Every Atheist Needs: The Monster of Florence
Ok, so this is more of a “Everybody needs” than it is a “Every Atheist Needs”, because it really has nothing to do with atheism. Perhaps, there’s a slight relationship to skepticism, but this book is a must-read for anyone who loves a good true crime story, atheists, theists, the gullible and skeptics alike.
The Monster of Florence is Italy’s most notorious serial killer, who, as of today, has still not been found. The Monster of Florence is kinda like Italy’s answer to the Zodiac killer, except for one thing: If it weren’t for the absolute sheer lunacy of Italian law enforcement, this killer might have been caught already.
There are two books about this case that are must-reads. One, is a work of fiction, and is called The Monster of Florence by Magdalene Nabb. The story she writes is fictional, but she has maintained portions of it are very real, including the investigation. It is widely thought, that the man she identifies as the killer in the book, is the real Monster of Florence.
The second book you have to read, is the nonfiction account of these crimes and the ensuing investigation. The book is called the Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston. After researching his book, and immersing himself in this investigation for years, Preston agrees with Nabb on who the real killer is.
The Monster of Florence is a prolific killer in the hills of Florence’s countryside. Targeting couples who have sought out “lover’s lane” type places to have time alone, Il Mostro slaughtered people from 1968 to 1985. All told, authorities have attributed 16 murders to the Monster, each with several eerie similarities linking them to him.
During the course of the investigation, 4 different men have been arrested, detained, charged and convicted for the Monster’s crimes. Convicted. Four men…
Several other people have been detained on suspicion of being Il Mostro, but were released when more murders with the same MO occured.
Through reading each of these books, you’ll see that it takes very little for someone to be considered a suspect in this case. Rumours in a newspaper, whisperings around town. It really doesn’t matter where the source came from, or if there is any evidence at all. If one of the investigative team catches wind of someone, somewhere uttering a person’s name in connection with the crimes, off the go to prison. Even Preston and his co-author, Mario Spezi, were arrested and questioned, had their phones tapped and Preston, who had recently moved his family to Italy, was asked to leave the country.
This case illustrates beyond any shadow of a doubt, the complete fucking gong show that Italian law enforcement is. When you realize that the man in charge of the Il Mostro investigation, who has been described as a nutjob, was also in charge of Amanda Knox’s case, you suddenly become pretty sure she’s totally innocent.
Then you can’t help but wonder, have they ever properly solved a crime, ever? Seriously, it really is that bad. If it weren’t so desperately sad, it would make an incredible police comedy flick.
Check out these two books. They are truly entertaining, even though the fact that they are true will rock you a little bit. Parts of the film Hannibal were based on these crimes… that’s just how fucked up the whole thing is.
Have you read these books? What’s the best true crime you have ever read?