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Her body was covered in bruises from struggling to escape and she suffered appalling sexual torture. But detectives in the Italian city of Florence still do not know exactly what killed Andrea Cristina Zamfir. One theory , however, is that the year-old mother-of-one died of fright, suffering a fatal heart attack through sheer terror at what the serial maniac — now linked to eight other sex attacks — was inflicting. What is certain is that the Romanian prostitute knew, in those final moments, that she was in the hands of a monster.
Four local men were charged and convicted at various times, but many believed they were mistakenly accused. After shooting his victims at close range with a. American author Thomas Harris based his Silence of the Lambs character Hannibal Lecter on Il Mostro and in attended the trial of one of the suspects, an alcoholic farm labourer called Pietro Pacciani.
Pacciani was jailed for life but the conviction was overturned on appeal. He died, aged 71, in before his retrial. Last night it emerged that police have arrested a year-old plumber in connection with the latest attacks — which they are not linking to the previous murders.
But locals with memories of the Monster recall that dozens of men were wrongly arrested for the original slayings, and the killer remains at large. And now the same prosecutor who led the Monster investigation, Paolo Canessa, has been assigned to hunt for the crucifixion killer.
It has, inevitably, prompted comparisons and resurrected old conspiracy theories about the Il Mostro murders — satanic pacts, black magic, graveyard seances and Freemasonry. For Hollywood, the atrocities are something of a PR coup. She was naked apart from her socks and trainers, her arms were bound to the barrier with surgical tape and she had been brutally raped.