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.
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.