Il Mostro di Firenza– Primo e Terzo

It is the third and it is the first. The savage double murder of Carmela de Nuccio and Giovanni Foggi on the night of June 6/7, 1981, gained national news in Italy. It seemed the first of such a gross, brutal murder . . .and yet it reminded local Florentine police of the murder of a young, petting couple back in 1974.

In both cases, in the dark of night, the killer had walked up to a romancing couple in a car. In both cases, he stood by the driver’s side window and opened fire with a .22 caliber pistol, taking them by surprise. He killed the man right away and then shot the woman a number of times before dragging her dead body from the car to mutilate it.

In the 1974 case, the young man, Pasquale, was found dead in the driver’s seat, only partially dressed. His girlfriend, Stefania, had been shot and stabbed and then drug behind the vehicle where the killer had inserted a vine branch into her reproductive area.  He mutilated her in other ways, about 97 minor piercings. Obviously, it was not the usual revenge murder or killing of passion. Giovanni_Foggi_e_Carmela_De_Nuccio

The Foggi and Nuccio murders were essentially the same. Like Pasquale, Giovanni was found in the driver’s seat, shot through the head and chest and then stabbed for good measure. The killer had probably taken them unaware, like he had the couple in 1974. He shot through the closed driver’s side window and hit Giovanni twice in the temple. Carmela had raised her arms in defense and had been shot 5 times, the one to her heart killing her.

In 1974, Stefania’s groin had been violated with a vine branch. But in 1981 Nuccio’s entire groin had been expertly cut out. Her dead body had been dragged from where she had been shot in the passenger side of Foggi’s car. Her jeans had been lowered and her underwear cut away. Then the killer removed the entire reproductive area.

There wasn’t much difference here from the 1974 murders other than a fiendish, perverted progress in the mutilation of the dead female victim.

The location of Foggi and Nuccio’s murder was similar to the 1974 murders. It was a lovers’ lane area accessed by a dirt road from the main road. It was under a lone cypress on the edge of an old Tuscan olive orchard. It was a bit of a distance from the main road, but it was easily reached by the access road which lead to another trodden path.  It is where these paths met that Giovanni had pulled off and then under the cypress.


The olive orchards rose, crested and sank into clefts as if the rolling hills were sea waves. They overlooked Florence. In the distance was Il Duomo and the Renaissance tiled roofs of old Florence. Villas and a castle dotted the historic countryside.

The bullets which riddled both of the couples could be tested. In both cases, the same Winchester .22 caliber bullets had been used and fired from the same berretta pistol.

More research would uncover this same berretta had been used back in August 1968 on another couple, also at a lovers’ lane. But by the summer of 1981 those murders had been forgotten. The murder in 1968 was 13 years old; the murders in 1974 about 7 years old. They had been spaced over 6 years, and police believed they had captured the culprit in the first double murder in 1968. The second double murder in 1974 was considered unsolved. Obviously, the police in 1974 hadn’t bothered to check and see that the same gun had been used as in 1968.

But the murders of Nuccio and Foggi were so horrific that Florentine police did a very good background check.  Thus in a very real way, Giovanni and Carmela’s  murders were both the first and the third. They drew attention to a fact Italy had not confronted before– a serial killer was stalking the Tuscan hills. Giovanni and Carmela’s murders also launched this killer into an increasingly gross and far more frequent crime spree. Some metamorphosis happened here that made this killing the first of a series.

Il Mostro was born– the Monster of Florence. The killer knew lovers’ lanes or he followed his intended victims. The first couple– Locci and Lo Bianco had been to the movies before they went to their petting spot. Pasquale and Stefania had been at a local disco, and so had Giovanni and Carmela.

The killer wasn’t developing his MO. But he was developing his signature.

Florence was the center. From the Foggi and Nuccio murder scene there was a classic view of Florence.  To the northeast was the Borgo where the 1974 couple had been murdered. To the north was Signa, where Locci and Lo Bianco had been murdered 13 years before. It was a wide swath of Tuscan hillsides, all centered on Florence.

The investigation was still in its infancy when the next murders happened in October 1981 to the north of Florence. The killer had waited almost 7 years since the 1974 killings, but now he had waited only a few months since the Foggi and De Nuccio.

True theorizing would begin after this double murder in October. No one could deny a barbaric serial killer was afoot. He was in action in a country that had not known serial killers before, and he was active in a wide countryside area around one of the most cultured cities in the country.

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Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester or Q Man. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.

Abolish the Electoral College?

It’s unfortunate that Americans have lost the British outlook on government. To Britons, Parliament is not the government. It watches the government. The Prime Minister puts in place the government and Parliament watches the Prime Minister closest of all.

In America it is not much different, though Americans don’t know that. They don’t know it  because they have come to view the Senate and House of Representatives as the government as well. In practical application this is quite incorrect. The Senate and Congress govern nothing. They legislate. At all times they watch the government. If something needs doing that is not being done, they make a law requiring the government to do it. If the government is doing something that it shouldn’t, they make a law forbidding it.

