The Beasts of Satan were a suspected satanic cult in Italy. The members of this group, one of whom was Andrea Volpe, committed three notorious ritual murders over six years, which shocked Italy upon their discovery. The slayings were called “one of the most shocking crimes in post-war Italy” by the BBC.
The first incident was a January 1998 double homicide that occurred in the woods near Somma Lombardo, northwest of Milan.
Chiara Marino, a shop assistant, aged 19, and her boyfriend Fabio Tollis, a 16 year old student and heavy-metal musician, were sacrificially stabbed and beaten in a drug-fueled occult rite involving sex and heavy metal music.
The couple, who had spent a normal Saturday night drinking beer and listening heavy metal music at the Midnight Pub, which was the center of the city’s metal scene, never returned home.
The conclusion initially drawn by the authorities at the time was that Chiara and Fabio had run away together for a love affair as their friend suggested, but this explanation was not accepted by Fabio’s father, Michele Tollis, who began his own investigation. Just a few hours before the murder, Nicola Sapone forced Fabio Tollis to call home and tell his father he would be spending the night with his girlfriend. Michele Tollis noticed something strange in his son’s voice and immediately called the Midnight to have a word with his son. Unfortunately, it was too late. Fabio and Chiara had already left with their ‘friend’ for Somma Lombardo and never came back.
The Satanic Killing of Chiara Marino and Fabio Tollis
Both Fabio Tollis and Chiara Marino were stabbed to death by their ‘friends’ Andrea Volpe, Nicola Sapone and Mario Maccione.
Fabio Tollis desperately tried to defend himself and Chiara but there was nothing he could do.
The group claimed that Chiara Marino, who was stabbed to death under a full moon, was the personification of the Blessed Virgin Mary. When Fabio Tollis, who was the leader of the band, attempted to prevent the murder, he suffered a blow to his head with a hammer. Sapone then gagged Tollis to silence him and also slit his throat in what Reuters and the Italian media called “an orgy of bloodletting.” After the murders, the Satanic band pushed the lifeless bodies of their sacrifices into a pit and urinated on them. After burying the corpses in a large grave in the woods, the group danced on the grave site, laughing and screaming “Now you’re both zombies! Try to get out of this hole, if you dare!“
Fabio’s father, Michele Tollis, could not be calmed and set out to find his son. He soon discovered just how deeply both Fabio and his girlfriend Chiara had become involved in satanism and the occult; both common themes of the black metal and death metal genres that his son and friends were interested in. Becoming convinced of a connection between satanism and their disappearance, over six years he steadily constructed a file on their activities and the bands in which they had played. When the third murder occurred, Tollis took his findings to the police, who used them to link all three murders to Andrea Volpe and the wider satanic sect.
Andrea Volpe Murders Again
The third murder was committed in January 2004. Mariangela Pezzotta, a 27-year-old shop assistant and a girlfriend of cult member Andrea Volpe, was first shot and later buried while she was still alive in a greenhouse not far from Somma Lombardo.
Andrea Volpe was arrested shortly after with his young fianceé, a 18-year-old student named Elisabetta Ballarin. Andrea Volpe confessed he that invited Mariangela Pezzotta for dinner but had already decided he was going to kill her because she knew too many details about the sect and about the double, ritualistic homicide of Tollis and Marino.
Andrea Volpe shot Mariangela after a violent fight. She was shot in the mouth and her body was savagely mutilated but she was still alive. Andrea called Nicola Sapone, who, upon arriving at the scene, insultingly accused Volpe saying “You can’t even kill a person!” Andrea Volpe, along with Sapone and Elisabetta Ballarin, tried to hide Mariangela by burying her alive in a greenhouse on the property of Ballarin’s parents’ home.
Sapone went back home and pretended nothing had happened. Hours later Andrea Volpe and Ballarin took a heavy dose of cocaine and heroin and decided to get rid of Mariangela’s car by ditching it in a nearby river. En-route to rid themselves of the car, they crashed and were ultimately arrested.
The police investigation of the Pezzotta murder, and interrogation of Andrea Volpe, using the information provided by Michael Tollis led to the discovery of the buried bodies of Marino and Tollis and the revelation of the sect’s existence.
As the investigation continued, Mario Maccione, who presented himself as “the medium” of the group and had been regarded by Fabio Tollis as his best friend, confessed to having beaten him to death with a hammer, after Andrea Volpe and Sapone had stabbed him and Chiara Marino.
Additionally sect members were accused of pushing their drummer, Andrea Bontade, to commit suicide because he refused to join Volpe and Sapone at Somma Lombardo and help with the killing Marino and Tollis. On September 1998, Andrea Bontade drank heavily, than killed himself by crashing his car. Authorities also investigated whether the group had any links to a possible wider network of Satanists in Italy.
The files of a number of other mysterious murders and suicides in northern Milan, particularly those that occurred when the moon was full or new, were re-opened to see if they are related to the this cult. Links have already been established in two of the cases: the murder of another of Volpe’s girlfriends, Maddalena Russo, which took place on Friday the 13th in September, 1995; and the supposed suicide of Bontade, in 2000.
On February 22, 2005 Andrea Volpe and Pietro Guerrieri were sentenced in the northern city of Busto Arsizio to 30 and 16 years respectively. Volpe, in addition to the 1998 murders, was also found guilty of the 2004 slaying of Pezzotta. In Volpe’s case the sentence was a decade longer than requested by prosecutors. A third suspect, Mario Maccione, had also confessed to the murders, but was cleared due to his secondary role in the crimes.
The reactions of the victims’ families to the sentencing were mixed. Michele Tollis, the father of Fabio, said “Today justice rewarded me.” Lina Marino, mother of the slain Chiara, was outraged at the relatively light sentences Andrea Volpe and Guerrieri had received, due to their cooperation with prosecutors. She stated “They are murderers. It’s not fair.”
Five more members of the cult went to trial in June 2005 and were sentenced to long prison terms in early 2006. Nicola Sapone, leader of the group and the person suspected as the mastermind behind the killings, received a life sentence. The other four, Paolo Leoni, Marco Zampollo, Eros Monterosso and Elisabetta Ballarin, received sentences between 24 and 26 years for their role in all three murders.
On 2007 the Court of Appeal confirmed the life sentence for Sapone and improved the convictions for other three members of the group: Paolo Leoni passed from 26 years to a life sentence, Marco Zampollo from 26 years to 29 years and 2 months and Eros Monterosso from 24 years to 27 years and 3 months; the sentence for Elisabetta Ballarin was reduced from 24 years and 3 months to 23 years. On May 2008 the last step, Court of Cassazione, confirmed all the Appeal’s decisions.
credit – murderpedia