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The Monster of Florence

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The Monster of Florence

Post by Saponarolla on Tue 22 Dec 2015 - 23:52

Hello Karen and company,

George Clooney's Monster of Florence movie is set to come out next year and, if it's anything like the book by Douglas Preston, it sure have a negative portrayal of the conspiracy theories regarding this unsolved case and the Italian public's penchant for Dietrologia  or "the study of what is behind". 

Even Preston will admit the murder weapon which was never found passed through the hands of three men, a convicted murderer, a suspected murderer and the Monster of Florence. Yet it was "all done by just one man alone... no conspiracy... no Satanism..."!

Please, let me know your take on the subject.

Saponarolla

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Re: The Monster of Florence

Post by Saponarolla on Tue 29 Dec 2015 - 18:09

In a country where lying is worse than murder, the truth will  be told. 
Truth, submerged in lies, will eventually be dredged up, 
Like works of art from the mud of the dirty flooding Arno River.

Obscured by blinding blazes of false light, 
Truth will explode into clarity at night,
When darkness erupts in the Florentine hills, 
And the Monster of Florence kills.

Saponarolla

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Re: The Monster of Florence

Post by Saponarolla on Wed 27 Jan 2016 - 13:05

On a clear but dark night in Italy, I wandered like the poet Dante on a forested hillside near my dream-come-true, 14th Century, Tuscan villa, and wandered until I found myself in a proverbial olive grove overlooking Florence. The height and darkness of the private vantage made for great viewing of the Renaissance City's brilliant nightscape.

Like Dante, I was not alone. With me was my Italian friend, Marco Spezza, the dogged researcher from the National Central Library of Florence who helped me write my true crime bestseller about the Monster of Florence. Il Mostro, as he's known in Italy, is the serial killer who shot and killed 16 people in secluded spots outside the city, including one here near my villa. Marco told me about the spot when I'd met him in a cafe two years ago, and that's what got me interested in the case.

Still officially unsolved, the crimes are subject to wild theories of secret societies and the occult. My true crime bestseller presented a lone gunman suspect, a Sardinian named Vinci, and tried to debunk the crazy theories but they never really went away, at least not in Italy. There were still nagging controversies that kept bringing us back to the case and back to that old, secluded spot outside Florence.

Together, Marco and I walked warily between the olive trees, trying to ignore the fact that the country lane above the grove was the spot where, in 1974 on a night just like tonight, a dark figure appeared out of the darkness and shot two lovers in a parked car dead. But here we were back again; something I can't explain had drawn us back here tonight on a moonless, Monster night, and we couldn't ignore it anymore. 

Marco stopped dead in his tracks next to the old crime scene and peered into the darkness, forcing me to stop and look too, and to recall the horrific details. The shooting like most of the others also involved the mutilation of the female victim and harvesting of her organs. 

Not yet convinced there wasn’t  an occult angle to the crimes, Marco liked to debate the infernal question whenever we got together, like tonight. 

“How is it, Doug?" he asked. "How is it, really?... A killer poses his female victims and removes body parts and THIS IS NOT SATANIC?”

Tired of debating what was behind the murders, I offered him a meager compromise: 

“Satanic perhaps in the broadest sense," I said. "However Satanist or Satanic are loaded words in my opinion and should only be used for Satan worshippers. Of that, we have no evidence. No ritual killing or black magic arts.”

“Tell me, Doug! What do you think makes a Satanist a Satanist? A star and a circle. A black robe and a business card?! Remember, this is Italy, mi’ amico! 

“Italy or not, there is  no Satanic Conspiracy, Marco! The Monster was one man and we know who he is! It's Vinci! He had the gun, we know that. Stephano Mele owned it first when it was used to kill his wife and her lover in her car in 1968. He says he gave the gun to his co-assassin, Salvatore Vinci, and Vinci said his son stole it. The trail of the murder weapon leads right to him. Right to Antonio Vinci. From Mele to Vinci to Vinci. Ruocco, the convict, even saw the gun in Vinci’s hideaway!”

“You forget he also saw six iron boxes with the gun. Six as in the number of the Devil. Six as in the number of the women killed and dismembered, their female organs removed and taken.” 

“Six as in one more than five and one  less than seven. It doesn’t mean anything.”

“Wouldn’t it be better if you saw the boxes for yourself before you decide?”

“Do you know where they are?”

“Yes, and I can get you in.” 




My Ford KA, a European compact hatchback, negotiated the switchbacks up a mountainside in Chianti to the west gate of an ancient villa. An old, converted, Mediaeval castle, the villa was still guarded by a strong tower reminding everyone in the valleys below of its past as a mighty fortress of feudal lords. 

