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  MONSTER of FLORENCE USA ... ... ... 14+
aka 1968 1985 Florence
 : ... ... ... ...
The countryside surrounding Florence, Italy, has long been favored as a prime vacation spot for campers, hikers, nature-lovers. In the summer months, warm breezes, starry skies, and rolling meadows make the area a perfect trysting spot for lovers, honeymooners, couples seeking to rekindle a romantic flame in their relationships. In recent years, however, Florence had acquired a different sort of reputation on the side, as the selected hunting ground of a sadistic killer who prefered to prey on couples, randomly selecting victims for a yearly sacrifice of blood. The Florence slayer's first appearance was recorded on August 21, 1968, when Barbara Locci and her adulterous lover, Antonio Lo Bianco, were shot to death as they lay in the front seat of an automobile, parked beside a rural lane. In the back seat, the dead woman's six-year-old son slept through the murder undisturbed, suggesting that the killer may have used a silencer. Despite the lack of any solid evidence, the crime appeared routine to local homicide investigators, and Locci's husband was convicted in a hasty trial. Six years elapsed before his innocence was proven, as the killer struck again. The second set of victims, slain in September 1974, were shot with the same .22-caliber Beretta automatic pistol used in 1968; once more, the gunman used distinctive copper-jacketed Winchester bullets, manufactured in Australia during the 1950s. Unlike the first crime, however, this time the female victim was sexually mutilated after death, a grim addition that became the Florence slayer's trademark. Another long hiatus in the murders followed, broken in June and October 1981, when two more couples were killed with the same Beretta automatic. Mutilation of female victims remained a trademark of the killer. Stefani Pettini, killed on June 6, was stabbed over 300 times, a severed grape vine thrust into one of her wounds. Susanna Cambi, killed October 23, had her genitals sliced away like Carmela De Nuccio in 1974. Each year since 1981, the faceless hunter returned to kill one couple camped or parked within a 19-mile radius of Florence, shooting both victims before savaging the women with a knife. The pattern had been broken only once, in 1983, when two West German men were shot while sleeping in a camper, killed by the familiar trademark bullets fired at point-blank range. Police believe the long blond hair of one young man confused the killer, making him believe one of the victims was a woman. Recreation of the "Monster's" crimes reveals a striking similarity in every case. Each of the double murders has occurred on moonless nights, between the hours of 10 o'clock and midnight. In each case, police believe the man was murdered first, the woman subsequently shot and mutilated as the killer exorcised his private frenzy. Fingerprint examinations of the murder scenes indicate the gunman typically wore rubber surgical gloves, and homicide detectives freely admitted they had no leads in the baffling case. As described by Francisco Fleury, the district attorney in charge of the investigation, "The man could be your respectable next-door neighbor, a man above suspicion." Like so much else about the crimes, the six- and seven-year delays between the first three sets of homicides are unexplained. Investigators thought they had a solid lead in 1985, when two French tourists camping in a tent were murdered on September 8. The woman's body had been slashed at least 100 times, her left breast severed in the killer's frenzy. On the morning that the bodies were discovered, a copper-jacketed Winchester bullet was found on the sidewalk in front of a hospital close by the murder site. The hospital's proximity, together with evidence of surgical gloves and a scalpel employed in the crimes, led detectives to question members of the hospital staff, but no suspects were identified. Next day, police received an envelope addressed with letters clipped from a newspaper; inside, they found a portion of the murdered woman's genitalia, a mocking gift from their elusive quarry. Three movies have been made, so far, about the "Monster" and his crimes, ranging from a pornographic feature to a documentary. One film was in production in September 1985, and members of the crew rushed to the latest murder site, shooting new scenes to up-date their story. Police, meanwhile, are were fearful that increased publicity may have prompted the killer to become more active, or encourage "copycats" to emulate his crimes. In 1992, Pietro Pacciani, age 69 was arrested for the murders. He had spent four years in prison, 1987-91, for the physical abuse of his two daughters. He was accused of murder in 1951 but apparently was never tried. In 1992, a police search of his property turned up pistol parts, some .22-caliber ammunition, plus a soap dish and some drawings allegedly linked to one of the "Monster's" victims.



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