In substance, the Senate and Congress administer nothing. They watch. They are the watchdogs on government. They are designed to safeguard the country and the people from the government.

Sadly, Americans refer to the government as the Administration. They know the President is in charge of the Administration and appoints the Bureau heads and as the chief executive runs the Administration.

But this outlook should be dropped.

The President of the United States, like the British Prime Minister, appoints and forms the government. The President is the chief executive officer and runs the government. The legislatures watch the President.

The difference between Britain and the United States is this: Britain is a country. The United States isn’t. The United States is a federation. In Britain the party in majority, according to Parliamentary Procedure, appoints the Prime Minster, and in turn the Prime Minster forms the government. Thus the party in majority actually sets the pulse of the government.

But since the United States is a federation, its States in federation must appoint the Federal Government. This is logistically impossible except one way– voting for the individual who will appoint and control the Federal Government: in other words, the President.

People do not elect federations. Countries federate themselves together and have an equal say regardless of their population disparity. The United Nations is a perfect example. Each nation has a single vote. It is not based on population. If it was based on population, China and India would perpetually control the UN. And what is good for China and India may not be the best for every other country and hemisphere on this planet.

The same with the United States. What is good for New York may not be best for New Mexico.

The United States is no different than the United Nations. As a federation, the States in federation must have an equal share in appointing the Federal Government. They have this in only 2 real ways. Each State has 2 Senators which represent the State and can pass or block Federal legislation. But most of all, each State has it through the Electoral College, for it is through this College alone that each State can influence who will be President.

The fad to abolish the Electoral College is dangerous. To abolish it is tantamount to a willful dissolution of the federation. There is no reason for any State to remain in the Union if the Electoral College is abolished.

The reason given to abolish the Electoral College is that it is not democratic– i.e. the people do not ultimately elect the President. This false straw man premise is the direct result of Americans believing they live in a country and not a federation. In truth, no federation is democratic. Nor can it be. For the United States, each citizen’s State is their actual country, and each State government is directly voted for by the people. Only because their State has agreed to federation with the others are they automatically citizens of the federation called the United States. If the State withdrew from the Union, its citizens are automatically withdrawn from being citizens of the United States.

All States must have their influence in this federation, and not just one State over the others. Since the President alone forms the Federal Government, the States must all have their chance in influencing this process. Without the Electoral College it is impossible.

Election statistics have shown that a number of presidents have won with slim popular margins– sometimes 500 thousand votes or less. In the case of Bush (II) and Gore, Gore won the popular vote by about 500K, close to the same margin he took New York City. In essence, New York City gave him the popular vote. When looking just at numbers, it may have appeared that 500K more Americans wanted Gore over Bush, but this 500k did not reflect the federation. The number was grouped in a single city, reflecting the desires of a very heavily populated area of a single State in the federation that is quite different in its outlook and needs than the rest of the federation.

In 2000, the Electoral College spoke differently than New York City because it reflected the federation as a whole.  It did so because the entire federation spoke through the Electoral College.

The example of New York City is true of any major city. Without the Electoral College to reflect the entire federation, any major city can ultimately decide who is President– it can be Los Angeles, New York, Chicago. It would be like turning over the UN to China because China has more citizens than any other member of the UN.

But that’s not how federations work. Each member State has its influence through an equal vote.

Again, the United States is not a country. It is a federation. The people never have nor ever can elect the Federal Government. They elect their own State’s government and then according to a fair distribution of electoral votes, the States cast the final vote for the office that will appoint the entire Federal Government, the person who will then control foreign policy as well.

Now imagine abolishing the Electoral College. Why should New Hampshire or Iowa, or any State without a swollen urban culture wish to remain in the Union? There is no real reason. Why should its citizens even vote for President? New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, will constantly tip the scales, and their vote will always be based on their own local outlooks.

Large urban areas in America habitually vote Democrat whereas rural areas vote Republican. This is true even of California. Abolishing the Electoral College turns the direction of the federation over to cities. Only Democrats will become presidents.

Urban verses rural culture is an age old phenomenon of human nature.  The Roman Empire was no different. Rome, Alexandria, bustling with half a million to a million people, wanted perks– the free corn dolia, etc. The outlooks of major cities has always been very different from the citizens of smaller towns and the countryside.

City dwelling culture has always been more self indulgent and self serving. But great cities had little influence after the collapse of the Roman Empire because kings and great nobles abhorred city dwelling culture.

Cities have become influential again in the last 100 years after the fall of monarchies and the rise of America resurrecting ancient attitudes.

There is no need or room for a lecture on the fall of civilizations. But I think all and sundry understand the end result of division. For a federation to seriously entertain abolishing its actual cornerstone of federation shows how education has eroded to self indulgence. People are being motivated by nothing but a slogan level intelligence that continues to preach that the individual voter is not ultimately deciding the presidency. That such a slogan is successful is a testament to self indulgence and ignorance. This “Me Tarzan, You Jane” equation then demands abolition of the Electoral College without even understanding what a federation is or foreseeing the end result of enacting its “Me Tarzan, You Jane” agenda.

