Making a Killing: The “Monster of Florence” and the Trial(s) of Pietro Pacciani

  • Ellen Nerenberg
Part of the Italian and Italian American Studies book series (IIAS)


The seven double homicides that took place in the Florentine hinterland between 1975 and 1985 offer a narrative of conspiracy that plumbs public faith in organs of jurisprudence and is characterized by mystery and jingoism. As Manlio Cancogni says in the introduction to the summary of the case written by Francesco Ferri (who heard the case in Florence’s Court of Appeals and absolved Pacciani—a judicial sentence later quashed), “Like most Italians, what I know about the Pacciani case is based on hearsay.”1 Employing methods developed by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Italian law officials concluded the murders were serial in nature and created an “identikit” to be used to build a list of suspects. When Pietro Pacciani emerged as the prime suspect, organs of the press were quick to call him il mostro di Firenze (the “Monster of Florence”), a moniker used by the media to refer to the previously unidentified murderer. Pacciani was tried in 1994, found guilty, and sentenced. On appeal, that sentence was vacated, and after another investigation, Pacciani was accused once more; he was named co-conspirator to commit murder with several others and was to have stood trial in 1998. He died awaiting his second trial.


Criminal History Female Victim Serial Killer Serial Murder Prime Suspect 
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  1. 2.
    See Karen Pinkus, The Montesi Scandal (University of Chicago Press, 2003).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Stephen Gundle and Lucia Rinaldi 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ellen Nerenberg

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