A lawyer said on Friday that families of victims of a serial murderer who plagued Florence in the 1970s and 1980s are requesting a new investigation into one of Italy’s deadliest unsolved mysteries. Relatives of three victims have formally requested that prosecutors in the Tuscan city re-examine potential leads into the so-called “Monster of Florence,” who is suspected of murdering 16 people.
“With a new inquiry, we’re seeking for the truth, and we’re certain that there are components in the original case files that were mistakenly disregarded,” lawyer Valter Biscotti told AFP.
Biscotti represents Estelle Lanciotti, the eldest daughter of French victim Nadine Mauriot, who was killed in 1985 while camping in Italy with Jean Michel Kraveichvili.
All of the victims were couples who were slain with the same Beretta handgun. The majority were assaulted in automobiles, during or shortly after having sex. Mauriot, who was slain in her tent, was one of four women who had their breasts or genital parts damaged.
“We want to take a new look at a lead involving a person listed in an old police file who was never thoroughly examined, as well as DNA recovered on anonymous letters,” Biscotti explained.
Years of inquiry into the killings, which occurred between 1968 and 1985 in tiny villages near Florence, have led authorities to accuse everyone from a poor farmer to Italy’s secret service and a satanic cult.
Five individuals were suspected of the deaths at various points, but each time they were imprisoned, another murder occurred, and they were released. One of these individuals had admitted his guilt.
“None of the Trials Thus Far Have Yielded the Entire Truth.”
Lawyers for the families of Mauriot, Kraveichvili, and Carmela De Nuccio, who were murdered in 1981, have asked for access to the case file of one-time suspect Pietro Pacciani, a farmer.
Pacciani, a convicted killer who was also found guilty of raping his two daughters, was sentenced to life in prison in 1994 for killing six of the eight couples but was exonerated two years later by an appeals court.
That verdict was later reversed by Italy’s highest appeals court, but Pacciani died of a heart attack in 1998, at the age of 73, before he could be retried.
Prosecutors characterized Pacciani as a violent and sex-obsessed guy who committed the killings with a group of buddies he used to frequent brothels with.
After Lotti confessed, two of those buddies, Mario Vanni and Giancarlo Lotti, were convicted guilty of four of the eight double killings. Both were imprisoned and have since died.
However, there were “inconsistencies” in Lotti’s confession, and some of the killings remain unclaimed, implying that “none of the trials so far have gotten to the real truth,” according to Biscotti.
Giampiero Vigilanti, another of Pacciani’s friends, was among the other suspects. In the 1980s, authorities raided his home and discovered newspaper clippings about the murders as well as bullets of the same type used in the murders.
Biscotti and the other lawyers want the Vigilanti investigation, which is now 90 years old, reactivated.
They also want the male DNA found on anonymous letters delivered to prosecutors in 1985 — which did not match Pacciani’s — to be matched to the suspect, whom they claim authorities overlooked.
Last year, Deadline claimed that Antonio Banderas had been cast as Italian crime writer Mario Spezi in “The Monster of Florence,” a series based on Spezi and American novelist Douglas Preston’s book. The writers identified a number of claimed errors committed by authorities throughout their investigation of the killings in the book.
According to the Associated Press, Spezi was detained in 2006 as part of an investigation that also included Preston. Prosecutors accused the journalist of defamation and of diverting attention away from the “Monster of Florence” killings.