It is common to assess the beginning of the fall of the Roman Empire to Septimius Severus. He divorced the army from any civilian influence and control. If the Electoral College is abolished, in retrospect historians will affix it as a significant mark in the decline and fall of the American federation. Severus’ precedence turned over the empire to an individual who could control the largest army. Abolishing the Electoral College turns America over to the largest city.

It may take a little time, but the populations of the States will see there is little point in remaining in the Union.

I seldom write of politics, as my readers know. My hobby of pursuing answers to many great mysteries puts me largely outside its discussions, but I have written of matters of logic and logistics before and of the Electoral College. After I removed 200 + blog posts to clear the slate of many topics, some things it seems just bear repeating now.

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Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester or Q Man. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.





The ZODIAC Killer At 50

This is the 50th anniversary of Zodiac’s attack on Dee Ferrin and Mike Mageau at Blue Rock Springs Park on the outskirts of Vallejo. I’m not one for anniversaries, but I will answer some questions sent my way since I have announced %100 matching hand printing between “Steve” and The ‘Zodiac’ Killer.

Q.  Do you think Sherwood Morrill could have identified Steve by his hand printing?

A. Your guess is as good as mine. If you follow my updates page on Q Files where I present samples of printing comparisons, you will see to what extent that Zodiac did disguise his printing. Despite Morrill’s claim that Zodiac was using his own handwriting, I find it hard to believe that Morrill could have identified Zodiac from the few letters he had. It took the “Badlands Letter” (1974) added to the corpus to finally match Steve and Zodiac.

In normal communication, Zodiac kept his pen down and made his letters with one stroke like the rest of us. As “Zodiac” in his letters, he didn’t. This is especially noticeable in his b, p, and a few other letters. He made these with 2 strokes.  In normal writing, his b and p were made with one stroke. The Badlands Letter shows how he naturally made b and p with 1 stroke. He was trying to “hide” his Zodiac identity in that letter. A few times in Zodiac letters he made mistakes. Below, “speaking” is spelled with a p that is 1 stroke rather than his usual 2 stroke p.


As you will notice, he also wrote a 2 stroke d here. This is very rare. It was usually a 1 stroke. But this letter was one of those that started with him writing very slowly and deliberately. Unless writing very slowly, as above, Zodiac and Steve always wrote on a slant.

Q. Why hasn’t there been a news article about your claims?

A. You have to pander to the news and pitch your story to see if a reporter wants to run with it. I do not do that. That’s how all those stories get published– where a person is lamenting that no one in law enforcement will follow through on his POI. By one route or another the story was brokered. I post matching evidence against Steve on Q Files in order to let my readers know the search has finally ended for me. 6 years looking for admissible evidence. If some people can’t put it together and examine the material, then they can wait for overt declarations when the time has come. I said that the culmination of my case investigation will go through the system. But I keep my readers informed without all the press pandering.

Q. Why is there no official LE news announcement about a heavy duty POI since the printing you showed on Q Files?

A. Again, same as above. I am not within. I am completely independent. There is a difference between identifying and convicting.

Police groupies abound around this case. Their reputation hinges on their appearance that they have insides and represent the infallible amorphous cloud over their shoulder.  I do my own investigation and make my own submissions. Outside of that I do not discuss any contact I have with officialdom until the case is over and there is some relevance to write about behind-the-scenes stuff for clarity sake.

Q. Do you think that regardless of any other evidence they are waiting on a DNA match from a genealogical database?

A. My understanding is that Vallejo PD sponsored that. I have no contact with them. If other jurisdictions wait for that, and are not actively investigating other submissions of POIs, then that would be disappointing.

Remember the big hullaballoo when the announcement was made they have identified “perpetrator DNA” and this was taken to be a positive ID. It’s a big assumption that Zodiac licked his own stamps (I would assume he did). Adoption can delay things as well, and I suspect that could be a problem along that line of approach.

Q. Since you have a POI, can you put him in Southern California during the other crimes?

A. Delicate subject. The arguments whether Zodiac (before he became Zodiac) did some of those murders will be presented in HorrorScope. Personally, I never believed he did the Bates murder. But as to writing the April letters as a sort of thrill by proxy, I was not sure. There is a logical progression between the Domingos/Edwards murders and those of the Swindles– and then Faraday and Jensen.

Q. You mentioned he had mental problems in the Air Force. What was the diagnosis?

A. I have a sort of diagnosis that got him put in psychiatric observation for 4 months before being discharged. But the diagnosis at discharge I do not have. Personally, I suspect that his stay at the hospital turned him into something quite antiestablishment. They could have discharged him 4 months before when the board said he was unfit, but perhaps they wanted to experiment. The 1960s was a time of strange psychological theories. Here they had a specimen for free.

I deduce this because the original examination uncovered insomnia, nervousness,  and anxiety. But he “denied” everything else. They obviously didn’t believe him. Four months of forced observation and testing at a base hospital might have had some real negative effects on him regarding the “establishment.”

To what extent the mental problems influenced his writing styles, I have no idea. One would need the final diagnosis. It is very intriguing to consider this. But I tend to think that Zodiac naturally had artistic abilities.

