- ROME -- 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
- 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
- © 2004 Independent Digital (UK) Ltd http://news.independent.co.uk/europe/story.jsp?story=534231