Serial killer flees jail after leaving to visit his mum

Police are hunting for serial killer Bartolomeo Gagliano after he escaped from a jail in the northern Italian city of Genoa on Wednesday. Prison staff claim they had no clue he was a killer when they granted him temporary leave to visit his mother.

Serial killer flees jail after leaving to visit his mum
Serial killer Bartolomeo Gagliano escaped from jail in Genoa. Photo: Flickr

Gagliano, convicted of three murders as well as a slew of other crimes, was allowed temporary leave to visit his mother in Savona as a reward for good behaviour over the past three years, but he instead hijacked a bakery delivery van at gunpoint and told the driver to head to Genoa, La Stampa reported.

Once in Genoa, he let the delivery man go and made his escape in a green Fiat Panda.

Staff at Genoa's Marassi penitentiary said they had no idea that Gagliano, 55, was a convicted serial killer when they granted him leave.

“We did not know he had this criminal history, for us he was a robber,” prison warden Salvatore Mazzeo told La Stampa.

Justice Minister Annamaria Cancellieri said the incident is “very serious” and requires a “rigorous assessment”.

“It’s useless to deny that this will be a blow to our attempts to make prisons more civil and able to fulfill their rehabilitative function.”

Gagliano, who also escaped from a psychiatric hospital in 1989, killed two prostitutes and a man between 1981 and 1989. He was also convicted of attempted murder as well as robbery and the possession of drugs and weapons. 

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