Q. What if (even with the printing similarities), your man is not Zodiac? There is a lot of chat that handwriting isn’t even considered evidence.

A. A lot of folklore has sprouted. For whatever bizarre reasons, people have submitted POIs and their hand printing. They were so sure of their POIs that when their POIs were eliminated by LE they decried hand printing as reliable rather than questioning their investigative methods that brought them to their POIs.

The last line of the SFPD handbill remains true today: “Available for comparison: Slugs, Casings, Latents, Handwriting.” Handwriting can identify. And that’s what I did. But there is a much more involved search to find all the evidence and backwork how everything was done.

Personally, I could only suspect Steve for 6 years. It angered a lot of people that I wouldn’t take it beyond that. I had a lot of information that fit. But suspicion doesn’t milk the bullfrog. I waited until I finally obtained one of the pieces of evidence above– handwriting, and contemporary handwriting at that. Steve’s matched. He even made the same variations that Zodiac made– such as with his letters (6 and 9 especially). He slanted his writing. He made the same 2 types of “s” the Zodiac made.

See the Updates  page on the Quester Files.

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Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester or Q Man. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.

Il Mostro–Looking for a Pattern

I’m having to relearn my Italian– not just the language but the way of thinking– and since I am still doing so this series of articles will go slowly. But I think I am in a position already to caution those who follow here to be careful of what has already been  written in English. It is not necessarily wrong: but it is very brief. As such, the English accounts of Il Mostro di Firenza are often factoids.

During the crime spree, Italians obsessed on the case. Italy had not known a serial killer. Italians don’t do such things. In a land of warm hearts, incredible artistic expression and beauty, Italians simply cannot conceive anyone being bred that is capable of doing what The Monster did, and did for so long.

Finally, even the many tangents of the investigation came to dead ends. New investigators came onto the case and wanted to start all over. They didn’t believe the satanic cult theories, the picnicking companions theory, and even the pista Sarda– the Sardinian Trail, the one theory considered to be the most sober of the lot.

They had the right attitude. It was time to start over.

The Sardinian Trail is a convoluted conspiracy theory in its own right, despite looking bland compared to the others. It is based only by the fact the same .22 caliber Beretta used by Il Mostro (1974-1985) was used to kill the first couple in August 1968. Investigators and later authors (especially in Italian) considered the odd chance that Il Mostro came along and picked up the discarded gun and then started his own crime spree in September 1974. This entire line of thinking was required because Italian police were certain they had apprehended and jailed the murderer of 1968– Stefano Mele, the uno stupido husband of the woman murdered.  It was a crime of revenge– the husband killing his wife and her lover. Italians could understand that.

But the advent of Il Mostro using the same gun required a rethink. Some thought that Il Mostro must have been a shadow at the crime scene– some voyeur pervert already at the scene. He saw it all and then picked up the discarded murder weapon and later started his own crime spree, in total and complete imitation– hot summer nights, couples making love in a car.

At first, when the same Beretta was used on another loving couple in September 1974, no connection seemed to have been made to the 1968 attack. When the same Beretta was used on a couple in 1981, it jogged memories. The cases were put together. And depending on your point of view, the biggest mistake may have already been made– the attempt to connect this serial killer somehow to the family circle of Stefano Mele, the convicted killer in 1968. Since he was in jail in 1974, and now in 1981 a feeble, simple minded man under the care of nuns, he could not be the crafty night ripper Il Mostro.  But someone had access to the same gun and decided to murder couples in the same way. He had to have been a participant in 1968 and inspired to then become Il Mostro years later. This is the standard Sardinian Trail theory anyway.

The shadow theory was inconceivable. It required one to believe that someone totally unconnected to the crime (except as a witness; or came along afterward before the police arrived) picked up the gun and decided to kill couples on hot summer nights in the same manner with an entirely different motive.

The Sardinian Trail was conceived whereby several family members were present and engaged in a gang revenge in 1968. One of them kept the gun and decided to become Il Mostro. This theory at least gave investigators a group to work with through the process of elimination.

Very few wanted to believe that Mele was falsely convicted. This would introduce the worst theory imaginable, even worse than the shadow theory: that Il Mostro had no connections to any circle whatsoever, and that the double murder of Barbara Locci and Antonio Lo Bianco in 1968 was actually his first random murder. If true, then any and every other trail followed thereafter has been a trail that followed a red herring.

I’m not going to recite the standard summary of the 1968 murders. I’m going to recount them on the evidence existing in Italian literature, and note patterns.

August 21, 1968– hot August night

Barbara Locci was cheating on her husband with salesman Antonio Lo Bianco. They had been to the movies with her 6 year old son, Natalino, and then drove to a lovers’ lane in Signa, a small hamlet in the environs of Florence, Italy. While her 6 year old son slept in the backseat, they fooled around in the passenger front seat. Its backrest  was leaned back all the way. She was laying on top of Lo Bianco, when someone silently approached the car, a white Alfa Romero (its windows down), on the driver’s side and fired a .22 Beretta pistol through the front window.Antonio_Lo_Bianco

The killer shot Lo Bianco first– three times on the left side. Locci bolted up and turned to the passenger side door to escape. She was then shot 4 times. Was the killer surprised at this time to discover there was a 6 year old child in the backseat, now awake? Natalino had no real memories except waking to see his mother’s dead face.

