Italian serial killers are as infamous in their home countries as figures like Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy are in the United States. Given the high rate of serial killers in the United States, people often forget that other countries house their own monstrous murderers. This Italian serial killer list outlines some of the most gruesome murderers Italy has ever seen.
A serial killer's motivation is always a source of public curiosity, as such brutal crimes leave people questioning humankind's capability for evil. The notable Italian serial killers listed below carried out various gruesome acts for a variety of reasons. Some were motivated by money while others were driven by their own delusions. Perhaps scariest of all are those murderers who carried out acts of violence for no discernable reason. To learn more, read the list below.
Two members of the Italian rock band Beasts of Satan, Andrea Volpe and Pietro Guerrieri, committed a series of satanic murders from 1998 to 2004. One victim was shot in the throat before possibly being buried alive. Another, Chiara Marino, was stabbed to death under a full moon in woods in Milan, possibly as part of a Satanic ritual. Marino may have been targeted because she resembled depictions of the Virgin Mary.
Volpe was sentenced to 30 years in prison and Guerrieri received a sentence of 16 years. Volpe's sentence was longer because he also killed his former girlfriend.
In 1987, Wolfgang Abel and Marco Furlan were convicted of 10 murders, although it is believed the pair killed up to 27 people. They were reportedly trying to rid the world of those they believed to be "sub-humans" and they primarily targeted homosexuals, sex workers, and drug addicts.
The crimes were carried out in a particularly brutal fashion. One victim was burned alive and another had their skull crushed in with a hammer. At each crime scene, they left a leaflet, decorated with a Nazi eagle, explaining why they needed to punish their victims.
Birthplace: West Germany
Leonarda Cianciulli murdered three women in Correggio in 1939 and 1940. She killed her victims with an axe, reportedly as human sacrifices so her son would be protected while fighting in WWII. She then used their bodies to make soap. She also reportedly mixed the blood with various baking ingredients and used it to make tea cakes, which she ate herself and served to guests.
When police questioned her about the disappearance of her neighbors, Cianciulli confessed. She was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Age: Dec. at 76 (1894-1970)
Birthplace: Montella, Italy
In 2000, Donato Bilancia was given 13 life sentences for murdering 17 people in Genoa in the late '90s. His first victim was a friend who brought him to a rigged card game. Bilancia also shot and killed the man that ran the game along with his wife. This is how he developed his "taste for killing," which led to a relatively random string of murders. Bilancia was known for never making any attempt to hide his victims' bodies.
After collecting DNA from Bilancia's cigarette butts and a coffee cup, police linked him to various crime scenes and placed him under arrest. He confessed after eight days and received 13 life sentences plus an additional 20 years in prison.
Birthplace: Potenza, Italy