Between 1968 and 1985, there were a series of double murders in Florence for which the ‘Il Mostro di Firenze, or the Monster of Florence, was responsible. The victims were always couples and had often parked up in their cars when the homicides took place. Other consistencies between the murders included the weapon used, which was a .22-caliber Beretta to shoot at close range, and the genital mutilation of the women.
It was in June 1981 when attention first came to the Monster of Florence. The body of 30-year-old Giovanni Foggi was found in his car and the body of his naked girlfriend, 21-year-old Carmela Di Nuccio, was found nearby. Not only had the couple been shot, they were also stabbed using a knife that is most commonly used by scuba divers. The genitalia of the woman had also been removed. It was noted that there were similarities between this double homicide and one that had taken place in the Florence countryside several years earlier. Just a few months later, another double murder took place, bringing Florence into panic and bringing huge media attention to the case.
Things were quiet for a while before the next killing eight months later. A letter for the Florence police was found at the scene suggesting they look at a newspaper cutting from a murder that took place in 1968. This related to the murder of a man and a woman who were caught having sex in their car. However, this case had been solved and the woman’s husband, Stefano Mele, had been charged with the double murder. Mele was an immigrant from Sardinia and he had confessed to the crime. When Mele was interviewed by a reporter from La Nazione, he had said he committed the murder with several other men from Sardinia. This led the police to believe that the Monster of Florence was potentially one of these Sardinian men.
Francesco Vinci, a Sardinian, was arrested by the police but he was released when a gay German couple was murdered in their car. The police believed that the killer could have mistaken one of the men for a woman. It was a further ten months before another murder took place. The difference with this murder was that the killer removed the left breast of the woman. The police ramped up their efforts to catch the killer by employing the services of a special team and by offering a bounty for the capture of the killer.
The last of the Monster of Florence’s killings took place in the summer of 1985. Again, the left breast of the female victim was removed and the nipple was sent in an envelope to a female prosecutor on the case. This was the last time the Monster of Florence was ever heard from.
Pietro Pacciani, a Tuscan farmer, was arrested for the homicides in 1994. He was a violent alcoholic and had once murdered a traveling salesman. His reason for this was he went into a jealous rage after he caught the salesman with his wife. Furthermore, Pacciani had raped his daughters; crimes for which he had served a prison sentence. The farmer maintained his innocence in relation to the double murders and was acquitted.
Despite large sums of money and many years of investigation, this crime is still unsolved. Theorists are divided in opinion over who is the true Monster of Florence. While some believe a Sardinian man is responsible others argue that Pacciani is the true killer. There is even a group that believe Satanists were responsible for the homicides.
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