Monster of Florence

Serial killer investigation

On 19 June 1982 the killer struck again near Montespertoli - 22-year-old Paolo Mainardi and his girlfriend 20-year-old Antonella Migliorini, were making love in a parked car near the roadway, when someone appeared out of the bushes and began shooting. Both were struck by the bullets and Antonella died almost immediately. Even though Paolo was seriously injured, he was able to start the car, turn on the headlights, and shift the vehicle into reverse. Unfortunately the car ended up in a ditch and Paolo was unable to get it back out. The killer wasted little time and quickly shot out the vehicles headlights, restoring the darkness and emptied his pistol into the two victims. After turning off the engine, the keys were pulled from the ignition and thrown away. Obviously disturbed by traffic in the area, the killer left the scene without realizing that Paolo Mainardi was still alive. According to new reconstruction of the events it is possible that the killer drove the car for few meters and abandoned it when he drove into ditch and left it there.

Unfortunately Paolo was not discovered until the following morning and died just hours later without regaining consciousness. But police spread the information among the media that Paolo was in fact still alive on arrival to the hospital and gave the description of the killer. They were hoping to pull the attacker from his safe zone and force him to make a false move. And it worked - the hospital staff received two phone calls from a man who first claimed to be with the DA’s office and then identified himself as the murderer. He wanted to know what the young man said before dying.

After that murder the bullets used in the attacks were compared with those from Lo Bianco and Locci murder in 1968, which at that point wasn’t considered to be linked. The tests show that Lo Bianco and Locci were also killed using Beretta .22-caliber pistol with the Winchester bullets, and that all the shells came from a single box of 50 bullets. This put Stefano Mele, arrested in 1968 for both murders, in clear since he was in jail when later attacks took place. But the investigators, although agreed that Mele could not been Monster of Florence, assumed that he must have have and accomplice who continued to kill people. Mele, after being in jail for 14 years, was still claiming his innocence and refused to cooperate with the police.

On 9 September 1983 another attack took place near Florence, but this time the killer by accident changed his pattern - he killed two young men from West Germany, Horst Meyer and Uwe Rusch. They were both shot while sleeping in their Volkswagen camper. The media suspected that they were homosexual couple, but there are no evidence to support that theory. Since there were no mutilations to their bodies at first the police did not link it to the murders of Monster of Florence, but the ballistics tests proved that the gun used to kill the Germans was same Beretta .22 that was used in previous murders. After analyzing the evidence the investigators assumed that the killer did not changed his pattern, but rather made mistake - one of the boys had long blond hair and it is possible killer simply mistaken him for a girl.

Shortly after the murder of the campers one of the hospital employees was again contacted by the killer, who again was asking what exactly the did Mainardi told the police before he died. But the most interesting, and at the same time disturbing, part of this information is that the man called the hospital employee while he was on vacation in Rimini, which is over 100 km aways.

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