Monster of Florence

The Monster is born

Six years after the Stefano Mele was arrested, on 14 September 1974 police received call that another couple was found dead in Borgo San Lorenzo. 18-year-old Stefania Pettini and 19-year-old Pasquale Gentilcore were found dead in a parked car. Gentilcore was half-naked in the drivers seat of a Fiat 127 with several gunshot wounds. There were no signs of struggle, which suggested that the man was taken bu surprise. Pettini was found lying naked on the ground behind the car and seemed that the killer has posed her corpse - her arms and legs were in a spread-eagled position and a vine branch was placed in her mutilated vagina. Also content of her handbag was scattered around the car. As later the autopsy revealed man was shot 5 times, woman only 3 times, but she died of 96 stab wounds. Police determined that the gun used by killer was .22 automatic Beretta and the bullets were Winchester type manufactured in Australia during the 1950s.

The investigation focused on three local men: 53-year-old Bruno Mocali, a self-proclaimed healer, Giuseppe Francini, a mentally unstable man who confessed to the crime of his own will, and Guido Giovannini, a voyeur who had been identified by a number of witnesses as someone who had been spying on couples in the area where the crime took place. But there was no evidence linking any of the suspects to the crime, and all three were eventually ruled out as possible killer. With no further leads the investigation came to a stand still.

On 6 June 1981 a police sergeant on a country walk with his young son accidentally discovered the bodies of 21-year-old Carmela De Nuccio and her 30-year-old lover Giovanni Foggi. Foggi was found in the drivers seat of parked Fiat Ritmo - the drivers side window had been smashed and Foggi’s throat had been slashed. Next to the drivers doors woman’s handbag was lying on the ground and its content was scattered around. De Nuccio was found at the bottom of steep bank about 20 meters from the car. Her legs were spread apart, her T-shirt and jeans were slashed and her vagina had been crudely removed with a very sharp instrument. As autopsy revealed they both died of the shot wounds while still sitting in the car, later Foggi was stabbed. The bullets used were .22-caliber automatic pistol with Winchester rounds, which matched to those used in the Borgo San Lorenzo murders.

Investigators focused on Enzo Spalletti, an occasional voyeur, whose red Ford had been seen parked near the scene of the crime. His alibi sounded unlikely, but what really caught the attention of the police is that at 9:30 in the morning he told his wife about two bodied in the Fiat Ritmo, which allegedly he read in the newspaper, but the story was not published until the day after the bodies were found. Spalletti was quickly arrested for the crime and placed behind bars to await trial.

On 23 October 1981, just four months after the double murder of De Nuccio and Foggi, the killer attacked in Calenzano - 24-year-old Susanna Cambi and her 26-year-old boyfriend Stefano Baldi, were found near their parked car. Baldi was lying next to a Volkswagen, he was half-naked and appeared to have been shot and stabbed numerous times. Cambi was lying on the opposite side of the vehicle, also shot and stabbed, but soon the police discovered that her vagina had been removed in the same fashion as with Carmela De Nuccio.

Autopsy confirmed that both victims had been shot through the front window and that they were both still alive when the killer was attacking them with a knife. The removal of the vagina was done with the same (or very similar) instrument as used in the previous case, but this time it was done 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 confirmed that the same Beretta .22 used in the previous crimes was used this time.

As the news of another murder reached the press, two separate couples reported police that they had seen a red Alfa Romeo with a lone male driver speeding away from the crime scene. Even though police decided to release the informations about serial killer to media no further leads were found. The charges against Enzo Spalletti for the murder of De Nuccio and Foggi were dropped and he was released from the prison, where he awaited a trial. So far the only result of the investigation was that media started to call the attacker Monster of Florence.

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