couples, shot them at close range and mutilated the sexual organs of the female victim.
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The next year, after stabbing and shooting French tourists Jean Michel Kraveichvili and Nadine Mauriot, Il Mostro did the same mutilation to Mauriot's body. This time, however, he sent the piece of his victim's breast to the state prosecutor, Silvia della Monica. On receipt of the letter, della Monica immediately resigned from her post.
On the morning of the latest murders,
a bullet casing matching the gun from the previous murders was found at a hospital close to the site of Kraveichvill and Mauriot's killings. This led police to believe a member of the hospital staff may have been involved, but no one was charged.
Investigators, still unable to find any new leads, began pursuing other possibilities. They investigated more than 100,000 people in hopes of gathering new evidence. Their questioning led to the doorstep of farmer Pietro Pacciani, a former rapist and murderer who had been arrested in 1951 for killing the man he'd found sleeping with his fiancée. Pacciani had been released after serving 13 years for his crime, but investigators believed that the man was still committing murders. In a highly publicized 1994 trial, a judge and jury convicted Pacciani for 14 of the 16 counts of murder. But in 1996 an appeals court overturned the conviction, citing lack of evidence.
The police, now desperate to find the murder or murderers, began developing a new theory. Acting on the belief that the killings were committed by a Satanic cult led by Pacciani, police concluded that two of Pacciani's friends Mario Vanni and Giancarlo Lotti were accomplices in the crimes. They were believed to have committed the murders in order to gain power from their victim's reproductive organs during bizarre cult rituals. Pacciani was was held in prison for a retrial, and in 1997 Lotti and Vanni were convicted to life in prison for the murders, with very little evidence to back the claims. Pacciani died of cardiac arrest in February 1998, before he was able to face his retrial. Lotti died in prison four years later.
Investigators made another leap in January of 2004, when they accused pharmacist Francesco Calamandrei of leading the Satanic cult they believed was responsible for the murders. For the next three years, police built a case against Calamandrei, as well Mario Spezi, a journalist who had been following the murders and was an outspoken critic of the police investigation. An outraged public, who believed the police had gone too far, protested the arrest. They alleged that prosecutors wanted to silence Spezi's criticisms, and pressured police into letting Spezi go. Spezi was eventually absolved of the crimes, and the group in charge of the Il Mostro investigation was dissolved in 2006. Prosecutors Giuliano Mignini and Michele Giuttari were also charged with abuse of office for their arrest of Spezi. In 2007, Calamandrei stood trial, but was acquitted of all charges due to lack of evidence. Two years later, Vanni died in a nursing home. Whether or not he participated in the crimes, or was falsely accused, remains a mystery.
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