Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Monster of Florence

And Then There Were Eight

On Oct. 23, 1981, just months after the double murder of Nuccio and Foggi, the killer struck again.  A young couple, 24-year-old Susanna Cambi and her 26-year-old boyfriend, Stefano Baldi, had decided to spend the evening parked at a scenic outlook near Calenzano, just north of Florence.  What the young couple failed to notice was a killer lying in wait.  Later that evening, another young couple discovered their bullet-ridden and mutilated corpses. 

Susanna Canbi crime scene
Susanna Canbi crime scene

As investigators arrived at the scene they discovered a man lying next to a Volkswagen.  He was half-naked and appeared to have been shot and stabbed numerous times.  A female victim was lying on the opposite side of the vehicle.  While her wounds were similar to that of her male counterpart, one detail immediately struck investigators -- her vagina had been removed in the same fashion as with Carmela De Nuccio.

Susanna Canbi's body being removed from crime scene
Susanna Canbi's body being
removed from crime scene

A pathologist concluded that both victims had been shot through the front window and that they were both still alive when the first of the numerous stab wounds were inflicted.  There was no evidence that either of the bodies had been dragged to the location in which they were ultimately discovered and the knife was believed to be single edged and approximately 3 centimeters wide and 5 to 7 centimeters long. 

The excision of the vagina appeared to have been performed with the same instrument used in the previous case, but it was executed with significantly less precision and a much larger area had been removed.  The abdominal wall had been cut through all its layers, leaving a large area of the abdominal cavity exposed and part of the intestine punctured, thus suggesting that the murderer was rushed.  Ballistics tests also ultimately revealed that the same Beretta .22 used in the previous crime was used in this latest double murder. 

As news of the murders reached the press, two separate couples came forward and reported that they had seen a red Alfa GT with a lone male driver speeding away from the crime scene.  Investigators decided it was time to let the press in on their theory of a serial murderer who preyed on young couples.  They had hoped that the extensive coverage would prompt others to come forward with possible leads.  However, no further clues were brought to light and the result was that frightened citizens stayed behind locked doors for fear of being the next victim of the media-dubbed Monster of Florence.  

Investigators also decided to drop their charges against Enzo Spalletti for the June 6, 1981, double murder of Carmela De Nuccio and Giovanni Foggi.  Since Spalletti had been behind bars at the time of this most recent murder, there was no way he could have committed the crime.  His trial was canceled and he was released from prison.