Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
One of the more difficult docudramas to come out of Italy in recent years, this is a fictionalized account of the murders that occurred in Florence once a year between 1970 and 1985. The difficulty lies in the fact that the movie was made without the criminal ever being caught. And so the director and writer do not have any idea who he is and have to postulate a young killer whose problems started in early childhood because of a traumatic sexual encounter he witnessed. This serial killer only murders lovers. Another difficulty lies in the fact that the victims' families understandably do not want their slain sons and daughters represented as gory corpses, or in the process of dying. Director Cesare Ferrario has therefore had to tone down his film, and trace the story by focusing mainly on the first and last murders. A fictional reporter named Andreas Ackermann (Leonard Mann) is followed as he tracks down leads in the developing story. The monster in fact turned out to be more than one man. In March, 1998, a 70-year-old ex-postal worker named Mario Vanni was sentenced to life imprisonment for five of the total of 8 double murders committed by the "monster of Florence." At the same time, 58-year-old Giancarlo Lotti was given 30 years for participating in the last four double murders. A third man was acquitted and a fourth convicted but then later released for lack of sufficient evidence. The last man, Pietro Pacciani, died in 1998 at the age of 73. All four men were friends.