‘Crucifixion killing’ could be linked to six cases

One day after the body of a woman was found taped to a horizontal bar in Florence “as if she had been crucified”, police are investigating possible links to six other cases from the past ten years as fears grow that there could be a serial killer on the loose.

'Crucifixion killing' could be linked to six cases
Police said no piece of evidence would be undervalued in their investigations. Photo: Rosie Scammell

Investigations are continuing into the murder a woman whose body was discovered on Monday taped to a horizontal bar with her "arms outstretched as if she had been crucified".

The body, which has now been identified as that of 26-year-old Romanian prostitute Andrea Cristina Zamfir, was discovered under a bridge below the A1 motorway in the Ugnano district, on the western outskirts of Florence.

She had been raped with an object – probably a pole – and left to die, La Stampa reported. 

She was still wearing her shoes and the rest of her clothes were discovered around one kilometre away on the same road. 

On Tuesday it was reported that the tape used to bind the woman may provide vital clues to the identification of her killer.

According to reports, the tape has an inscription which links it to the Careggi hospital in Florence.

“No clue, no detail, no piece of evidence will be undervalued,” investigators were quoted as saying by La Stampa.

Police are also investigating as many as six other cases involving sexual abuse from the past ten years where similar tape was used.

One of the cases under examination involved a 46-year-old female prostitute who last March reported being raped, robbed and tied with tape by a client on the same road after being approached by a customer in the northern outskirts of the city.

Police have also spoken to witnesses and friends of the young Romanian woman.

Meanwhile, fear is mounting that the killer might strike again with police admitting there was a “real possibility a new serial killer is on the rampage”, according to Ansa. 

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Tourist fined €450 for swim in Rome’s Trevi Fountain

With the return of tourism and scorching temperatures, Rome’s fountains are once again attracting visitors hoping to cool off with a midnight swim.

Tourist fined €450 for swim in Rome's Trevi Fountain

In the latest incident, a 26-year-old Spanish man was fined 450 euros after taking a dip in the Trevi Fountain in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Rome’s city police apprehended and fined the man after he was spotted swimming in the 18th-century monument at around 5am, according to local media reports.

READ ALSO: How to keep cool like an Ancient Roman in Italy’s summer heat

Every summer, hapless foreign visitors face fines of hundreds of euros after falling foul of Rome’s strict ban on taking a dip in public fountains – with the city mayor warning tourists that the centuries-old Baroque monuments are “not swimming pools”.

In April, two Dutch tourists also faced fines totalling over €1,000 after their own ill-advised splash in the Trevi Fountain.

The Roman landmark is one of the city’s main magnets for badly-behaved visitors, but tourists have also been fined after cooling off in the Santa Maria fountain in Trastevere, believed to be the city’s oldest. 

Since 2018, anyone caught misbehaving at Rome’s monuments can also face a temporary ‘Daspo’ ban from the area – similar to an ASBO (anti-social behaviour order) in the UK – which allows city police to restrict the movement of people they deem a threat to public order.

READ ALSO: From selfie brawls to midnight swims: Tourists behaving badly at the Trevi Fountain

But a plan to erect a one-metre-high glass and steel barrier around the Trevi fountain to protect it from unruly visitors now appears to have been abandoned after arts and heritage experts called the idea “foolish”.

Fines for swimming in the fountains have been in place since 2015, but this hasn’t stopped determined visitors from recreating scenes from La Dolce Vita and even some locals from taking a dip – – with or without their clothes.

Swimming in the wrong place is just one of the offences regularly committed by visitors, with graffiti and vandalism a common problem at many of Italy’s famous monuments.

READ ALSO: 15 strange ways to get into trouble on holiday in Italy

In Rome alone, this year tourists have made headlines for everything from breaking into the Colosseum to enjoy a drink with a view to driving a car down the Spanish Steps.

Other Italian tourism hotspots, including Florence and Venice, also have varying local rules in place aimed at curbing rowdy behaviour.