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Ex-Murder Defendant in Italy Dies

February 22, 1998

FLORENCE, Italy (AP) _ A farm hand known as the Monster of Florence after he was linked to Italy’s worst killing spree was found dead Sunday in his house outside this Tuscan capital.

Pietro Pacciani was convicted in 1994 of the murders of seven couples and sentenced to life in prison, but an appeals court acquitted him in 1996. Italy’s Supreme Court ordered a new trial, which would have started in October.

The couples were camping or sitting in cars in the Tuscan countryside when they were killed between 1974 to 1985. Some victims were mutilated, and body parts removed.

Pacciani, who suffered from heart problems, apparently died of a heart attack, the Italian news agency ANSA said, quoting police who were called to his rural house after neighbors noticed the gate ajar all day.

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