The evidence is confused. We don’t really know when Natalino left the car. He was later found down the road at the doorstep of a farmer’s house.

But the scene within the white Alfa Romero was a curious one. When Barbara_Loccidiscovered by police, the right turn blinker was found engaged. Locci was dressed and seated in the driver’s seat, head leaned to the left. Lo Bianco was dressed and still reclined in the passenger seat. A gold chain had been removed from her neck, but there was no other sign of theft. Locci’s purse was open. There was 24,000 lire inside. Her shoes were under the seat.

When the killer shifted her body into the driver’s seat, it must have hit the turn signal down– which would start the right blinker.

The police deduced it was a crime of passion. Her husband Stefano Mele was charged. He denied it and blamed other lovers.  No one believed him. He went to jail.

Case closed, so it would seem.

September 14, 1974

19 year old Pasquale Gentilcore and his 18 year old girlfriend Stefania Pettini are necking on a dirt road in a field in Rabatta, near Borgo San Lorenzo, hamlets on the northwest of Florence. The next morning one of two farmers find a grisly scene. Stefania is spread eagle behind the blue Fiat, mostly nude. She is mutilated with over 90 shallow knife marks and the branch of a grape vine is found inserted into her reproductive area. In the driver’s seat is found her boyfriend, shot to death.Pasquale_Gentilcore_e_Stefania_Pettini

The police forensic investigation is intense. From our vantage point, it uncovers a disturbing chain of events. The Fiat’s passenger seat backrest it down. Gentilcore was shot 3 times in the back, from the left (top) of the shoulder going in an arc to the right. He had been shot in the heart and lung. Pettini had been shot in the right arm, abdomen, and right leg.

From the .22 shell cases, it was easy to rework the scene. The two were making love in the reclined passenger side seat. Gentilecore’s back was mostly to the driver’s side. Pettini’s back was to the passenger side. The killer approached from the driver’s side and shot through the driver’s side window, shattering the glass and hitting Gentilcore in the back first and then Pettini on the right side and abdomen as she recoiled in surprise.

The killer walked around and removed Pettini from the passenger side door (which he left open), drug her behind the car, and mutilated her.


The most curious act is that the killer positioned Gentilcore in the driver’s side seat. He was found sitting (wearing only underwear), with his hands clasped under his left thigh. (According to crime scene photos, his hands were not clasped under his left thigh; though I do not know if by this time his body had been moved.) Why? Having opened the passenger side door, the killer could easily remove Pettini without having greatly disturbed Gentilcore’s body.  Why bother to put him back in the driver’s seat?

The above circumstances are highly suggestive of the 1968 double murder. Locci and Lo Bianco had been repositioned, with Locci set back (not too believably) in the driver’s seat. The killer shot the man first at both crimes. Money wasn’t stolen here either. The difference was that Locci wasn’t removed from the car and mutilated. But then, here with Pettini there wasn’t a 6 year old kid in the backset to take the killer by surprise.

There is much more evidence at the crime scene, but right now we are concerned with the comparative evidence suggesting the killer’s detailed actions and whether the sequence of events suggest a pattern. Just above, it does suggest that the killer of Locci and Lo Bianco was one and the same with the killer of Gentilcore and Pettini. The police didn’t think of the 1968 murders at this time, probably because they weren’t on the books as unsolved. But in 1981 the mutilations were so gross that the 1974 case popped to mind, and with this the police looked further back in time. The same .22 Beretta was found to have been used at all three of the double murders.

There is another pattern. Locci and Lo Bianco had gone to the movies just before they went to the lovers’ lane. Pettini and Gentilcore had been at Teen Club, a disco.  The first 1981 victims had also been at a disco– Club Anastasia. Of future victims, one couple would also last be seen at the movies.

The pattern indicates that the killer stationed himself at hangouts used by young couples– movie houses, discos– and followed likely couples to lovers’ lanes. He wasn’t staking out lovers’ lanes on the random chance a perfect couple would come along. The difference with the 1968 killings, if they are related, is that the killer may not have noticed they had a 6 year old kid with them in the backseat.

The 1968 murders also happened on a Wednesday night. Most of those following would be on a moonless Saturday, Sunday or Friday night. All will be in Summer of early Fall.

We will get to the next victims in future posts.

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Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester or Q Man. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress. 

Il Mostro di Firenza– Dietrologia

Very little of what has been written in Italian about the Monster of Florence has found its way into English. Il Mostro– obviously Italian for “monster”– is probably the No 1 serial killer in history. Sixteen victims are dead, killed in carefully calculated murder, then mutilation (for most female victims). The circumstances argue that he was a very, very relentless predator. He violated the heart of the Renaissance, the lovers’ lanes in the “sweet hills of Florence,”  for 11 perhaps 17 years.