Five hundred years ago, Renaissance renovators had remade the exterior to include arched loggias (exterior galleries) with stone columns, and converted it into a villa for a powerful family of nobles and magistrates. 

Our source in the mob had told Marco that the secret hideout of the Monster of Florence was somewhere inside. I couldn't believe that this architectural masterpiece was where he hid out with his deadly weapon and his hideous trophies.

“The castle is beautiful,” I said. “Are you sure the monster’s lair is in there?”

“Don’t be fooled by the exterior. The castle conceals a dark history from the Middle Ages when the castle was the monastery of a feared monastic order that followed the practices of Savonarola. Hidden chambers hold dark secrets of Black Masses and sadistic torture.”

“The gates look closed. There’s no way in.”

“The castle is impregnable. No one has ever infiltrated the castle to steal its treasures and discover its secrets. So they say. But nothing is impossible for us crafty Florentines. Centuries ago, we raided the castle by accessing the tombs under its chapel by way of an abandoned silver mine. Ruocco told Ignazio, the Mafioso, where to find the entrance, and Ignazio told me.”

Instead of trying the iron gates and entering the castle grounds, we parked the car and took a flashlight with us for our underground expedition. Marco led the way on foot through a vineyard lined with cypress and into a thick wood off the beaten path.  

A wire fence stopped us short and told us that, beyond the fence, there was danger of ground collapse due to the mineshafts underneath. Undeterred, we crossed the fence and walked gingerly over the unstable terrain like we were in a mine field. 

Any moment, the earth beneath our feet could collapse and we’d find our way into the mine by having the ground swallow us up. The ground opened up suddenly. 

We were standing at the edge of an unnatural depression in the earth. It was a previous cave-in pit and the secret entrance to a mineshaft. 

It was pitch dark at the bottom. Marco flicked on the flashlight and led the way in, sliding down over the rock fall to the bottom of a wet mineshaft. The beam of my light played over the rotting brace beams, the rock walls and dripping ceiling. 

A gaseous almond-like smell was strong here. These cobalt rocks contained arsenic and it was oxidizing which accounted for the almond smell. 

“Order of the Vesica!” Marco said jokingly, sniffing the air, and he explained myself by saying, “The almond  smell.”

I laughed at his joke at the expense of the Italian conspiracy theorists who thought the crimes of the Monster were the work of a mysterious Order named after the vesica Pisces which has a mandorla or an almond-shape as its centre. 

“We must be close,” I said, sarcastically.

The man-made tunnel to the prehistoric past held a primordial stillness with no sound to be heard except for our feet splashing in the water, sloshing in the mud and tripping over the rusted mine cart track. There was no other sound. 

The old abandoned tunnel surrounded us like an enveloping womb of flattened sedimentary layers. Clasts of old sediments entombed us is a past world of a time long before mankind. Soon we would discover the ancient secrets held in the passageway. We trudged two hundred meters into the bowels of the earth, inching ever closer to the truth.

The mineshaft opened up suddenly into a large chamber with red mineral bloom coming out of the walls and down from the ceiling like stalactites of blood. We were in the treasure room of a mine, the place where much of the ore was extracted. Now the treasure room was an underground tomb lined with sarcophagi and a stone stairway leading up to the chapel in the castle.

“This must be the crypt beneath the sanctuary,” said Marco. “The Monster’s hideaway!”

“The Monster’s trophies must be inside one of these tombs,” I said. “Do you know which one?”

“Ignazio told me it was the one with the mandorla--I’m not kidding. I didn’t want to tell you before because you wouldn’t believe me and maybe not want to come if I did. But here it is! He was telling the truth.”

Marco found a sarcophagus with a Vesica Pisces graffito carved into the top of the stone lid. Together we shoved against the lid and it started to move a couple of centimeters at a time. The hard, grinding sound of a stone slab, moving across another stone, permeated the silent crypt. 

