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Crime News Cold Cases

Relatives Of Victims Seek To Have Italy's 'Monster Of Florence' Serial Killer Case Reopened

Italy's "Monster of Florence" targeted up to eight couples who were engaged in sexual activity between 1968 and 1985, leading to several suspects and theories over the years.

By Jax Miller
Court Room Gavel G

The families of three victims of a notorious Italian serial killer are demanding their cases be reopened, according to the lawyer representing them.

The identity of a killer known as “The Monster of Florence,” who terrorized the Italian region of Tuscany between 1968 and 1985, has never been conclusively determined, according to CBS News. But relatives of several victims targeted by the serial killer say police overlooked certain aspects of the case and want a new investigation.

“We are looking for the truth with a new investigation,” attorney Valter Biscotti told Italian media outlets on Friday. “And we’re convinced that there are elements in the old case files that were wrongly overlooked.”

The killer is responsible for up to 16 murders and targeted couples engaged in, or having just been engaged in, sexual activity. The case remains one of the country’s most high-profile, inspiring films, bestselling books, and currently a limited series in the works starring Antonio Banderas.

Biscotti, famous for representing Rudy Guede in the Meredith Kercher murder trial, now represents three people who want the case reopened. One of his clients includes Estelle Lanciotti, whose mother, Nadine Mauriot, was shot to death in a camping tent in 1985 alongside her boyfriend, Jean Michael Kraveichvili, according to CBS News. She was one of four female victims of the killer to have her breasts and genitals mutilated.

It wasn't clear if a 2018 breakthrough in the Mauriot-Kraveichvili case, which involved the reexamination of a bullet discovered in a cushion in the tent 33 years later, was directly related to Biscotti's announcement. According to Friday’s statement, the recent bid to reopen the investigation primarily revolves around a suspect who they allege was never adequately looked into.

“We want a fresh look at a lead concerning a suspect named in an old police file who was never investigated properly, as well as DNA found on anonymous letters,” stated Biscotti.

Italy's "lover’s lane" murders generated many theories and suspects over the years, from the killer being a scorned lover to the involvement of a secret Satanic cults. This time, loved ones, including the relatives of 1981 victim Carmela De Nuccio, demanded that authorities again look into a farmer named Pietro Pacciani.

Pacciani came on investigators’ radar in November 1994 when named by an anonymous tipster, according to journalist and author Douglas Preston.

“Pietro Pacciani; he was known to be very violent,” Douglas told NBC News in 2007. “He beat his children. He beat his wife. People were frightened of him.”

In 1994, Pacciani was convicted of raping his two daughters and found responsible for murdering six of the eight couples killed by the "Monster of Florence," according to CBS News. Pacciani was sentenced to life, but his conviction was overturned two years later during his appeal.

Pacciani would never see a retrial after he died in 1998 at the age of 73 from a heart attack. Prosecutors had characterized him as a sex-crazed individual who attacked the couples with his two friends, Mario Vanni and Giancarlo Lotti. The two friends, who allegedly accompanied Pacciani to local brothels, were also found guilty in the murder of four of the eight couples after Lotti confessed, according to CBS News. However, Biscotti said there were “inconsistencies” in Lotti’s confession and that “none of the trials so far have got to the whole truth.”

Both Vanni and Lotti were imprisoned for the murders and have since died.

Biscotti said he and the victims’ loved ones also want authorities to look further into another man who knew Pacciani and who, in 2020, at age 90, was officially named a suspect, according to La Nazione.

Police allegedly searched his home in the 1980s, finding newspaper clippings of the murders and bullets from a Beretta pistol, the same kind of gun used to kill all of the serial killer’s victims.

Finally, Biscotti announced he wanted new testing on letters that were allegedly written by the elusive killer back in 1985, according to CBS News. The outlet reported that DNA found on the letters did not match Pacciani, though the specific letter in question was not immediately clear.

It was not clear if authorities in Italy had responded to Biscotti’s requests on behalf of the victims’ families.

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