The Monster of Florence isn’t the No 1 serial killer in world history because his pursuers were the Anglo-American stereotype of the rivalrous and stumbling Italian police. Italian investigations are quite the contrary. Those unfamiliar with the Italian attitude of dietrologia dismiss Italian investigations as rubber hose stuff– where thuggish cops threaten to beat suspects. This is far from the truth. The world doesn’t understand how Italians obsess on details, rooted in Greco-Roman philosophic codes. But Il Mostro seems to have known this, taking many extra precautions. It is also true that Italians will arrest most anybody on the slightest suspicion. The upshot is that just to have success in Italy– i.e. not get caught– Il Mostro had to be one of the most premeditative and careful serial killers in history.

8 luoghi degli delitti

The places of the crime, all grouped around Florence.

But the greatest factor in the Monster’s favor in Italy was a simple fact: Italy had never dealt with a serial killer before.

Italy is a country where family is everything, where the sons are usually spoiled by their mothers. It is not a culture that breeds serial killers, and Italians really didn’t know how to react to such a macabre murderer as the Mostro would prove to be. Crimes of passion occur in Italy. Those are understandable. But a thrill killer killing just for his own twisted thrill wasn’t comprehensible. This happens in England, America, and a few of the Germanic countries. Not in Italy.

Examination of the details and reenactments of these crimes by the Italian police are impressive, but preservation of the larger crime scene wasn’t always so good. There is little evidence of footprints indicating Il Mostro’s weight, measurements indicating his stride (and thus possibly his height), but the evidence and clues in the immediate crime scene are preserved and logically put together according to ancient Greco-Roman efficiency.

What bogged down the Italian investigation was not an inability at crime scene investigation and reenactment.  It was theorizing. The hypotheses constructed in all cases by all factions, and I am referring to officialdom, would strike the Anglo-American world as elaborate conspiracy theories. For those non Italian readers who have followed the case, you only have a smattering of the extrapolations that back all the theories. But each is woven somewhat carefully. Whether you believe in the theory of the “picnicking companions” (compagne di merende) or the pista Sarda (Sardinian Trail), each is a detailed theory of multiple actors who maintain omerta. This is something Italians can believe. A bond is a bond. Name an Italian traitor!?

Americans tend to reject such “conspiracy theories”  outright, but they really aren’t conspiracy theories. Some of you have read about dietrologia– Italian for study of what’s “behind” it all. For many reasons Italians do not believe in a simple façade. For the Anglo-American world, if it looks like a duck, waddles like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it is a duck. For Italians, if is looks like a duck, waddles like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it is probably a pheasant.

One of the principle reasons why Italian’s have dietrologia as a national character can be found in the history of Italy. Some prince or don was always engaging in some deception in order to win a city. Long before the Renaissance, Italians have suspected sudden deaths to be caused by poisoning. If it looks like suicide, it is probably murder.

Another reason Italians don’t believe in a simple façade is, well, because of something most of them have practiced. In Italy the children do not leave home until they marry, and many Italians marry late. The virile years in such a passionate country have inspired young Italians (giovani) to come up with many excuses for meeting with their lovers. In the modern world it usually ends up with a nice time in a parked car in the countryside. I’ve heard figures ranging as high as 1 out of 9 Italians are conceived in the backseat of a car. From youth, Italians become adroit with cover stories, and cover stories are just something that Italians assume are a part of life.

Therefore Italians tend to overthink, not underthink.

Italians are also obsessed with honor. If you insult an Italian in private, a magnanimous one might even thank you (if it is true). But insult one in public, and he’s going to get even. The various elements of the Mostro investigation disagreed and criticized each other too many times.  Faccia was damaged!

This is nothing new. When Savonarola condemned Rodrigo Borgia as an abomination, dear Rodrigo (Pope Alexander VI) got even. He had him flayed over the fire in Florence. I don’t have a problem with that. Italians don’t like it implied that they act with an insincere motive.

Italians live everywhere. Not just in their house. The city itself is the Italian living room. Life is everywhere in a city– it is dotted with impressive works of art. Accomplishments are everywhere displayed: murals, fountains, statues, family names, inscriptions. To impugn faccia= it is more than an insult.


Florence and a piazza. 

Rome was once dotted with 1,000 war towers from which the warring families shot at each other’s palaces and defended their own. The cannons lining the ramparts of the Vatican had been condemned as the scandal of the Christian world.

This mentality, well, it is still with us. It even affects staid members of the judiciary. They fought bitterly over theories and their line of investigation into who was Il Mostro. Each was going to outdo the others.

Then add dietrologia. Again, Italians don’t underthink. They often overthink. As I pointed out, all theories surrounding Il Mostro di Firenza are elaborate and involve in each theory multiple accomplices. It looked like one maniac, so that seems to be impossible. It’s got to be a gang. When the FBI gratuitously did a psychological profile for Florentine police, none seemed to believe it. It was put at the bottom of a stack of papers. From the American perspective, Il Mostro was a loner.  But to Italians that didn’t make sense. Many didn’t even want to believe he was Italian. He must be a foreigner from one of those countries where they have more than enough of these type of losers.

