Editions:  Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland
Advertisement

Tattooed severed leg sparks murder mystery

Share this article

Tattooed severed leg sparks murder mystery
The severed leg was fished out of a tributary of the River Tiber in Rome. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP
07:04 CEST+02:00
The gruesome find of a left leg tattooed with the words "Today is a good day to die" has sparked an investigation worthy of a detective film, Italian media reported.

The limb - severed above the knee, apparently with an electric saw - was fished out of a tributary of the River Tiber, which flows through Rome, on Tuesday.

The leg had been in the water for less than two days, investigators believe.

Police believe the leg's owner was murdered and then chopped up. When, where and why the macabre deed took place still remain unknown.

The daily Il Messaggero identified the victim as Gabriele di Ponto, 36, who had a long list of convictions for drug-trafficking, armed robbery and violence.

He was also a member of far-right "ultra" supporters of the Rome football club Lazio, whose name was also tattooed on his leg.

He had recently married an Italian-Tunisian women, but her father told the newspaper she had left him after a month because he beat her.

"I have never come across anyone as nasty as him," her father told the daily.

Di Ponto carried out his first armed robbery at 18 and served several jail terms after that, even boasting of his time behind bars on his Facebook page.

"Hello to all prisoners," he wrote. "Better to be in a cell, silent, than to be without honour."

He had a limp after having survived being once sprayed with bullets, and this slight handicap allowed the police to identify him when he carried out robberies of pharmacies armed with a hatchet, reports said.

Di Ponto's relatives, worried that there had been no sign of him since late July, went to the morgue and identified his leg from five tattoos, press reports said.

DNA tests have been carried out in a bid to confirm the ID.

Rome prosecutors have opened a murder inquiry.

Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

Advertisement

From our sponsors

The Swedish university tackling the challenges of tomorrow

Ranked among the world's best young universities in the QS Top 50 Under 50, Linköping University (LiU) uses innovative learning techniques that prepare its students to tackle the challenges of tomorrow.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Jobs
Click here to start your job search
Advertisement
Advertisement

Popular articles

Advertisement
Advertisement