Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Monster of Florence

Another Long Hiatus

The killer waited almost a year before striking again on July 29, 1984, this time murdering another young couple in Vicchio di Mugello, just north of Florence.  This double murder showed all the characteristics of the previous ones.  The mans body was found on the backseat of his car wearing only underpants and a vest.  Not far from the vehicle, behind some bushes, lay the completely naked body of the girl.  As with her predecessors, she was posed in a spread eagle position, with her genitals having been removed.  The only real variance was that the killer had also decided to remove her left breast and slashed her corpse over 100 times. 

An autopsy soon revealed that both victims had been shot through the car window before being stabbed with a knife.  The body of the girl was then dragged by the ankles approximately 10 yards.

The ballistic results were of no surprise to investigators.  The weapon had been a .22 automatic Beretta, and the bullets matched all of those used on previous victims.  The knife was also deemed to have been a single-edged blade and matched the characteristics as that of the previous mutilations.  In addition, no fingerprints were recovered from the scene, strengthening investigators theory that the killer wore surgical gloves during his crimes.

Investigators were curious as to why the killer had removed the breast of his latest female victim.  Were his acts simply becoming more macabre or was this related to a cult aspect?

Detectives freely admitted to the press that they had no leads and were just as baffled as before.  In a press release following the murders, Francisco Fleury, the DA then in charge of the investigation, said, The man could be your respectable next-door neighbor, a man above suspicion.

Other than the killers underlying motives, there was no question about the targets.  The killer was obviously a sadistic individual who preferred to prey on random couples in rural settings.  To veteran investigators, the killer was a ghost.  After almost two decades they had no suspect, no substantial clues and little hope of ever catching the Monster of Florence.