Whatever Il Mostro’s national background, he knew the area of Florence and, furthermore, he knew he was dealing with Italian culture at every level.

Because of Italian tradition, lovers lanes and parking spots dot the hillsides– the Sweet Hills of Florence. The result is a network of pent up peeping toms who stake out areas and watch with high-powered scopes– even using cameras, I’m told. Yet Il Mostro was never seen.

On moonless nights he quietly approached his intended victims and opened fire, then stabbed the male victim about the neck to make sure he was dead, yanked the female victim out and mutilated her in an open area. It was ghastly carnage. Il Mostro wasn’t compulsive, at least by modern usage of the word. He was like the anti-werewolf. It was a moonless night that drove him wild. When there was no moon on a Saturday night, he went out and found his victims.Moody-fri

But wild like a wolf he really didn’t seem to be. He carefully selected his locations. He avoided the Indiani– the peeping toms. He knew many, many, lovers’ lanes around Florence. He used the same Beretta .22 caliber pistol and ammo from the same old 2 boxes he had from wherever. He used the same knife, which seemed to have been a scuba knife. There is a boot print that may be his. Considering he has 14 to 16 victims, little evidence is quite an evil accomplishment.

I tend to think Il Mostro knew his crimes would be masked by the Italian attitude of dietrologia. Perhaps some of his modus operandi caters to that cultural attitude.  He waited for moonless Saturday nights, after all, always in Summer or early Fall. Perhaps this was to avoid the Indiani. But also wouldn’t a devil cult require such precision? He cut out the female reproductive area with a sharp knife, and he knew what he was doing. Three concise cuts were used to excise the organ. This too sounds like a cult ritual, and many Italians, including judicial investigators, believed that a cult of more than one man was responsible. But all felt, whether it was one jacket job or many, he was a gynecologists, doctor, or some strange nobleman. He was too sophisticated to be some peasant perv. Italians wouldn’t believe that. There had to be a mastermind.

In truth, Italy and especially Florentines reacted no different than London and eventually England reacted to Jack the Ripper. It is a nation’s reaction to their first serial killer. Red Jack really wasn’t England’s first, but his method gave him such news coverage that for all intents and purposes he was England’s first publicized serial killer. No one wanted to believe he was an Englishman. He had some ulterior motive. He was a part of some greater conspiracy.

All these suspicions and theories surround The Monster of Florence. He was NIGHT RIPPER– Giacomo Il Ripper.

The difference between Jack and Il Mostro, of course, is that the Monster could very well still be with us, an individual carefully concealed from public suspicion because of all the elaborate theories that have evolved.

The first killing occurred on a hot August night in 1968. Those who endorse the Pista Sarda believe Il Mostro was only a shadow at this crime and the real culprit– the simple-minded husband– did it. The reason, of course, to justify this theory is that the same Beretta used in that double murder is the one used in all the subsequent Il Mostro murders. But the husband was in jail during the Mostro murders or then a feeble man taken care of by nuns. So he couldn’t have become the Monster. Somebody else had to get the gun and, curiously, commit crimes that mimicked this murder of revenge on an unfaithful wife and her lover.

Officially, the Mostro omicidi (homicides) begin on a moonless Saturday night in 1974. Then there is a long break, and they take up again in 1981, with 2 pairs dying that year, on moonless Saturday and Friday nights. Then another couple is murdered in 1982– and you can guess the day of the week and a moonless night. Another couple in 1983, another in 1984, and the last in 1985. 14 victims. 16 if you count the 1968 couple.

And this in Italy, a country of family, eloquent passion, and superb artistic expression. It has never been repeated. Anywhere. 16 couples murdered in cars while necking. No survivors. No mistakes. That’s a hell of a record for a serial killer in a country that doesn’t breed serial killers. It breeds dietrologia. And the Monster carefully overthought his crimes in order to elude his pursuers.

We, too, will pursue Il Mostro with dietrologia in following posts. We will, of course, start in 1968.

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Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester or Q Man. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress. 


The Trial of JJ DeAngelo

My blog has been rather quiet here. I have deleted most of the cold case information since EAR-ONS is largely old cabbage now. However, you may be interested in my last major article on the case, as presented on The Quester Files, my website.

The Trial of JJ DeAngelo and The East Area Rapist

The article is quite long (over 12,000 words) and it organizes (as much as I could in the medium) the evidence for more than one perpetrator in the East Area Rapist and Visalia Ransacker crimes. It is evidence a trial must face.

As far as my Zodiac Killer investigation, you know if you have been following the updates of the snippets of hand writing from “Steve” that the printing matches ZODIAC and I have expressed my certainty that ZODIAC is now identified. Behind the scenes, how all this goes through the system, well, that is another matter from which I have at present excused myself.

But perhaps a look at my Quester Files Update page might be in order.

As I delve deeper into some X Files topics, I recede from posting on my blog. Sorry about that, but these subjects I really don’t present until my investigation is finished and my thesis is written.

