Italian authorities plan to exhume at least two more corpses as part of a widening investigation into satanic rites, heavy metal music and human sacrifice that has kept the nation agog for the past three weeks.
At least three murders of a ritual type are already pinned on the semi- professional heavy metal musicians from the Beasts of Satan band and their plumber friend, all now in custody, who police believe to be the leaders of a satanic sect known by the same name. The men, all in their 20s, are accused of stabbing and shooting their victims, then burying them still alive in a lonely wood.
But after checking records of other deaths in recent months in the district of Legnano, on the outskirts of Milan, particularly those that occurred when the moon was full or new, police have alighted on two suicide cases that were particularly baffling: two young men, at least one of them close to the alleged Satanists, both of whom worked in the Legnano cemetery and both of whom killed themselves in the past six months.
Angelo Lombardo, 28, a guard at the cemetery, was the first to die. On a Sunday afternoon last December he went into the porter’s lodge at the cemetery, doused himself in petrol and set himself on fire. Visitors to the cemetery found him still in flames and writhing in agony. He was taken to hospital with 80 per cent burns but died four days later. Then, in May this year, his friend Luca Colombo, 21, a florist at the same cemetery, hanged himself from a tree in his parent’s garden. He is known to have been friendly with some members of the sect, and particularly close to Nicola Sapone, the plumber who is thought to be its leader.
Before his death, Luca confided in friends and relatives that he was frightened. A local woman who claims to have been his girlfriend for five months told Corriere della Sera newspaper, “For the first three months he was happy, funny and very sweet. Then suddenly he changed. He wasn’t himself any more: nervous, bad tempered, always scowling … Just once he said that one day he would explain [the problem], but that moment never arrived.” As more evidence, if so far only circumstantial, of the sect’s crimes emerges from the ground, people have begun coming forward to denounce the police for failing to follow up satanic leads from years ago. Pasqualina Antonini, the mother of Chiara Marino, who died from stab wounds and whose remains were discovered earlier this month, has told reporters she gave police a full account of the Satanists she held responsible soon after her daughter’s disappearance more than six years ago. Her statement, which was broadcast on local radio this week, named all three of the principal accused: Mario Maccione, fellow band member Andrea Volpe and the plumber Nicola Sapone.