The sound continued when we stopped. It wasn’t the sarcophagus lid that was making the sound. It was the stone slab door opening up at the top of the staircase. Someone was entering the crypt.
Quickly, we heaved the lid aside and Marco shone his flashlight into the tomb. Inside were not six but seven metal boxes and one box of bullets, 22 caliber, Winchester series H, the Monster’s brand. At least 30 bullets were missing from the box of 50, enough for his 16 murders.
There was no gun, no Beretta, only the boxes. Six of the seven boxes were similar, made of iron and padlocked, big enough to hold the body parts removed from the six female victims. The contents would be gruesome if this was indeed the horrible trophy cache of the Monster. 
The seventh box was a tin, necktie box, unlocked. I flipped opened the tin and inside were seven, white, evening Victorian dress ties, black with clotted blood! 
This was not what we expected but I had a strange idea what the ties might be—the monstrous bib of a cannibal killer who allegedly killed his victims according to Satanic Ritual and hid the bloody evidence on his clothing behind a dark overcoat. Marco grabbed one of the bloody neckties. The cravat was stiff in his hand with the blood. 
I took a snapshot of the scene and the flash lit up the dark crypt. Upstairs, the door slab ground more loudly against the stone floor. The door was opening faster.
“Forget the trophy boxes for now,” said Marco. “Push the lid back and let’s go!”
We closed the sarcophagus just as the stone slab stopped making noise. Someone had entered the crypt and heavy footsteps began to descend the stairs. 
Marco led us back into the mineshaft and we hid against the rock walls with my torch off and listened in the dark. The footsteps got closer and closer, resonating ominously like the final steps of a grim reaper stalking the crypt. The steps stopped for a catch-your-breath moment. The deathly silence was broken by the unmistakable sound of a gun-slide being racked.
Could it be the Beretta 22 of the Monster? If that was the Monster behind that gun, we were in danger even with a head start because everyone knew the fiend had speed to go along with is stealth. He had once outrun a victim in the night before shooting him dead even though the victim was an amateur, hundred meter sprint champion. 
Time to fly. Marco switched the torch back on and rushed headlong into the mineshaft, leaving me in a lurch but he didn’t have to tell me to run as fast as he could. 
I ran right past he like he was standing still and I outran the beam of my flashlight. Behind us, rushing footfalls headed for the entrance to the shaft. The Monster was on our heels.
Marco caught up to me as I bumped into the wall. I stayed in the beam of his light this time and followed the mine cart track. A light appeared in the distance, light from the cave-in pit. We ran to the opening and scrambled up out of the mine into the evening gloom. 
Marco wanted to hide in the woods but I kept right on running blindly out into the open. The sky was grey like a corpse. There was still daylight and the only cover we had were the cypress trees lining the vineyard and the grapevines. The Monster was sure to see us. We ducked and ran behind the foliage to hide from the fiend as we made our way quickly back to the west gate. 
The car was parked facing the wall and I jumped in first but Marco didn’t get in because he knew the Monster was on us and he didn’t want to have another Montespertoli. The victims there had hit the gas only to reverse into a ditch where upon the Monster shot out the headlights and the two people inside. 
I stamped on the accelerator and reversed at high speed to turn around just as the Monster fired at the car from the edge of the vineyard. I stopped the car and put it in forward drive. The passenger side taillight was shot out as Marco ran along side the car, opening the door and jumping in only when he was sure I wouldn’t end up in a ditch. 
A 22 caliber Winchester Series H, copper-jacketed, embedded itself in the backseat, the mark on the rim of the shell, caused by a defective firing pin, proof the gun was a match to the Monster’s murder weapon. The man behind us was definitely the Monster.  
I turned back to see who the Monster was only to see the white necktie sail like a magician’s white dove through the air. The tie had slipped out of Marco's hand and it magically floated back in the direction of the gunman. I saw him snatch it in mid air and hold it up before his face like he was smelling perfume or taking a whiff of the blackened blood. The wide piece of fabric covered his face and I never got a good look at him in our haste to escape. 
"We missed our opportunity to positively identify the Monster," Marco said afterward. "All because of a piece of fabric, all because of a tie that came from a legendary box of ties that belonged to a famous Black Magician who may have been Jack the Ripper.
"But don’t tell that to the Mostrologos or the Ripperologists. Tell it to the people like myself, the people who study what really goes on behind the events! Tell it to - the Dietrologos!"
I promised to put all this in the new edition of my book. We'd work on the Afterword to clean up all the loose ends, I said. 
But, no matter how we presented the facts of the case, I knew that the ever-elusive truth, that went beyond the facts, would always remain up in the air like a floating white necktie...

Saponarolla

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Re: The Monster of Florence

Post by Saponarolla on Sun 14 Feb 2016 - 14:57

In a dark cavern beneath the earth, il Mostro--the Monster--crouched over his meal. It was his traditional lunch of casu marzu, rotten cheese gone maggoty.

Dark and muscular, he was a Sardinian muscleman like bodybuilder, Franco Columbu. This diet was his bodybuilding secret. And he had other secrets, ones that were deadlier for he was the Monster of Florence. 

The Monster put the rotten cheese in a clear plastic bag. The baggie popped like a bag of popcorn in a microwave oven.

Cheese larvae were suffocating to death and popping in the bag, trying to get out. But he wouldn't let them out. You see, he liked killing them.

The Monster liked to kill his maggots before he ate them!

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Re: The Monster of Florence

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