More cold cases are pending– The Monster of Florence really needs a good work up. It is not represented well on the web, though a couple of books have done a fairly admirable job of bringing us the details. But analysis needs to be done in order to direct us to a satisfactory answer. We cannot just tick-tock between theories of a fat old Tuscan peasant and the Sardinian Trail.

My next blog post will be on the Il Mostro.

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Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester or Q Man. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.

EAR-ONS– The Trial of the Trial

I have made no posts or comments on the case since a series of blogs here which highlighted some of the things the prosecution already knew– the need to sew the crime spree together to explain the evidence that suggested more than one East Area Rapist was afoot.  I don’t mean an accomplice. I mean another home invasion creep whose attacks were taken to be those of EAR. Or, perhaps, that the accused, DeAngelo, as a cop knew of these details and tailored some of his thrill crime spree to conform to that of the original perp in order to disguise his own crime spree which he then took far beyond where this original perp had taken it.

It is not the purpose of this post to rehash this. Rather it is to touch on another one of the trials and tribulations that must be addressed. First, however, let make another point on the above, since it is all intertwined.

As to providing a great deal of reasonable doubt that another perp was also afoot, it all depends how good the defense attorney will be. I doubt the prosecution will think the attorney will just help facilitate through the system. Thus they will be ready. For instance, there is clear indication that Original Night Stalker and therefore the accused DeAngelo tailored the So. Cal murders to look like the Bedroom Basher.  In like manner it could be argued that DeAngelo, the accused, could also have done the same with Sacramento’s original EAR– disguised his home invasion rapes in the MO of a predator already afoot. Merely the hypothesis shows there is no real way to connect him to any of the Sacramento rapes where there is no DNA.

This can cause a real problem for the Maggiore Double Murders.

But lets touch on the rest– dates. The trial will not just be the trial of the century. It will be the dissertation of the century. It cannot just convict. It must explain.

So many details are in the public forum that the prosecution must adroitly address these. Specifically, there is the wave of EAR-like prowling in the Cordova Meadows area preceding the double murder of the Maggiores. This prowling wave began the summer of 1977 and included some very unusual events that don’t seem to fit DeAngelo. The lead Sac detective Ken Clark also spoke at length on recorded podcasts about these incidents, so the details come from a reliable source.

The trial must bring out whether DeAngelo was available on all these dates. Or was this just the action of some home prowling pervert? A coincidence? And the defense, you know, will try to show evidence of another EAR afoot. Such theories were entertained at the time by some of the detectives and even much later in public discussions. Either way above, it is bad. If the defense can create a reasonable doubt that another perv (not even another EAR) was afoot, you see the problem.

The prosecution will have to completely discredit one of the witnesses to the events of that dark night February 2, 1978. As the case was finally getting more TV, he started to speak out. He identified as the man he saw that night a sketch of a suspect that could not possibly be DeAngelo. The prosecution will remind the court that the sketch below is based on his original statements. It shows the perp wearing a ski mask, and the witness could not possibly have seen the perp’s face.

Sac 3 composite2

Another incident is the Haskell Avenue Incident. The car was identified as belonging to a limited range of models, and this has to be traced and associated with DeAngelo. In fact, tracing this car (if this was him) may be the key as to where and how he got so many different cars.

You might say that this is not necessary. The rapes aren’t going to be tried. Well, yes and no. There’s the charges of kidnapping. Though I feel these are unnecessary, they do open the door on the entire crime spree of EAR and not just the murders.

The car reports are the big mind bender. Were all these cars (belonging to some “suspicious” person) seen in the neighborhoods simply a coincidence or can investigating DeAngelo’s background uncover his source for so many automobiles? From speaking with the lead detective, I am confident he can find each automobile even 40 years later and associate it with a lot, individual, wrecker, or dealer at a given time.

I mention the above 2 incidents here (though there are more) because they introduce more dates than the actual attack dates. For the Cordova Meadows prowling wave, it has to be proven that a full time cop was capable of making all the phone calls over the nights they came in (always around 8 p.m.) and make the home invasion and prowling incidents on the nights/days in question. I don’t think EAR was always precise in the timing of his hang up phone calls, and a defense attorney will bring up the conundrum that this particular wave of hang up calls always came around 8 p.m.

The Haskell Avenue Incident is tied to the EAR, of course, in many points of MO. But the victims that night, in a loose sense of the meaning, had some real trouble within a few days that indicated EAR came back to seek special revenge. This was unusual, and these are more dates that have to be reconciled with DeAngelo’s viability. The attack on Victim 21, occurring later that same night, was also associated with a foreign sounding car. So if DeAngelo’s whereabouts at any time over the several hours in question can be placed elsewhere it weakens one or the other incidents as being done by EAR.


Then there is the believable theory about the strange man who popped up at American River Hospital a couple of days after the attack on Victim 22. Is it all coincidence? Or was there another EAR afoot?

The trial will be much more about explaining than convicting, I think. They have crime scene DNA. He’ll swing (figuratively speaking).  But linking him to the majority of the murders isn’t the problem. It is explaining how he did everything else in order to get into the houses to begin with.

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Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester or Q Man. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.